Shortly after he was appointed to serve as legal adviser for Gambia’s OIC Secretariat, Almami Fanding Taal, a law lecturer at the University of The Gambia, took a leave of absence from his UTG job. He concentrated on his high paying OIC job. Taal got fired last week from the OIC. His firing emanated from the President’s Office. His recent public pronouncements and criticism of the government doesn’t go down well with the Barrow State House. Hence, he was shown the exit door. But it seems Taal’s employment nightmares are far from being over. Taal risked losing his UTG law lecturer job. Here are the reasons why Taal should be worried: The Gambian Government General Orders (GO) prohibits public officials and those in the employment of The Gambian government from accepting political position from any political party. G.O 03105 states: “ An officer wishing to belong to an organization which has both political and other objectives and is uncertain whether the organization is a political organization within the meaning of G.O.0314, should seek advice from the Public Service Commission.”
The above GO regulation was invoked during the just concluded United Democratic Party (UDP) Congress to disqualify Lamin Cham and Alkali Conteh’s expressed intent of running for an Executive positions at the UDP. Some section of the cited GO, has embedded into the 1997 Constitution, which prohibits public servants and officials from taking Executive positions in political parties.
The UDP even had to amend its Constitution to be tailored in line with the Constitution of The Gambia. For some reasons, Taal was given a pass. He was elected as the UDP Legal Secretary, and Public Relations Officer, even though he continues to hold employment at the UTG as a law lecturer. Taal hasn’t resigned from the UTG.
It should be noted that the late Dr. Borro Susso of the University of The Gambia was fired on similar bases. His firing had to do with his association with the UDP.
Taal earns less than $300 dollars monthly salary at the UTG. Now that he has lost his high paying job at the OIC, it is not clear if Adou Boy, will allow him to maintain his job at the UTG. Though the GO frowns at Taal’s association with the UDP. He cannot serve as UTG lecturer at the same time occupying official position at the UDP. That’s unlawful, per the GO and the 1997 Constitution.
Taal doesn’t own a law chamber of his own. Private legal practice is not lucrative in today’s Gambia. He doesn’t holds a paid position at the UDP. Life would be hard for him, if he loses his UTG job.