By Arret Jatta
The Chairman of the Victims Center for Human Rights in The Gambia, Mr Sheriff Kijera, filed a complaint against four members of the victim community at the Police headquarters in Banjul alleging that they obtained some $20,000 USD on behalf of the organisation without notifying the board. Police Officers called the four individuals namely; Ms Ayesha Jammeh, Ms Zainab Lowe Baldeh, Ms Priscilla Ciesay and Mr Baba Galleh Jallow to report to the Police Headquarters which they did yesterday, Wednesday 2nd August 2023.
The complaint from the outgoing Victim Center head, Mr Kijera notes that: “In 2018, [Ayesha] and [Zainab] who were research assistants at the human rights victim center and two volunteers Baba Galleh and Priscilla Ciesay went on to open an account using the name of the institution to generate funds outside the country amounting to $20,000 USD without notifying the board until of recent when the board realized this dubious act”.
Speaking to Ms Ayesha Jammeh soon after they left Police, she explained that Mr Kijera started making these accusations about them after he was challenged to hold an elective Annual General Meeting. According to Ms Jammeh, she and others sent a letter to Mr Kijera when he started making accusations about them. According to emails seen by this medium, Mr Kijera and the board were written to for a meeting but Mr Kijera allegedly refused to meet with them to address the accusations.
According to Ms Jammeh, “this whole point is his term has ended as the Board Chairman [of the Victim Center] and we called for an AGM. [Mr Kijera] proposed to amend the bi-laws to four years of two terms and most of us campaigned against it to say as an organization of victims, here to protect and promote human rights, the head of that institution cannot say he wants to extend that mandate as the Chairman of the Board so this is when this whole fight started”.
Gainako has seen the emails sent to Mr Kijera and has attempted to make contact with him via telephone but to no avail. The Victim Center is scheduled to host an AGM this Saturday 5th August 2023 which could usher in fresh faces to the organisation.
Ms Jammeh informed this medium that an audit was conducted by an external audit firm “who gave the report of 2018 and 2019 and in fact, they produced a management letter and he made the board sign the management letter of the audit”. Our medium has obtained the 2018 Audit report which does not highlight any financial misappropriation matching Mr Kijera’s description.
Mr Kijera was asked to bring corresponding documents to prove his allegations and to also bring a resolution that the Victim Center Board agreed to bring the matter to the Police, however, one of the Board Members noted that there was no such resolution from the Board.
After hours of questioning from the Police, our reporter was informed that the four accused individuals were not charged with any offence and that investigations on the matter are still ongoing. They were asked to report back to the Police Headquarters, today 3rd August 2023.