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City of Banjul
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Njogu Bah : Ms Jobarteh’s UN appointment emanated from PMO

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He is standing trial on a solitary count of abuse of office for appointing Ms Jainaba Jobarteh as The Gambia’s representative to the United Nations in New York while serving as the secretary general and head of civil service. Bah, however, denies any wrongdoing. 

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Ploughing on with his defence yesterday before Principal Magistrate Dawda Jallow of  Banjul Magistartes court, he asserted: “I did not abuse my office in the case of appointing Ms Jainaba Jobarteh as The Gambia’s representative to the United Nations in New York.Ms Jobarteh’s appointment to the United Nations was a proposal that emanated from the Personal Management Office. I knew Ms Jobarteh as a staffer at the foreign affairs like-wise other civil servants and if she is within a line-up I will be able to identify her.”

Asked by his attorney, Lamin Mboge to explain what he meant by the word ‘acquaintance’ as indicated in one of the exhibits, Dr Bah replied: “When I last checked in the dictionary the meaning of acquaintance, it indicates that it is somebody you know but not well. I wouldn’t deny that I know her like I know others in the civil service. I want to add that when you are in a position of leadership, you need to go fix things. I served as a secretary general and I know that as a leader you must take decisions and make decisions.”

He was further quizzed  by his attorney to tell the court what must have  propelled Yusupha Dibba, the former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to  testify against him, but this prompted a rapid objection from the state counsel Mansour Jobe on the basis that the question asked by the defence veered towards opinion evidence.

State Prosecutor Njie contended  that Mr Bah could only  counter the  evidence of Mr Dibba which excluded opinion evidence or evidence as to why Mr Dibba testified against him. “It is irrelevant and therefore the court should discountenance it,” Prosecutor Njie urged.

In his riposte, Lawyer Mboge insisted that his client had already laid the foundation as he previously stated in his evidence that he had worked with Mr Dibba, citing section 64 of the Evidence Act to support his submission.

Presiding Magistarte Jallow then overruled the defence’s submission while ordering him to reframe his question. 

The prosecutor at that point applied for adjournment,citing a scheduled appearance in  another court.Trial resumes January 27 for continuation of defence.

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