Lamin Ceesay, a state security officer, recently told the court that he did not obtain any statement from Ms Jainaba Jobarteh, who was allegedly posted to the country’s UN mission in New York without following proper procedure.
The state witness was speaking under cross-examination by defence counsel LK Mboge and before principal magistrate Hilary Abeke of the Banjul magistrates’ court in the trial involving Dr Njogu Bah, former head of the civil service.
Asked who the complainant was in this case, the witness said he did not know. He did not find out the work or responsibilities of the office of secretary general Office of the President and head of the civil service.
Asked whether it was not strange to him that the statement of Dawda Fadera, permanent secretary at the Personnel Management Office (PMO) was not in the file, the witness said he did not know about that; that all he knew was that the file was sent to the Attorney General’s Chambers.
Asked what the terms of reference are for holders of the office of secretary general, Ceesay said he did not know because he never worked at the office of secretary general, and he did not find out.
“I have never found out whether the appointment of Jainaba Jobarteh is the responsibility of the office of the secretary general. I just charged him based on the evidence before the panel, and what I gathered before the panel,” he said.
Counsel then put it to him that the charge against Dr Bah is bogus, as it has no legs to stand on. The witness said it was not a bogus charge.
The witness asked whether it was normal, as a secretary general, for Dr Bah to pick up his phone and call the permanent secretary PMO, and tell him that he as the secretary general wanted to post Jainaba Jobarteh to the Gambia’s permanent mission in New York, without going through proper procedures.
Counsel then asked him how he knew that the appointment of Jainaba Jobarteh had not gone through the proper procedures, to which the witness responded that he knew this through the witness statement of PMO permanent secretary Fadera.
The witness told the court that the appointment could have been the responsibility of the office of the secretary general, but the appointment of Jainaba Jobarteh had not gone through due process, and the investigation had proven that the appointment had not gone through proper procedures.
The witness further told the court that the charge against the accused person was based on the statements of PS Fadera and PS Mariama Njie-Ndure, and that he believed all these witnesses would not give false information to the panel.
He said he did not know the operations of the office of the secretary general, and that he acted on the instructions of the investigation panel.
The case was adjourned to 12 May 2014, for the hearing to continue.