Lawyers of the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) have been asked to look into the legitimacy of the government proposed commission of inquiry into corruption allegations against council officials. 

The Ministry of Lands and Local Government recently announced plans to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate alleged fraud and malpractices at KMC dating back to 2018.

However, KMC reacted to the ministry’s plans with “disappointment”, claiming that the actions of the Minister are “counterproductive to the development agenda of the council as well as seek to undermine the council’s firm stance against corruption.”

“Council further considers the commission of inquiry of the ministry to have been instituted in bad faith and in abuse of his power under the Act. 

“Furthermore, the council considers the terms of reference of the purported commission to be outside the scope allowed to the Minister given that it is unrelated to the report by council,” KMC mayor Ahmed Talib Bensouda and his deputy Ousman Gaye said in a statement.

“The failure of the minister to notify the council and provide them with the purported CEO’s report or the purported special inspection reports to afford the council an opportunity to consider and if necessary, address their content.  

“Also, the failure of the minister to observe the rule of law, natural justice procedures and good governance in his dealing with the council suggest that he has a special interest or hidden addenda,” they added.

The statement continued: “The clerk shall instruct retained counsel to commence legal action on behalf of the council to look at the legitimacy of the purported commission and ensure that the rights and interests of the people of KMC are fully protected and that the rule of law shall prevail.

“The council calls on the president of the Republic, His Excellency Adama Barrow, to direct the minister to desist from his current cause of action which is an impediment to the efforts of the council to serve the best interests of the people of KMC.”

According to the statement, the mayor will communicate the council’s concerns 

to President Barrow in due course.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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