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Prime Bank Legal Officer cross-examined

Oct 31, 2011, 12:30 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

Emmanuel Ina Gorge, a plaintiff who instituted a civil claim against Prime Bank (Gambia), recently cross-examined Sainabou Wadda-Ceesay, legal officer of the defendant’s bank before the Industrial Tribunal at Kanifing.

Testifying under cross-examination, the defendant’s witness revealed that she has a cause to deal with the plaintiff on 23 September 2010.

When the plaintiff asked the witness to provide a warning letter prior to his suspension, she replied that it was already in evidence as exhibit, noting that a verbal letter was sent to him on 25 March 2010.

When quizzed as to how exhibit 12 prohibited him from setting rates of foreign exchange dated 14 march 2010 that comes after exhibit 7B date 25 mach 2010, the legal officer adduced that the plaintiff persistently continue setting rates; that was why his duties were stipulated in exhibit 7B, adding: “If any staff adheres a verbal warning is first sent to that staff.”

“When you do finally write a warning letter to staff,” plaintiff challenged, and the witness responded that usually staff that adhere to rules, after warning is followed with a written letter.

Plaintiff further quizzed: “If I was consistently insubordinate, as you alleged why it was that I was not warned with a written letter.”

The defendant’s witness replied that she was aware of several meeting between the plaintiff, his managing director and head of finance.

When it was put to the defendant legal officer as to whether she was aware of constantly query following insubordinations, she told the tribunal that the prerogative to write a warning letter lies with the managing director, who was his director.

Still under cross-examination, the plaintiff put to the witness that defendant exhibit12 contradicts exhibit E, dated 14 may 2010 that allowed him to work with free hand.

She answered in the negative, adding that exhibit 12 outlines the mode of operation, mode of foreign currency as foreign dealer concern, as well as seeking the relevant authority. “You informed this court that you attended a meeting where I was present.”

“I put it to you that I was asked to resign at the end of the discussion hearing, which I refused,” he said.

“Was that fact of record captured in the meeting?” plaintiff inquired and the witness said that was off record and it was personal view of the managing director, Mr Mendy. She further denied the allegation that the decision to dismiss the plaintiff was made before the meeting.

When challenged by the plaintiff as to why the meeting was called a dismissal hearing, the witness adduced that title of the hearing was given for the purposes of plaintiff to satisfy the reason he should be dismissed by the bank.

When it further put to the witness that when he (the plaintiff) was suspended, he worked $500,000 from a customer for the bank, in response the defendant’s witness denied the claim saying it was not executed on his personal capacity but with MA Finance.

At that juncture, the plaintiff applied for his personal file from the bank where he has signed deal from 10 September 2010 to 25September 2010.

The application was granted and hearing was set to continue on 10 October 2011.

However, the plaintiff’s claim is a declaration that the dismissal by the defendant of the plaintiff was unlawful.

The plaintiff further claimed three years basic salary for unlawful dismissal and bonus entitlements for trading period July 2009 to September 2010.

The plaintiff went on to claim general damages for breach of contract and interest at the rate of 25 per cent per annum from 13 July 2009 to date of judgment and thereafter statutory interest of 4 per cent to date of final liquidation.