By Awa B. Bah
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice Aboubacarr Tambadou, Tuesday September 18th 2018, appeared before Deputies at the National Assembly, to move a motion on the remuneration of Members of the Faraba Banta Commission of Inquiry.
In moving the motion before Deputies, Justice Minister Tambadou called on them to consider and approve the remuneration for the Commissioners appointed by the president, to probe into the Faraba Banta incident. The Minister urged NAMs to see it necessary and adopt the motion for their remuneration with an amount of one hundred and fifty thousand dalasi (D150,000), each; that the Commission was established by the President on 1st July 2018, pursuant to Section 200 of the 1997 Constitution. He pointed out that Emmanuel Daniel Joof is Chairperson, and together with Nene MC Cham, Abdoulie Colley, Yusupha Jallow, Omar Cham and Kombeh Njie, they were sworn in on the 5th of July 2018; that paragraph six of the establishment order of 12th July 2017, provided for the Commission to complete an enquiry within a one month period. The commission he said, sat for an additional month, which was necessary. He urged deputies to consider and approve the remuneration amount of one hundred and fifty thousand dalasi for each Commissioner, based on the intensity of the work they carried out involving visits to Faraba Banta and other mining sites; that members should consider the full time commitment showed by the Commissioners for a period of two months, and the nature and complicity of the work by the numerous witnesses who appeared before them; that the fact that the Commissioners had to suspend their professional carriers to devote their time to the work of the Commission, the request is made pursuant to Section 16, sub section 1, of the Commission Act. Minister Tambadou said the Faraba banta Commissioners did a wonderful job in not only establishing the truth about the tragic event of Faraba banta, but made recommendations on how to prevent it and mitigate similar occurrences in other parts of the country. The Commissioners he said, have finally submitted their report to the president and have the intention to review the report and finally publish it, with a statement on actions to be taken in accordance with the Constitution. Setting up this commission he said was important, but finally getting the right people was also central.
Members by turn, added their voices noting that the incident attracted lots of attention both at the national and international levels. Gambians he said, are eager to know the establishment of the Commission and their recommendations will be seen to reflect on the actions to be taken. They pointed out that when the incident occurred, the reaction of the National Assembly was clearly heard; that the collaboration between Cabinet and the Legislature, led to the setting up of the Commission; that this shows that the actions of every incident must be managed well before it ends up in crises. Finally the motion to remunerate the Faraba Banta Commissioners was considered and approved.