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Njogu Bah gives marathon defence

Jan 8, 2015, 10:23 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The former secretary general and head of the civil services, Dr Njogu L. Bah, yesterday continued his evidence-in-chief at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court before Principal Magistrate Dawda Jallow.

Bah told the court he knew Jainaba Jobarteh, as she worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the time.

He said during the investigation into the case, he was aware of her presence at the NIA in connection with the case.

“I can remember the evidence of PW2, Yusupha Dibba, the then permanent secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the posting of Jainaba Jabarteh,” he told the court.

“I totally disagreed with what Dibba said; that I had called him through telephone to instruct him to recommend the posting of Ms Jainaba Jobarteh to the Gambia’s permanent mission in New York,” he said.

“I have never instructed him on anything regarding the posting of Jainaba Jabarteh,” Bah told the court in his defence.

He also told the court that things do not work like that in the civil service sector, by just making mere telephone calls.

Bah disclosed that in the civil service, appointment, redeployment, movement, and dismissal cannot be done verbally without a written document; so the posting could not be by a mere telephone call.

The PMO is directly under the office of secretary general and head of the civil service, Bah also told the court, adding that the relationship between the PMO and the office of the secretary general and head of the civil service is based on confidentiality, as is even written on the letters and files.

He said that before appointing someone, they would write to PMO to seek the consent of the Public Service Commission after consulting other permanent secretaries, for any posting, to do their internal vetting for the file to be prepared.

He said that in the file, there should be minutes sent to the office of the secretary general conveying the proposal with their support or observation, to seek the endorsement of the secretary general or otherwise.

He said Dawda Fadera, permanent secretary at PMO, who happened to be a prosecution witness, knows the normal procedure for posting Jainaba Jobarteh.

According to Bah, as secretary general and head of the civil service, he had responsibilities which he needed to fulfill by ensuring the smooth functioning of the civil service sector in the country.

He said PW3 is professional and well-experienced, and took his work with seriousness.

Bah also said he knew in his office they would always do their job with files.

“I received a file proposing the posting of Jainaba Jobarteh and I was convinced by the minutes,” he said.

As secretary general and head of the civil service, it was his responsibility to have adequate staff and well-experienced people in the interest of the Gambian people.

“I then endorsed the file and returned it to PMO to complete the mission of posting Jainaba Jobarteh,” he added.

He said that when he observed the file before him, he believed the New York mission needed qualified and more staff to enhance it, as well as having someone there who is a bilingual and experienced.

That was why he endorsed the file, Bah told the court.

The case was adjourned to 13 January 2015, for the hearing to continue.