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Published On: Thu, May 23rd, 2024

5 UDP Members File 5 Cases Against Regional Governors &Deputy Governors

5 Members of the United Democratic Party (UDP) filed 5 cases against Regional Governors and Deputy Governors at the Bundung High Court before Justice Aisatou Jallow-Sey.

Senior Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, the party leader and Secretary General represented the UDP along with Bory S. Touray and Yakumba Jaiteh. While State Counsel Mariama Koita appeared for the governors, deputy governors and the Attorney General.

The UDP members in their declaration relied  on sections 123, 124 and 125 of the Local Government Act that the appointments of these Regional Governors and Deputy Governors were unlawful, illegal and therefore null and void. There case is that anyone to be appointed as a governor or a deputy governor must come from the civil service. Hence they want the court to declare that they do not fulfil the requisite statutory (legal) qualification to be appointed in those positions as governors or deputy governors. 

The UDP Members also want the high court to declare that the governors and the deputy governors in the five cases should stop their functions along with stop parading themselves as governors or deputy governors.

Section 123 provides that “There shall be, for each of the Local Government Areas, except for the City of Banjul and Kanifing Municipal Council, a governor, who shall be a civil servant, not below the rank of a director in the civil service, appointed by the President.”

In the first case, Saikou Sonko, the Councilor for Sikka Ward in Upper Niumi sued Lamin Saidykhan, the Governor North Bank Region alongside his deputy, Dembo Samateh as he claims that Governor Lamin Saidykhan was previously an Assistant Secretary at the Personnel Management Office (PMO), a rank below that of a Director in the service.

Councilor Saikou further claimed that Deputy Governor Dembo Samateh was a revenue collector in the Kerewan Area Council, a position below the rank of a Director in the civil service. He added that Dembo Samateh retired as a revenue collector and was not a civil servant.

In the second case, Almamo A.K. Ceesay, a Councilor for Pakaliba Ward and the Vice-Chairman of the Mansakonko Area Council sued the Governor of Lower River Region Seedy Lamin Bah and the Attorney General. As he accused Governor Seedy Lamin Bah of actively participating in party politics prior to his appointment as the Governor of LRR. It is his case that Seedy Lamin Bah was not in the civil service of the Gambia. Seedy Lamin Bah succeeded Rohey John Manjang, who was appointed as a cabinet minister.

In the third case,Muhamed Fatty sued the Governor of Upper River Region (URR) Samba Bah, Deputy Governor Mamading Ceesay and the Attorney General. As he claims that Governor Samba Bah was previously a deputy governor in the Central River Region from 2018 to 2022 when he was transferred to URR still as a deputy governor. Fatty, in his sworn statement, said then Governor Fanta Bojang Samateh Manneh was transferred, and Samba Bah succeeded her as the Governor of URR. He alleged Samba Bah was not in the civil service as he was a lecturer at the Gambia College.

Muhammed Fatty said Deputy Governor Mamanding Ceesay is a native of Kosemar Village in the URR and before he was appointed deputy Governor, he was a cluster trainer at the Gambia Grupperna-Future in Our Hands and he was a teacher classroom teacher employed by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education.

In the fourth case, Sorie Darboe, a Councilor of Bani Ward in the Kuntaur Area Council and a native of Dobo Village filed a case against the Governor of Central River Region Ousman Bah, Deputy Governor Sainey Mbye and the Attorney General. Darboe said Governor Ousman is a politician, who in 2007 successfully contested the National Assembly seat for Sabach Sanjal Constituency and has been their representative until 2017, when he opted not to contest in the elections. Sorie Darboe said Ousman Bah was active in politics prior to his appointment as a Governor and was not in the civil service.

Sorie Darboe said Deputy Governor Sainey Mbye was a politician and served as a National Assembly Member for Upper Saloum constituency from 2005 to 2017 when he opted not to contest. Sorie Darboe said Sainey Mbye continued to take part in active partisan politics and was not in the civil service.

In the fifth case,Lamin Dibba the Councilor for Pirang Ward in the Brikama Area Council sued the Governor Ousman Bojang alias Ousman Jallow-Bojang, Deputy Governor Baba Galleh Jallow and the Attorney General. Dibba claims Governor Ousman Bojang was in the United States of America prior to his appointment as the Governor of West Coast Region and was not in the civil service.

Councilor Dibba further claimed that Baba Galleh Jallow was the National Assembly Member for Sanementereng Constituency in the Fifth Legislature. He added that Deputy Governor Jallow contested the last parliamentary elections and lost. He added that Baba Galleh Jallow did not serve in the civil service.

The case came for the first time before the High Court but could not proceed as Counsel Mariama Koita for the Attorney General, filed a motion seeking the court’s permission for an extension of time to prepare and file their statement of defence. 

State Counsel Mariama Koita informed the court that they have filed the motion dated 24th of April 2024 but Lawyer Darboe informed the court that he was not served the motion hence the court ordered the Attorney General to serve him within 48 hours. Darboe will have 5 days to reply to the motion.

The case was adjourned to the 10th of June at 12:30 for the hearing of the motion.

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