By Aramata Jatta
It could be recalled that the motion for the confirmation of appointment of Retired Colonel Momodou Ndow-NJie and Mr. Yusupha Baboucarr Dibba as members of The Gambia Armed Forces Council tabled by the Hon.Minister for Defence sometime in last month and it was referred to the Public Appointment Standing Committee as per Standing Order 114 for Scrutiny and advice.
After almost one month of Scrutiny the report has yesterday been rejected by Law makers as many find it unconvincing.
Standing Order 114 (2) mandates the Public Appointments Standing Committee to consider and advise (report) upon all appointments to a public office to be made by the Executive, subject to confirmation of the National Assembly and any other matter connected therewith.
Laying the report of the aforesaid Committee, Hon. Muhammed Magassy NAM for Basse alluded that The Committee thoroughly scrutinised the credentials of Retired Colonel Momodou Ndow-Njie and Mr. Yusupha Baboucarr Dibba. and In reviewing the credentials of both Retired Colonel Ndow-Njie and Mr.Dibba, the Committee took cognisant of the functions of the Armed Forces Council as prescribed by the 1997 Constitution and Armed Forces Act.
He said “Academic qualification vis-à-vis experience was also used to ensure an impartial scrutiny process”
These Council established under Section 189 (1) of the Constitution comprises of the Vice-President as Chairperson, the Minister for the time being responsible for Defence, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Armed Forces Chief of Staff, the Commanders of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, the Permanent Secretary or the Ministry responsible for Defence. and two other persons appointed by the President subject to confirmation by the National Assembly.
The mandate of these said Council is to advise the President on all matters of policy relating to defence and strategy, including the role of the Armed Forces, defence budgetingand finance, administration, and any other matter which the President may refer to the Council.
Resolution by The Public Appointments Standing Committee,
(a) Having regard to the need for persons appointed as Members of the
Armed Forces Council to be impeccable in character and a professional in exercising his or her functions;
(b) Bearing in mind that the Members of the Council are reposed with the
responsibility to advise the President on all matters of poliey relatingto defence and strategy, including the role of the Armed Forces,defence budgeting and finance
(C) Whereas the person appointed Members of the Armed Forces Council
should demonstrate utmost impartiality and neutrality to dischargehis or her duty;
(d) Bearing in mind the Armed Forces Council advises the President on the promotion of officers to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel andexercises the effective and efficient administration of the Armed
(e) Cognisant of Standing Order 114[2) of the National Assembly giving mandate to the Public Appointments Standing Committee to scrutiniseand advise upon all appointments to a public Office to be made by the Executive