Although, authorities at the National Elections Commission (NEC) are yet to confirmed that Lamin Lighe has resigned from the Commission as the Executive Director, the Daily Observer has reliably learned that Mr. Lighe tendered his resignation letter on November 13, 2019 to the office of President George Weah.
A well placed source within the NEC said Lighe who has served the Commission for about three years, resigned for a lucrative job from an international elections monitoring-related organization.
“What I have learned is that Lighe resigned because, he has gotten a new job with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), and he will be assigned in The Gambia,” the source said, noting, “But what is shocking is Lighe did not tender in his resignation to the NEC Board of Commissioners (BoC), but directly to the office of President Weah.”
The source added: “I am not aware of any rift between Lighe, and any of the commissioners. I know that he was not pushed against his will to do that, but life is about taking advantage of chances.”
Section 2.19 of the New Elections Law says: “The Commissioners shall appoint the Executive Director by an open and transparent selection process. The appointment shall be endorsed by a vote of not less than two thirds of the Commissioners voting in favor.”
It continues: “The Executive Director may be dismissed for proven misconduct by a vote of not less than two thirds of the Commissioners voting in favor.”
Meanwhile, the Daily Observer has also gathered that Anthony Sengbe, who has been in the employ of the Commission since 2004 as Financial Comptroller, has been appointed as the new Executive Director, replacing Mr. Lighe. According to our source, prior to Mr. Sengbe’s appointment to his new role, he served as director of Compliance and Risk Management as of 2017.
In his appointment letter, dated November 12, 2019, which was signed by NEC Chairman, Jerome Korkoya, said Mr. Sengbe’s appointment takes immediate effect.
The letter reads, “As Executive Director, you shall be the head of the Administrative Division of the Commission and principal administrative assistant to the Chairman in the overall activities, and operations of the Commission.”
The BoC reminded Mr. Sengbe that his “specific duties and functions are detailed in the New Elections Law.”
However, NEC communications director, Henry Flomo, said he could not comment until he verifies all relevant information about Lighe’s resignation, and Sengbe’s subsequent appointment as the new executive director.
“Well, it is still a rumor, but whatever it may be, the Commission will officially inform the public whether is true or not that new development has taken place in the NEC,” Flomo said.