The National Assembly on Thursday December 20th moved a motion to halt the consideration and adoption of Commissioners of the proposed National Human Rights Commission, pending the provisions of the Commissioners’ credentials and curriculum vitae for the whole house to vet. This came as a motion that was put forward by the Member for Banjul North, Ousman Sillah and seconded by the Member for Brikama.
Prior to the motion, Momodou LK Sanneh, a Member of the National Assembly Public Appointment Standing Committee, gave a brief rundown of the methodology used by the Committee during the selection of the proposed Commissioners. He reminded members that the Select Committee was established by a motion approved by National Assembly members giving them the mandate to nominate membership for the said Commission. He said the methodology applied in the selection of the proposed Commissioners is based on their professional background, political pluralism, and gender representation amongst others. He said the Committee has nominated the selection of the following as members of the said Commission: Mariama Jack Denton, Speaker of the National Assembly as Chairperson, Ndey Yassin Secka, SuwaibouTouray, OusmanTouray, YaKumba Jaiteh, Alhagie S Darbo, Omar Ceesay, BakaryCamara andFatoumataNjie, as members. In the same vein, the Committee also shortlisted nine candidates who all satisfy the criteria set under Section 5 (2) of the National Human Rights Act of 2017.
“Of course the committee has recognized the principle of equitable gender representation and political pluralism,” Sanneh told his colleagues. Going further, Minority Leader Samba Jallow, who is also a Member of the Public Appointments Committee, said: “The National Human Rights Commission Act2017, provides for the appointment of five Members of the Commission.” He cited Section (1) of the said Act which states: ‘‘The president shall after consultation with the Public Service Commission, appoint Members of the Commission in accordance with the procedure specified in the Schedule to the Act.’’ He added that the Committee resolved to shortlist Emmanuel Daniel Joof, Jainaba John, Njundu Drammeh, Imam Alh. Baba Muhtar Leigh, Tobaski Njie Sarr, Dawda Samba, Jabel Ceesay, Haddija Jawara and Dr. Agnes Adama Campell nee Kallay, as Commissioners.
In accordance with the National Human Rights Act, the National Assembly is required by Section 5 (1), to consider and approve five (5) out of the nine (9) shortlisted persons.
During the debate, Member for BundunkaKunda Constituency BakaryNjie, and the Member for Brikama, expressed concern that the report of the National Assembly Public Appointment Standing Committee does not indicate the track record and curriculum vitae of the proposed Commissioners; that they need to provide better information to Deputies,about them.