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Gumbo Touray disputes Kah’s professorship

Aug 10, 2012, 10:14 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Former UTG Director of International Affairs, Alhagie Gumbo Ali Touray, has disputed the professorship of UTG vice chancellor Professor Muhammed O. Kah, stressing that Kah was not qualified to be considered a full professor, as required by other recognized universities around the globe.

Touray, who is charged with giving false information to a public officer, was testifying under cross-examination at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Principal Magistrate Alagbe Ade Taiwo.

He told the court that he did not write a petition to the President in his capacity as the President of the Republic of The Gambia, but instead in his capacity as the Chancellor of the University of The Gambia, for redress for his unlawful suspension and subsequent termination of his services by Professor Kah.

Given a 61-page book to look at, and asked whether it was the book that contains the conditions of service of the UTG, Touray replied in the positive, saying that these were the UTG’s conditions of service.

He added that defence exhibit 2 was the binding document, purposely for the University of The Gambia, and not any other university around the world.

Touray added that the analysis he made was based on the conditions of service of the UTG and not any other university.

Asked by the prosecutor whether Professor Kah was a qualified Professor, Touray said Professor Kah was not qualified to be considered a full professor, as required by other recognized universities around the globe.

Noting that the documents tendered in court claimed to be his letter of appointment to his professorship, Touray said Professor Kah had come with his “so-called” professorship into The Gambia from the American University in Nigeria.

When told that according to the conditions of service of the UTG, Professor Kah could suspend him for 3 months if he should breaks the rules and regulations of the UTG, Touray said his own case was different, and that he had never broken any rules at the UTG as the former Director of International Affairs.

He added that the UTG has a disciplinary committee, who monitors all the staff for misconduct, but his own case was different and it was handled by Professor Kah alone, instead of the disciplinary committee of the UTG taking action.

Still under cross-examination, Touray told the court that Professor Kah had dissolved many committees at the UTG, like the UTG Research and Strategy committees that lost it prized position of membership in the ERNWACA group’s research initiatives.

He also said that some of the lecturers who had demonstrated a commendable track record of publishable (CODESRIA, ActionAid, etc) academic research expertise in the past, had their planned research teaching course arbitrarily cancelled by the vice-chancellor, without even the courtesy of consultations or any explanation.

He added that he was a senior member of the UTG as Director of International Affairs and witnessed Professor Kah handling many issues at the UTG without consulting anybody.

When shown a document, an email correspondence sent to him, Touray said he had never seen the document before.

The defence counsel, Badou S.M. Conteh, raised an objection regarding the admissibility of the document, when he told the court that his client had never set an eye on it, and the proper foundation was not laid before the court.

The trial magistrate upheld the objection on the grounds that the proper foundation had not been laid by the prosecution.

The case was adjourned till 14 August 2012, for cross-examination to continue.