Tribunal rules that witness cannot testify on behalf of other 144 ex Ocean Bay Employees

By Yankuba Jallow

The Kanifing Industrial Tribunal on Monday, September 11, 2017 ruled against the 145 former employees of the Ocean Bay Hotel in their case against the Social Security.

When the case was called before the Tribunal, the plaintiffs were present but their counsel was absent. On the other hand, the defendants were absent whilst their counsel was present.

The chairperson of the Tribunal, N. Blessed, read out the ruling of the Tribunal. The Tribunal found it untenable to administer PW1 representing all the accused persons without any power of attorney from the others, citing Rule 14 sub rules (1), (2), (3) and (4) of the Industrial Tribunal Rules to support this position. The rule according to sub rule (1) allows a person to represent others but sub rule (2) gives the Tribunal power to reject an application of representative capacity if it is going to hamper the trial.

She said the application was filed on the April 24, 2017 by the defence counsel when PW1, Kora Jassey attempted to represent all the plaintiffs.

PW1 tendered four contract documents bearing the names of Kora Jassey, Bai Mala Njie, Idrissa Sanyang and Mariama Joof but the Tribunal admitted only the one that bore the name of Kora Jassey (PW1). The Tribunal held that the requirement of the Industrial Tribunal Rules was not met. In the eyes of the court, all the 145 plaintiffs are individuals in their own capacity and that there is no representative capacity given to PW1.

As it stands PW1 can only continue his testimony only on his own behalf and not on behalf of the other plaintiffs.

The matter was adjourned till Monday 25th September, 2017 at 10am for continuation of hearing. 

Readers could recall that these former employees of Ocean Bay sued Social Security claiming for settlement for unlawful termination of contract and the trial has been going on for over 2 years now.