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Sunday, October 17, 2021

NA Select Committee says it never asked NSC to suspend GFF leaders

By Lamin Cham

There has been another twist in the never-ending drama of the GFF election saga.
Yesterday The Standard laid hands on a correspondence from the National Assembly Select Committee on Sports denying that they ever instructed the NSC to suspend the GFF leadership in the wake of the police report on the tax fraud allegations at the GFF.

The Assembly Select Committee said the fact that it forwarded the police report to the NSC for their records and action does not imply a directive to suspend the GFF leadership.
According to the select Committee, their intervention in the matter came only when the IGP declined a request by the NSC to investigate the tax fraud allegations citing legal reasons.
“We then summoned the IGP and tasked him to investigate in in two weeks,” the Select committees letter stated.

Accordingly, the NA Select committee urged the NSC to urgently undo what it called their misrepresentation by close of work yesterday.
The Standard then called the Chairman of the National Sport Council Borri Darboe and asked him why and how did his office act in the manner they have been accused.

In response, Mr Darboe said the NSC has no regret suspending the GFF leadership because even though the National Assembly did not specify what action, it did advise them to keep record and act.
Mr Darboe went further to quote Section 18 1C of the NSC Act of 2000 which states that “where the Council considers that any registered National Sports Association has conducted itself in a manner which is contrary to the National Interest; The Council may, after affording the National Sports Association Concerned an opportunity of making representation on the matter, SUSPEND, BAN or EXPEL all or any of its officers from holding office in any association registered under this act”.

“In our judgment as holder of a public office which is empowered to regulate sports, we at the NSC are convinced that the best course of action in the interest of justice and in accordance with the NSC Act is to suspend the officials,” Mr Darboe said.

Asked if the NSC action has not stretched the matter too far, Mr Darboe said people must accept the fact that according to The Gambia police the activities of the GFF have caused over one million dalasis meant for Gambia government coffers to leave the GFF accounts to the accounts of private contractors who are still clinging onto it well over one year after they should pay it to GRA.
“If anybody thinks that suspending the GFF leadership over this matter is misplaced, then I am baffled,” Darboe concluded.

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