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GAMBIA: IMAM BABA LEIGH WITHDRAWS HIS APPOINTMENT TO SERVE IN THE COMMISSION OF ENQUIRY

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Imam Baba Leigh has withdrawn his appointment to the newly established Commission of Inquiry into the Conduct of Local Government Councils and Connected Matters.

He made this decision official in a letter addressed to the Chief of Staff, Office of the President, Mod K Secka, on the 17th of February 2023 and confirmed the authenticity of the letter to this medium when we reached him on the phone earlier today for confirmation.

Below, we reproduced his withdrawal letter.

“Rescinding my Appointment as commissioner to the Commission of Enquiry into The Conduct of All Local Government Councils and For Connected Matters

“I send my compliments to the Office of the President, and I would like to thank His Excellency the President for appointing me to serve as Commissioner in the recently established Commission of Enquiry into The Conduct of All Local Government Councils and For Connected Matters.

“I have since discussed my recent appointment with the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, and he has advised me that as a full time-serving Commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission, if I were to take up this particular assignment while a member of the NHRC, this will tantamount to a conflict of interest and breach of NHRC Act (NHRC) 2017 Section “5(3) and the NHRC Conditions of Service 2020 Chapter 71(b) page 37 which refers to “External Works and Activities of NHRC Staff and Commissioners”

“I have been alerted to Section 5 (3) of the NHRC Act 2017 relating to the appointment of Commissioners, which states that:

“A member of the Commission shall, upon his or her appointment-

“(a) relinquish any other office, post or appointment that he or she holds in the public service or in any other employment: and

 (b) serve the Commission in his or her individual capacity and not on behalf of any organization or interest group.

“I have been further informed that the “Commission of Enquiry into The Conduct of All Local Government Councils and For Connected Matters” which I have been recently appointed to as a Commissioner is set up by the Commission of Inquiry Act CAP: 30:01 and under by section 200 of the 1997 Constitution of the Gambia respectively and all appointed Commissioners are therefore appointed under those provisions and requirements thereof.

“Being appointed as Commissioner to this newly established Commission for a period of 3 months and beyond while also being a full time Commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission will tantamount to holding an “other employment in contravention of Section 513) of the NHRC Act 2017 which prohibits holding such appointments and or employment”.

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