By Ramatoulie Jawo.
The National Assembly members have adopted the report of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Public Petition Committee on the Gambia Ports Authority Alleged Corruption.
Presenting the report to the plenary, the chairperson of the committee, Hon. Suwaibou Touray, said in considering the appropriate step, the Committee observed that since officials of the GPA disclosed the content of the Preliminary report when they appeared in the public hearing, revealing the steps taken, names of staff interdicted, and mitigating factors proffered, adding that after receiving submissions from the Managing Director of the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) and without prejudice, the Committee wishes to allow a comprehensive investigation on the matter before the publication of the final report
“The Public Petition Committee shall take such action as it considers appropriate about the petition or refer the petition to a Minister, Vice President or President of the Republic of The Gambia, any other Committee of the National Assembly or other persons or body for them to take such action as they shall consider it necessary,”
” A committee of the Assembly to which a petition is referred to may be the petition to a Minister or any other person or body for them to take such action as they consider appropriate to report to the Assembly or take any other action which the Committee considers appropriate,” he said.
However, the Committee referred the investigations on the allegations of corruption at the GPA to the Finance and Public Accounts Committee and Public Enterprises Committee (PEC) for further engagement with the National Audit Office and GPA Management; and the ongoing investigations by the NAO and the Office of the Inspector General of Police be completed swiftly, report back to FPAC and PEC, and publish these reports. It also recommends that PEC monitors the effective implementation of the mitigating measures said to be put in place by the GPA.
The petition was brought before the National Assembly Standing Committee on Public Petition against the Gambia Ports Authority by one Muhammed L Darboe and Tijan Bah.
The petition draws attention to corruption and bribery allegations against some staff members of the GPA Rating Unit. They are accused of issuing fake receipts, undercutting fees, soliciting bribes and other acts which allowed them to make D4 million every week between 2020 and 2022.