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Monday, September 25, 2023

Banjul mayor’s suit against LG commission set for judgment

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By Aisha Tamba

A suit filed by the mayor of Banjul, Rohey Malick Lowe, against the Local Government Commission of Inquiry and a number of its commissioners is set for judgment before Justice Franchise A Achibonga at the Banjul High Court.

The judge adjourned the case for judgment yesterday after adopting the briefs filed by counsels of both parties. The judgment will be delivered on Thursday.

Mayor Lowe’s suit, which also included the Attorney General, is seeking an order to dissolve the Commission of Inquiry as presently constituted on grounds of bias, prejudice, and interference with the outcome of its inquiry.

The suit said the commission is not properly constituted in that two of its members namely Samba Faal and Alagie Sillah [2nd and 4th respondents] are subjects to the terms of inquiry of the said commission having respectively held the office of the Mayor of Banjul from 2008 to 2012 and councillor at Banjul City Council from 1998 to 2008 and ought not to be members of the said commission. 

She is also seeking a declaration that Samba Faal, Oreme Joiner, and Alagie Sillah [2nd, 3rd, and 4th respondents] being leading members, sympathisers, and associates of the goverening NPP/APRC alliance parties to which the appointing authority of the members of the commission belong would be bias and therefore will not be independent in discharge of the Commission’s mandate in violation of section 24 of the constitution of the Republic of The Gambia 1997 and the rules of natural justice.

The mayor also wants an order that Samba Faal, Oreme Joiner, and Alagie Sillah be removed as members of the Commission of Inquiry on the grounds that they are not competent to be members of the Commission by virtue of their past or present positions and/or their association with the National People’s Party and its coalition party members.

She further wants the court to declare that the press release issued by the Attorney General [1st respondent] on 21st February 2023 in his capacity as Chief Legal Adviser to the Government of The Gambia with regards to the setting up of the Commission of Inquiry and the utterances of the President of the Republic of The Gambia, the appointing authority at the swearing -in of the members of the Commission of Inquiry on the 24 February 2023 where the Banjul City Council was singled out for acts of irregularity, undermines the fair hearing of the Commission and are prejudicial to her.

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