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I’m proud to be counted among outstanding civil servants, Njogu Bah tells court

Feb 5, 2015, 10:13 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Former secretary general Njogu Bah yesterday told the Banjul Magistrates’ Court that he was proud to be counted among those outstanding civil servants.

Concluding his evidence-in-chief before Principal Magistrate Dawda Jallow, Dr Bah told the court that PW2 (Dibba) was a funny and unstable character as he Dibba was on contract, so he would do or say everything possible to achieve the “journey toward final retirement.”

He said Mr Dibba’s contract used to be renewed every two years, adding that when he (Bah) took office in 2005, he received him in his office, when he was then permanent secretary.

“When I was appointed senior assistant secretary, he was the one who handed my appointment letter to me. I rose through the ranks and became permanent secretary like him in 2008; I later become secretary to cabinet, and then finally secretary general and head of civil service, and became his boss.”

He said on several occasions, Dibba had told him that he (Dibba) was supposed to have been appointed as secretary general and head of the civil service instead of him (Bah), and had also expressed the same to other people.

Asked by his counsel how he saw that, Bah told the court he saw Mr Dibba’s testimony against him as a grudge, and nothing else.

“The reason I say Mr Dibba is a funny and unstable character, is because there were two occasions when Mr Dibba pleaded with me to look out for him in the system, as many people don’t like him in the system.”

Dibba also told him he had served in so many ministries in the civil service, but he still had not got a recommendation, and that he is aging and having young children; and he needed to prepare for their education and their future, Bah said.

He said Dibba had approached him on several occasions on the issue of recognition in the service.

“I recommended him for an award as the longest-serving permanent secretary in the Gambian civil service,” Bah told the court.

He said that another approach was about his personal status in the civil service, as he had said people do not like him that much, and was worried about the future of his children.

“I have recommended him to be appointed Ambassador to Cuba through the approval of the President, and he has visited my house once or twice, and also sending emails for me not to forget to continue to look out for him,” Bah said in his marathon defence.

He said Dibba also at one time approached him, and said he was not feeling secure to stay in the civil service sector.

Asked by his counsel what was his last word, Njogu Bah told the court that he was “not guilty of anything.”

“A file was sent to me conveying or proposing the appointment of Jainaba Jabarteh to the UN mission in New York,” he said.

He added that as secretary general and head of the civil service, he “endorsed the file, and returned it to PMO to complete their job.”

“I have done this as secretary general and head of the civil service for the smooth functioning of the civil service sector in good faith, without ill-will,” he added.

Asked about his relationship with Jainaba Jobarteh, Bah said it had been casual, as he knew her like any other civil servant and there was no personal relationship.

“I can raise my hands that I am proud to be counted among those outstanding civil servants that tried to execute their functions of the office without fear or favour, and the posting of Jainaba Jobarteh was done in good faith,” Bah told the court.