Bank Governor Resurrects Fight With Rokel Board
Governor of the Central Bank, Professor Kelfala M. Kallon, seems to have placed his institution in a state of confusion, to the extent that most of the decisions taken by the Central Bank are not in the public’s interest. Being a regulator of the banking sector, the Central Bank seems to have been turned into a kangaroo court, where cases to be determined by a competent court, are now adjudicated.
The battle between the Bank Governor and Rokel Commercial Bank Board has resurfaced, despite a Special Investigation Committee had not found any case of sexual harassment against the Managing Director of the RCB. The Governor recently wrote that he will reject the report of the special investigation committee and that the Board should investigate the Managing Director again.
It is coming at a time when the alleged sexual harassment case at the Rokel Commercial Bank (RCB) has now become a laughing stock, since the Central Bank seems to have voluntarily turned itself to a kangaroo court, manned by unofficial judges, with the Bank Governor seemingly posing as their Chief Justice.
After a Special Investigation Committee (SIC) had successfully and painstakingly investigated the issue and recommended that it has not found any case of sexual harassment against the RCB Managing Director, a recommendation that was reviewed by the Legal Affairs Department (LAD) of the Central Bank and further recommendations made to the Bank Governor, Kaifala Kallon has taken a different stance.
In his letter dated 18th July 2022 the Bank Governor stated the opinion of the Central Bank’s Legal Affairs Department and directed the RCB Board to review both the Report of the Special Investigative Committee (SIC) of the (RCB] Board and the BSL’s LAD Legal opinion, as well as RCB’s corporate governance policies to come to a definitive conclusion about the alleged sexual harassment, and suggest disciplinary measures if necessary.
The Board’s reply dated 25thJuly 2022, noted six key issues, namely: “That a Fit and Proper (FPP) reassessment of the Managing Director (MD) falls within the jurisdiction of the BSL, not the RCB Board; That the opinion of the BSL’s LAD is one-sided, and that the Board “stands by the final report of the SIC”, which found no evidence of sexual harassment by the MD; That the issue of sexual harassment was not for the Board to decide, but a court of competent jurisdiction; That the Board, through the Ministry of Finance, would seek the Attorney General’s legal opinion on the matter; that the Bank Governor should have copied the Minister of Finance in his letter; and That the Board finds the Governor’s circulation of the letter beyond the SIC disturbing, because it could have triggered its leak to the public.”
This reply seems not to have gone down well with the Central Bank Governor, who, sources say, is being used by a few detractors and corrupt elements, whose selfish quest is to bring the RC Bank to its lowest ebb. “They are currently blindfolding the Central Bank Governor, using him as a conduit to wreck havoc at the RC Bank,” a source remarked, and furthered that most of the well-thinking top government officials in the corridors of power and outside have frowned against the recent actions of the Central Bank Governor, who is reportedly trying to arm-twist the RC Bank Board to take a decision that is not of public interest.
A letter from the Bank Governor to the RCB Board dated 12th September 2022, stated that “While thanking the SIC for devoting time and energy to investigating the instant matter, this letter serves as a formal notice that the SIC is hereby dissolved and that all decisions and recommendations regarding the extant complaint shall come from the full Board. In this regard, I wish to inform the Board that I feel compelled to reject the findings and conclusions communicated to me in your 25th July 2022 letter, because they were reached by a subset of the Board (not the full Board, as I had directed in my 18th July 2022 letter).
Consequently, the Board (excluding the MD and the LA/CS) is again directed to review the Report of the SIC, the legal opinion of the BSL’s LAD, and RCB’s Policies and Procedures, as well as all complaints that have been lodged to it by the LA/CS and her colleagues about workplace intimidation. The findings and recommendations from that review must be submitted to me no later than Close-of-Business on Friday, 30th September 2022.”
It is now left with the RCB Board to decide on the next step, especially after it had earlier categorically stated that it stood by the recommendations of the Special Investigation Committee (SIC), which had reported that there was no case of sexual harassment. (Investigation continues)