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Saturday, September 19, 2020

NJOGU CHASTISES PS DIBBA, DENIES AFFAIR WITH MS JOBARTEH

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While making scathing revelations against the country’s longest serving civil servant, Yusupha Dibba, he also denied mixing his work with pleasure with Ms Jainaba Jobarteh. 

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“Mr Dibba is a funny and unstable character,” Dr Bah said of the permanent secretary, ministry of defence, Mr Dibba, who had earlier testified against him as a key prosecution witness. 

The embattled former secretary general and head of the civil service is standing trial before principal magistrate, Dawda Jallow, on a single count of abuse of office. He is alleged to have appointed Ms Jainaba Jobarteh as The Gambia’s representative to the United Nations without following due procedure. He pleaded not guilty. 

Testifying, Njogu said Mr Dibba, who was the permanent secretary at foreign affairs ministry at the time of Jainaba’s appointment, ‘was on contract and could do anything toward his final retirement’.

He adduced: “When I came into the system in 2005, I was received by Mr Dibba and when I was appointed as the assistant secretary, he was the one who gave me my appointment letter while he was a permanent secretary. I then went through stages until I was appointed as secretary to the cabinet and then as the secretary general and head of civil service. Then, I became his boss. 

“During my appointment as the secretary general, Dibba has been saying to me that he should be the one appointed as the secretary general. The reason I called Mr Dibba a funny and unstable character is because he always looked out for me in order for me to look after him. Mr Dibba has served in various ministries without any recognition. Mr Dibba approached me on many occasions on issues regarding recognition for his services, which I did and he was given an award as the longest serving civil servant.” 

Continuing his evidence, Njogu Bah said Mr Dibba had approached him to send him on ambassadorial assignment, preferably to US or Europe, which never came to be and he was instead sent to Cuba as ambassador. 

He added: “Mr Dibba had also visited my house once or twice and he also sent emails to me not to forget him and look after him. That is the instability I am talking about because he is not secure and that is all what he can do in order to stay on the job.”

Quizzed further by his lawyer, Lamin Mboge, on the issue of Dibba allegedly being a funny character, Njogu declined to comment any further. This however prompted his lawyer to remind him of the severity of the indictment against him as well as the testimonies of PS Dibba. 

Mr Bah then budged, adding that “Some of the things Mr Dibba said were very funny. He talked about issues which should not be disclosed outside. That is what I mean when I said I didn’t’ want to take it personal.”

No affair with Jainaba

Njoba Bah also clarified that there was nothing personal in his relationship with Ms Jobarteh. 

He testified: “I have said it here since, the initial day of the trial, that I am not guilty as charged. I was sent a file from the PMO, conveying a proposal and endorsement for Ms Jobarteh’s appointment. I endorsed the file in good faith. I endorsed the file and returned the file. My relationship with Ms Jobarteh has been casual, there was nothing personal. I don’t mix my social life with my work and I have no social life as I always spend my weekend in the village. I can raise my hand and say I am proud to be counted among those civil servants that tried to execute the functions and responsibilities of their offices without fear or favour. So there was no relationship and the posting was done in good faith as mandated by my office and I have served my country to the best of my ability.”

The case resumes on February 19 for Njogu to be cross-examined.

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