The Office Of The CEO has reacted to the statement released by the Ministry regarding CEO Sainabou Martin’s return to office. Below is the full statement.
It is with disappointment that the Kanifing Municipal Council notes the unfortunate Press Release issued by Mr Buba Sanyang, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands, Regional Government and Religious Affairs on Monday 20th February 2023, a national holiday when Government Offices are closed.
It is also unfortunate that Mr Sanyang would use a government platform to levy threats against the Council with rhetoric of escalation. Council will remind the author of the Press Release that the days of dictatorship are over. The law is for all parties.
It is untrue that the Chief Executive Officer has been refused entry to the Council Premises. The CEO was refused entry 18 months ago on the 4th and 9th of August consecutively following a Council Resolution of 26th July 2021 ordering her to proceed on administrative leave amidst a finding of corruption. The findings were also confirmed by the Inspection Team sent from the Ministry.
The CEO refused to comply with this resolution as required by law which dictates that she is under the direction and control of Council. Following encouragement from the the Ministry of Lands, the CEO tried to forcefully enter the Council and the PIU officers were also deployed by the IGP.
The Council subsequently obtained a court order against the Government and the CEO to prevent forceful entry. The order has since been withdrawn by the High Court in a ruling wherein the Court cited limitations of its authority. The case is still pending and there is no order authorizing her return.
Nevertheless, the CEO has in fact been freely entering the Council premises and also reported to the Mayor in early February. The Mayor graciously informed the CEO that her matter would be brought before the general Council and she would be communicated to accordingly. The General Council is due to meet on the 22nd February.
Nothing has stopped the Ministry and Local Government Commission from taking a decision on the findings against the CEO for the last 18 months. These findings are matters of fact and not mere allegations.
As a matter of ethics, good governance and simple morality, the Council cannot assign a public servant duty over public resources while there remain findings of corruption. This is a matter that cannot be compromised.
The Local Government Service Commission is urged to review the recommendations for removal of the CEO as required by their mandate.
In the interim the CEO may continue to report but shall not be assigned any responsibilities until the recommendations of the Establishment Committee are considered in substance.
The Council shall continue to deliver on its mandate efficiently, effectively and according to law.
Officer of the Chief Executive Officer