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GFF APPEALS COMMITTEE DETERMINES YOUNG AFRICANS’ APPEAL AGAINST REJECTION OF KAMASO’S DELEGATION

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The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) appeals committee has come out with its decision on an appeal filed by Young Africans FC over the rejection by the electoral committee of their delegation of Sadibou  Kamaso to the GFF extraordinary AGM. The full decision is reported below;

An appeal was filed by the Young Africans Football Club against the decision of the GFF Electoral Committee dismissing one Sadibou Kamaso- Executive Member of the above-named club to his eligibility as a delegate to the GFF Congress slated for the 27th day of August, 2022, with the right to vote o

r contest in the GFF Executive Committee membership elections.

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FACTS OF THE CASE

The following facts below make up the grounds formulated by the Young Africans Football Club submitted for determination by this Electoral Appeals Committee:-

1.   Pursuant to a communiqué received from the GFF Electoral Committee addressed to the Young Africans Football Club on the 11th day of August, 2022, inviting names of delegates for and on behalf of the said Club. The said then submitted the names of Ousainu Darboe as President and one Sadibou Kamaso as Executive Member of the same club as delegates representing them at the Congress convened for the election of Executive Membership to the GFF Executive Committee.

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2. A response from the GFF Electoral Committee indicated that the said Sadibou Kamaso was not eligible to represent the club as a delegate premised on the following reasons:-

a. That the said Sadibou Kamaso had no affiliation with the Young Africans Football Club.

3. One Malang Darboe who signed as Secretary-General to The Young Africans Football Club reiterated that an acceptance reply dated the 18th day of August, 2022, was despatched to the said Sadibou Kamaso pursuant to a personal application from him to be admitted as Executive Member of the Young Africans Football Club was also submitted along with the Acceptance Letter from the said Sadibou Kamaso to the Electoral Committee for consideration but which resulted to futility.

4.  The decision of the Electoral Committee buttressed that according to their records and knowledge, the said Sadibou Kamaso was the current Secretary-General of Hawks FC and Red Hawks FC was not denied by the Young Africans Football Club.

5.   The Young Africans Football Club further argued that Sadibou Kamaso had confirmed to them that he has abdicated his position as Secretary-General of Hawks FC as per the Standard Newspaper Publication of the 29th July, 2022.

6.   It is also established and confirmed by the Young Africans Football Club that at the time of the submission of his Nomination Papers to the Electoral Committee, in the name of Young Africans Football Club on the 28th day of July, 2022, the said Sadibou Kamaso was the current Secretary-General of Hawks FC.

7. That on the 29th July, 2022, the said Newspaper Publication further indicated that Hawks FC has withdrawn the signature of Sadibou Kamaso as signatory as Secretary-General of their club via a letter dated 10th July, 2022, and addressed to the GFF and signed by the President of the aforesaid club although it was decried by Kamaso that he was served with the said letter prior to the aforesaid publication.

8. It was also submitted by the Young Africans Football Club that the Electoral Committee had failed to investigate whether Mr Kamaso was actually copied the said letter or not.

9.  It was further argued by the appellants that the said Sadibou Kamaso had informed them that as of the 28th July, 2022, he was still signing cheques on behalf of Hawks FC but given the publication of the aforesaid letter, he has ceased to sign any letter on their behalf and hence his membership in the said club.

10. That subsequently, he applied for membership to the Young African Club.

11. That on the 2nd day of August, 2022, the appellants reviewed his application amongst other considerations and eventually admitted Sadibou Kamaso as an Executive Member of their club.

12. That the said Sadibou Kamaso has also availed them a letter personally written to the bankers of Hawks FC that he is no longer a signatory to the accounts of the said club henceforth.

13. On the 3rd day of August, 2022, the Secretary-General of the Young Africans wrote to Mr Kamaso that his application has been endorsed to admit him into their club Executive Committee as a member with immediate effect.

14. It was also submitted by the appellants that the Electoral Committee had no basis for their decision to reject Mr Kamaso as a delegate because there was no data base to rely on so as to question the timing of the letters submitted by Young Africans Football Club.

15. They also submitted that the GFF had never, at any point in time, assumed or showed the responsibility to scrutinize the transfer of club officials.

16. They further submitted that the Electoral Committee should have lean on more pertinent facts in reaching the decision made rather than make assumptions on records that are non-existent.

17. They again buttressed that the GFF had never made any official supervision over the issue of club officials transfers over the years.

18. In addition, they argued that the GFF or the Electoral Committee had never attempted any investigation on the subject of who club officials who sits on the board of two different clubs.

DECISION OF THE GFF ELECTORAL COMMITTEE

The GFF Electoral Committee gave the following reasons to the conclusion they arrived at in refusing to allow Mr Sadibou Kamaso as a Delegate for Young Africans Football Club. Their decision is hereby paraphrased below:-

a.   That as per the records in the possession of the GFF, Mr Kamaso being the current Secretary-General of Hawks FC and Red Hawks FC which was not refuted by Mr Kamaso himself as being affiliated with Hawks FC, conflicts with his membership in the Executive Committee of the Young Africans Football Club and therefore makes the whole issue questionable.

b. Pursuant to Article 23.3 of the Constitution of the GFF which provides thus:-

”Delegates must belong to the member that they represent and have the authority of the appropriate body of that member to attend the General Assembly on its behalf. They must be able to produce evidence of this authorization upon request”.

In this regard, the Electoral Committee is not convinced by the evidence produced before it and thus conclude that Mr. Kamaso do not meet the requirements as set out in Article 23.3 above and therefore rejected his delegate status accordingly.

ISSUES FOR DETERMINATION

The following issues are hereby formulated for the determination of the facts in issue viz-a-viz:-

a. Whether the Electoral Committee was right in rejecting Mr Sadibou Kamaso as a delegate of Young Africans Football Club?

LAW AND SUBMISSIONS

The law applicable to the facts in issue is provided in Article 23.3 of the GFF Constitution which provides thus:-

 ”Delegates must belong to the member that they represent and have the authority of the appropriate body of that member to attend the General Assembly on its behalf. They must be able to produce evidence of this authorization upon request”.

As regards the issue for determination by this August body, we are compelled to give due consideration to the timings of the letters produced by the Young Africans Football Club in support of their case on behalf of Mr Sadibou Kamaso and relied upon by the Electoral Committee to determine whether or not Sadibou Kamaso should be allowed as a delegate of the Young Africans Football Club at the General Assembly.

After due consideration, we hereby make the following observations under Article 23 (1) [a and b) of the GFF Constitution:-

1.  The General Assembly shall be composed of 111 Delegates, among whioch there are 77 voting delegates which shall consist of-

a. Two Delegates from each of the 16 First Division National League Teams; with one vote per club;

b. Two Delegates from each of the 18 Second Division League Cubs; with one vote per club.

With respect to the above provisions, we hereby conclude thus:-

o  That the Electoral Committee’s findings subject to the timings of the letters submitted by the Young Africans Football Club for and on behalf of Mr Sadibou Kamaso seems suspicious in our view and therefore agree with the decision of the Electoral Committee to reject Mr Sadibou Kamaso’s status as a Delegate to the afore-mentioned Assembly. The evidence produced by the Young Africans Football Club are letters dated 2nd; 3rd and 18th day of August, 2022,at a time when the said Election was supposed to be held nine (9) days later precisely on the 27th day of August, 2022. The motive behind this sudden transfer to the Young Africans Football Club is glaringly clear.

CONCLUSION

From the foregoing, it is our humble view that Mr Kamaso’s actions showed a motive in bad faith to take part in the Extraordinary Assembly of the GFF by all means necessary whether or not the conditions are ethically acceptable or not. As a consequence we hereby uphold the decision of the Electoral Committee and do not see it necessary to disturb their findings.

______________________

Ibrahima Kijera Esq.               

Chairman

______________________

Mr. Ba S. Jabbi           

Member         

______________________   

Mr Ebrima Barry

Member

Kamaso reacts

Meanwhile the subject of the appeal and the leader of the  Team Kamaso. Sadibou has reacted to the Appeals Committee in a write up shared with The Standard. It reads:

“’Reading this letter from the GFF Electoral Appeals Committee, I can only but laugh about how people who are seen to handle high positions in this country can shoot themselves in the foot with such mediocrity.

The GFF Electoral Appeals Committee as per GFF Communications is comprised of;

1. Ibrahim Kijera

2. Ebrima Barry

3. Mary Decker

The Appeals Substitute Committee has

1. Ba S. Jabbi (who attended Kaba’s unveiling and was pictured therein)

2. Haruna Sanneh

3. Lamin Cham (not the journalist)

After almost a month since an appeal was filed, the two other members who sat over this appeal and signed this form are not qualified to sit over the matter simply because Ba S. Jabbi was invited to Kaba’s unveiling which he attended while Malang Beyai who is not even a member anymore and also supports Kaba signed the said document. Where are the actual members of the Appeals Committee who knew they were to sit over any matter within five days bearing in mind it was election period? Another fraudulent act by a group of individuals who’s primary motive was to use any illegal means to cling on to power.?

This whole thing is awfully shambolic and makes me sick to the stomach. It is now manifestly evident that the whole Electoral System was carefully designed to favour the incumbent. If people are elected to positions they cannot handle, the honourable thing to do is to simply resign and allow other qualified Gambians to handle the said positions. These people are most likely under pressure or have been asked to explain their side since our petition was sent, hence this frivolous appeals committee sitting”.

The Standard contacted a member of the newly elected  GFF executive who said they don’t’ comment on appeal matters which is handled by an independent judicial body.

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