By MUHAMMED S. BAH
Samba Jallow, the Minority Leader and Member for Niamina Dankunku, has disassociated himself and his Office from being part of the resolution that was read by the Majority Leader, on the dismissal of Nominated Member, Yakumba Jaiteh.
Samba Jallow made this disclosure at a Press briefing held in his office in Banjul, on Tuesday February 26th 2019. The briefing was attended by members of the Press and some Lawmakers. Jallow told journalist that, the resolution read by the Majority leader is not binding and does not necessarily represent the decision of Members of the National Assembly in Chamber.
The Member for Niamina Dankunku clarified that his office together with other parliamentarians, are not for or against the revocation of Ya Kumba Jaiteh’s nomination; that because the issue concerns an ambiguity or an argument over a Constitutional provision; that when they got the news about the revocation of Jaiteh’s nomination, the Majority leader by tradition, consults with his office and suggested an All-party caucus meeting. The Minority Leader further stated that if the resolution was intended to have the backing of the National Assembly, it should have been drafted as a motion.
In addition, the Minority Leader said in condemning the act, the motion should have been submitted to the Clerk for inclusion in the business of the Assembly, in the forthcoming Session, scheduled in March.
Minority Leader Jallow said the effect of such kind of motion is limited, because the issue at hand is about a Constitutional provision; that on the legality of the act, “Section 127 (1) (a) of the 1997 Constitution provides that the Supreme Court has the exclusive original jurisdiction for the interpretation or enforcement of any provision of the Constitution. For me and some of my colleagues, our position at the caucus was for us to seek legal advice or opinion from the AG Chambers. We may know the next line of action to be taken as a National Assembly,” he said.
He said the National Assembly has powers to hold the Executive to account but not in such a way; that the person affected is a nominated member, and that NAMs should be very careful on how they deal with the issue as the person who nominated her, can give reasons why he revoked her nomination.
Majonko Samusa another Nominated Member, said the decision taken by the Majority Leader was unfortunate because he did it without proper consultation with the rest of the members; that he was saddened that this was happening during the new dispensation and by a transition government that is task to promote the country’s democratic principles.
Samusa said he believes the Majority leader misled the public; that his statements are capable of undermining the National Assembly.
It could be recalled that the Majority Leader on Monday February 25th 2019, briefed the press at the National Assembly complex that thirty one Members have signed a resolution condemning the alleged dismissal of nominated Member Jaiteh.