By: Kebba AF Touray
The National Assembly on Thursday 1st July, 2021, confirmed the report of the Standing Committee on the nomination of Retired Lieutenant Colonel, Mr. Abdoulie Conteh into the Armed Forces Council.
Laying the report of the Standing Committee on Public Appointments, Kebba K Barrow, Member for Kombo South, told the parliament that the committee met to consider Conteh’s nomination as a member of the Armed Forces Council.
He said the nomination is in accordance with section 189 subsection 1[G] of the 1997 constitution, which states that there shall be an Armed Forces Council which shall consist of two other persons appointed by the President subject to the confirmation by the national assembly.
Barrow reminded the assembly that the motion was led by the Defense Minister and Security and was later referred to the committee in line with standing order 117 . He said the committee gave due consideration to section 189, subsection [G] of the 1997 constitution, while scrutinizing the confirmation of the nomination of retired lieutenant colonel Conteh.
Intervening on the motion, Alhagie S Darboe, member for Brikama North, corrected that the said nominee is a retired colonel and his nomination is not meant to replace Mr. Ndow Njie following his rejection by the assembly, but rather his [Ndow Njie] withdrawal of his nomination.
Halifa Sallah, Member for Serrekunda Central, also rectified that the scrutiny is to confirm the nomination made by the President in order to determine whether confirmation should be made.
He said section 189  states that the council shall advise the President on all the matters of policy relating to defense and strategy, including the role of the Armed Forces, defense, budgeting, finance and administration.
Sallah said section 189 to 190 highlights the functions of the council such as advisory, consultative and regulatory functions, and tasked that whoever is to be appointed be competent to perform the said functions effectively.
Dembo Camara, member for Illiasa, faulted the committee for articulating the senior school education background in its report, but argued that it has failed to indicate the primary school academic records of the nominees.
Sainey Touray, member for Jarra East, said: “I have no qualms in the nomination of the retired lieutenant colonel Abdoulie Conteh in the Armed Forces Council. He is a veteran and I believe that he is fit for the portfolio. I also thank the committee for the excellent scrutiny and investigations executed on the matter.”
Nominated Member, Majanko Samusa, described retired lieutenant Conteh as a true statesman, who he said has played a lead role in the construction of the Serrekunda market, at the time of serving the position of Chairman at the Kanifing Municipal Council. He also called on the committees to be proactive in their scrutiny processes, stressing that the said nomination has been delayed for almost a year.
Abdoulie Ceesay, Member for Old Yundum, also supported the nomination and said that the credentials of the nominee have clearly proven beyond reasonable doubt that he is fit for the portfolio.
The legislature subsequently adopted the report of the Appointments Committee on the nomination of retired Lieutenant Colonel Abdoulie Conteh into the Armed Forces Council.