Bensouda/newton arbitration

The Janneh Inquiry Commission is an independent body with clearly defined remits beyond which they have no power.

Secondly, neither [Alhaji] Kurang nor [Amie] Bensouda has any power or authority to decide anything for the Commission. Both are there merely to assist the Commission and are answerable to the Commissioners. By-passing the Commissioners on any issue is considered indiscipline and should be punished accordingly.

If Kurang cannot direct his grievances to the Chairman of the Commission or any other Commissioner, then he is not of assistance to the Commission, and that makes his position untenable. In addition of his complaint lacking basis, some of the issues might not even be within the remits of the Commission.

Since Kurang is more interested in pursuing a personal vendetta against Bensouda than the smooth running of the Commission’s affairs, it is right that he is sacked so that he can have all the time to do what he wants to do against Bensouda without affecting the workings of the Commission.

Kurang is still at liberty to pursue his agenda against Bensouda and prove this case using appropriate avenues.

Meanwhile, the Commissioners and the Attorney-General are duty bound to protect the good workings of the commission, and sacking Kurang is simply a good riddance in that respect.

Good lesson for him. Indiscipline doesn’t pay.

Lafia Touray la Manju

Ends

4 Comments

  1. Momat Gaye says:

    Lafia Touray la Manju, I would beg to differ with you. What you stated above have no substance at all. There is nothing in Kurang’s letter which suggest any form of personal vendetta. What he stated are all valid issues/matters that should have been highlighted by any person interested in good corporate governance. After all, as the Secretary to the Commission, it is within his rights to address those issues. For example under no circumstances should Amie Bensouda’s Chamber have any dealings with the Commission not to mention her son Talib Bensouda. Not only about conflicts of interest concerns, but there are issues of “insider information” which is a criminal activity in financial terms and can be punishable by custodial sentences in many countries around the world. It is very serious. Most importantly, it is not acceptable for our institutions to be turned into personal or family businesses. Not acceptable in any way or form. The moment she was appointed into the position, her family and Chamber staff should distance themselves from the Commission let alone to do business or try to influence operations of the body.

  2. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Momat Gaye,

    I refer you to my second paragraph in respect of who and who exercise the powers of the Commission. I think there is a serious misunderstanding about the role of a lead counsel. She is not a decision-maker but a mere support officer who assists the commission with establishing facts. It is the Commissioners who are in charge and they are the ones who ultimately decide.

    I have also said that the Commissioners have a clearly defined remit within which they must confine their activities. They are not there to look into every wrong that may have possibly occurred under this earth.

    Conflict of interest arises in situations in which a person is in a position to derive personal benefit from actions or decisions made in his or her official capacity. Bensouda past legal representation of anybody or company does not, in any way, make her a party or complicit in any wrongdoing of that company. Legal representation is a matter of right and Bensouda was merely providing a legitimate service as would be expected of a lawyer.

    Secondly, there is no ongoing representation in any of these purported cases Kurang was going on about

    Thirdly, Bensouda is not in a position where she is capable of deriving personal benefit from any action or decision she could possibly make. Like I said, it is the Commissioners who are the decision-makers, not her.

    So what are the conflicting interests here?? In other words, what are Amie’s other ongoing interests that are currently running in conflict with her duty to the Commission? Remember it has to be her ongoing interest in one hand and her duty to the Commission in the other.

    Her son is a citizen and entitled to file in bids in respect of any auction legitimately sanctioned by the commission just like any other person. Again, it is for the Commissioners to decide on the terms of the auction, not Amie. They are the ones with a mandate and they know the limits to their powers.

    By the way, the commission is not a corporate body. It is a quasi-judicial body, and the public has an interest in having its good workings protected. A secretary to the commission cannot just express grievances publicly like that without due regard to the authority of the commissioners and the workings of the commission itself. That is unacceptable. Anyway, he now have all the time in the world to pursue whatever agenda he has against Amie Bensouda using appropriate avenues whilst the commission continues to operate unaffected. I’m not bothered by that.

  3. Momat Gaye says:

    Manju, you have just been repeating Ministry’s statement some of which are not convincing.

    On one important issue regarding Decision Making, even though Amie is not the decision maker, it must be remembered that she is the Counsel and her advice will always be considered in the decision making process by the Commissioners.

  4. Lafia Touray la Manju says:

    Momat Gaye, that’s not true. I wrote what I wrote before knowing anything about a Ministry statement. If both speak the same language, that is only because most of what I’ve said is common sense.

    By the way, Counsel makes submissions, not advice, and this is tested by the Commissioners against witness testimonies and the substantive law.

    Thanks

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