The Deputy Commissioner of Operations at The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) on Wednesday appeared before Magistrate Surahata Danso of the Banjul Magistrates' Court, where he gave his testimony in the ongoing "false information" case involving one Awa Trawally, a GRA employee.
Testifying as the first witness for the prosecution, James Johnson told the court that on the 8th June 2009, he received a memo in his office, which he said did not however deal with him directly but the management. He said the memo was concerning a letter allegedly written by the accused against the GRA management.
According to him, the letter contained allegations as regards how corrupt and injustice the GRA management is when it comes to the issue of staff promotion.
Mr. Johnson stated that the procedure for promotion at GRA is that when there is any vacancy, an internal announcement is made to that effect for any interested person(s) to apply by sending their credentials and certificates to the Chairman of Appointment and Promotion at the GRA for submission.
He added, "anyone who meets the requirements will be entitled to promotion straight without fear or favour."
He posited that the reason why the accused went to the Commissioner General's Office, was in connection to the issue of promotion.
"I was not aware of the discussion that took place between the accused and the Commissioner, but I was in my office and heard the accused person's accusations, which were very horrible," he told the court.
Under cross-examination, Defence Counsel Ms. H. Gaye asked the witness how long the accused has been working at GRA, and he replied that he couldn't specifically say because he'd not work with the accused directly.
Defence Counsel Gaye at that point put it to Mr. Johnson that the accused has been working for GRA for 17 years.
Asked whether accused had ever confronted him personally that he used to sleep with women for promotion, Mr. Johnson answered in the positive, adding that the memo in question was entirely based on the accused person's attitude and behaviour.
Mr. Johnson told the court that he is not a member of the disciplinary committee, but after the allegation was made, he reacted by writing and sending it to the Human Resources Manager.
At that juncture, the case was adjourned to the 17th September 2009 for the testimony of the prosecution's second witness.