Njogu Bah continues his defence, In Abuse of Office Trial


By Mamadou Dem Dr. Njogu Bah, erstwhile Secretary General, Head of the Civil ServiceNjogu Bah and Presidential Affairs Minister, continuing his defence, yesterday, 21 January 2015, told the Banjul Magistrates court that he did not abuse his office in the case of Miss Jainaba Jobarteh’s appointment to Gambia’s Mission in New York.He said a file came to him emanating from the Personal Management Office (PMO) conveying the proposal for the appointment of Miss Jobarteh. According to the accused, he knew Miss Jobarteh as a staff of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. “I know many civil servants and if she is within a line up, I will be able to identify Miss Jainaba Jobarteh,” he said. The former Secretary General further told the court that when he last checked with the dictionary about the meaning of the word ‘acquaint’ it explains it as “somebody or something you know but not very well”. “I wouldn’t deny that I know her like I know other civil servants. I want to add that when you are in a position of leadership you need to grow very fix things. I served as Secretary General and I know that as a leader you must take decisions and make decisions,” he said. Defence counsel, Lamin K. Mboge, asked him to tell the court the reasons why Mr. Yusupha Dibba (Pw2) came to court and testified against him with evidence he (Njogu) denied. But before he responded, the state counsel, Mansour Jobe, interjected and objected to the question. He argued that the question asked by counsel solicits opinion evidence. State counsel further submitted that the accused can give counter evidence against Dibba’s evidence but not to give opinion evidence or evidences as to why Mr. Dibba testified against him, adding that it is irrelevant and therefore the court should disallow it. Replying to the objection raised by the state counsel, Lawyer Mboge said Section 64 of the Evidence Act has answered that and that the witness has previously laid foundation that he works with Mr. Dibba in the civil service. He further argued that the question is permissible under Section 66 of the said Act. In his counter reply, state counsel Jobe argued that Section 64 only envisages relationship relating to married and not work relations. He therefore submitted that the defence misconceived Section 64 and urged the court to uphold the objection. Delivering his ruling, Principal Magistrate Dawda Jallow upheld the objection and urged the defence to reframe the question. At this juncture, state counsel Jobe applied for an adjournment on the grounds that he has other commitments in another court. Consequently the matter was adjourned to 27th of this month for continuation of defence without objection from the defence. Readers would recall that Dr. Bah is standing trial on a single count of ‘Abuse of office’ contrary to the laws of The Gambia. Prosecutors alleged that Dr. Bah sometimes in the month of January, 2013, at State House in the City of Banjul, Republic of the Gambia abused the authority of his office as Secretary General and Head of Civil Service by interfering with the recommendation and posting of Ms Jainaba Jobarteh to the Gambia permanent Mission at the United Nations in New York, without following the proper procedure of nomination, and thereby committed an offence. He denies the charged.]]>