Yusupha Dibba, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence in Banjul, yesterday continued testifying in the trial of former secretary general Dr Njogu Bah, at the Banjul magistrates’ court before principal magistrate Hilary Abeke.
Dibba, the second prosecution witness, told the court that for ordinary postings, there is a selection process in place, which includes looking at the potential candidate, assessing their abilities and competence.
A formal recommendation would be made in writing to the Personnel Management Office (PMO), he added.
In the case of Jainaba Jobarteh, verbal instructions were given by the accused person, Dr Bah, when he (the witness) was the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Dibba further told the court that he was then on his way to a new posting at another ministry as permanent secretary, and relayed the instruction to the permanent secretary number 2 at the same ministry, and to the permanent secretary at PMO.
Under cross-examination, Dibba said he has been a permanent secretary from 1995 to date, and must be among the longest-serving permanent secretaries. He said he has served in almost all the ministries in the country.
It was correct, he also told the court, that permanent secretaries are all answerable to the office of secretary general, and they took instructions from him.
The Public Service Commission and PMO are directly under the office of the secretary general, he said.
The case was adjourned to 28 May 2014 for the hearing to continue.
The particulars of offence stated that Dr. Njogou Bah, sometime in June 2013 at State House in Banjul, abused the authority of his office as secretary general and head of the civil service by interfering with the recommendation and posting of Ms Jainaba Jobarteh to the Gambia’s permanent mission at the United Nations in New York, without following the proper procedure for such nomination, and thereby committed an offence.