#Article (Archive)

Gumbo Touray opens defence

Jul 19, 2012, 1:45 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The former Director of International Affairs at the University of The Gambia, UTG, yesterday opened his defence in the false information case against him, at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Principal Magistrate Alagbe Ade Taiwo.

Alhaji Gumbo Touray is being tried for the offence of giving false information to a public officer.

He began his testimony by giving the court his resume. He said between 1982 and 1983, he obtained his MSc. in Urban Development Planning at the University of London, UK.

Between 1976 and 1980, he obtained a BA (Hons) Soc. Sc, in Planning and Economics at Middlesex University in Enfield, England, UK.

In 1986, he obtained a postgraduate diploma in Housing, Planning and Building from the Institute for Housing Studies, (Boucentrum International Education) at Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

He also told the court that in December 1989, he obtained a certificate in Urban Community Development DSE, in West Berlin, Germany.

In December 1990, Touray obtained a certificate in Senior Management at the Management Development Institute (MDI), in Kanifing, and in 1982, he obtained a Diploma in Planning and Management, Lucknow University Center for Urban and Environmental Studies, UP (India).

Touray also told the court that in October 1992, he obtained a certificate in Urban Development, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Tokyo, Japan, and in the same year obtained a certificate in Project Management at the Management Development Institute (MDI), Kanifing.

Mr. Touray further told the court that in March 1993, he obtained a certificate in Short Course on Land Tenure and Management at the Land Tenure Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.   

He revealed that between 1969 and 1972, he obtained a State Registered Nurse Certificate at the Gambia School of Nursing and Midwifery

He further told the court between 1974 and 1975, he obtained a Dispensing Practice Certificate in Pharmacy Department - Royal Victoria Hospital in Banjul.

Noting that from June 2007 to 2011, he was appointed as Director of International Affairs at the University of The Gambia, he said he returned to the UTG from secondment to the Regional Maritime University, in Accra, Ghana, as a Director.

“I was appointed at the University of The Gambia by the UTG council for a 3-year contract and my contract was subjected to renewal with at least 3 months notice,’’ he said.

Gumbo added that he was among the first Gambians who started as lecturers at the UTG, noting that as a good citizen of The Gambia, he was very pleased when the UTG was established for that reason.

“I decided to come home to contribute my quota to national development,” Gumbo told the court.

He further told the court that in January 2011, there was a visit by the National Assembly Select Committee on Education to the UTG, where senior staff of the UTG were invited to honestly express their opinion.

He added that during this meeting with the National Assembly select committee, he was asked to express his sincere opinions about the development of the UTG.

Asked by defence counsel Badou Conteh if he was the one who invited the select committee to the UTG, Touray said he did not, and that the visit was a surprise visit to all of them.

He said Dr. Senghore told the court that many of them spoke at that meeting, adding that he then asked for his statement to be put on record.

Touray added that the members of the UTG council subsequently wrote their report, which is already before the court.

He said he petitioned the Vice Chancellor of the UTG and not the President, and that he did not mention in the petition that Professor Kah appointed his relatives in the UTG.     

He also told the court that at the time of expiration of his contract, he was under a 3-months suspension by the UTG Vice Chancellor.

When asked by his counsel who appointed him at the UTG, Touray said the position was advertised in the local press, and he applied and a recommendation was forwarded to the UTG council for his appointment.

He added that the members of the UTG governing council were responsible for appointment and dismissal of UTG staff, and not Professor Kah, but this was done by Professor Kah acting alone.

“My suspension letter was signed by Professor Kah and my letter of dismissal was signed by Jenum Manneh,” he added.

Touray also told the court that his suspension came two days after addressing the NAMs’ select committee on education which visited the UTG.

When asked by counsel about his role at the UTG, Touray said as director of International Affairs, his role was to create linkages between the UTG and other universities around the world.

At the time of his suspension and subsequent termination of his services, there were 15 linkages between UTG and other development institutions and universities around the world, but as at now there are only 4 linkages, Touray went on.

He added that he also introduced the UTG newsletter, of which he was the editor-in-chief and it had stopped being published since he left.

A copy of the newsletter was tendered as a defence exhibit.

Asked by counsel whether since he left the newsletter ceased publication, Touray said that since he left the UTG, the said newsletter ceased publication.

The case was adjourned till 23 July 2012, for the hearing to continue.