By Omar Bah
Imam Baba Leigh, a commissioner of the newly established government commission of inquiry into local councils’ dealings, has resigned.
Imam Leigh, who was widely criticised by opponents of the government for agreeing to serve in what they called witch hunt, said his resignation was purely based on his work at the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC.
In a letter seen by The Standard, Imam Leigh said: “I send my compliments to the president, and I would like to thank him for appointing me to serve as commissioner in the recently established commission of Inquiry into the conduct of all local government councils and for connected matters. I have since discussed my appointment with the NHRC chairperson and he has advised me that as a full-time serving commissioner of the NHRC, if I were to take up this particular assignment while a member of the NHRC, it will tantamount to a conflict of interest and breach of NHRC Act 2017 section 5 (3) and the NHRC conditions of service 2020 chapter 7J (b) page 37 which refers to “external works and activities of NHRC staff and commissioner”.
“I have also been alerted to section 5 (3) of the NHRC Act 2017 relating to the appointment of commissioners which states that; a member of the commission shall, upon his or her appointment – relinquish any other office, post or appointment that he or she holds in the public service or any other employment, and serve the commission in his or her individual capacity and not on behalf of any organisation or interest group. I have been further informed that being appointed as commissioner to this newly established commission for a period of 3 months and beyond while also being a full-time commissioner of the NHRC will tantamount to holding another employment in contravention of section 5 (3) of the NHRC Act 2017 which prohibits holding such appointments and or employment,” the letter explained.