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Lawyers Angry Over Dpp’S Expat Hirings

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE Judicial and Legal Services Commission has appointed a Nigerian and a Ugandan to top level positions at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. 

Nigerian Nikiruka Jones-Nebo has been appointed Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions and Ugandan David Bakibinga has been made assistant director of public prosecutions. The Tribune understands the appointments have upset some lawyers, including those at the Office of the Attorney General who believe Bahamians could have been appointed to the posts.

The government was not proactive in revealing the appointments; no statement was released to the public or media about them. The Tribune made inquiries yesterday after reports surfaced on social media. 

Cecilia Strachan, permanent secretary for the OAG, said the positions were first advertised in local media in January 2017 and the people who applied did not meet the criteria; none of the applicants were from the private sector, she said. She added that the positions were advertised again in January 2018 but this time they were advertised internationally through the Commonwealth Secretariat.

“Six persons applied, all from Commonwealth countries,” she said, adding: “Senior OAG officials interviewed the applicants and made a recommendation to the JLSC which then made a final decision.”

Ms Strachan said the government is in the process of promoting multiple people within the DPP’s office to assistant director of public prosecutions positions.

She said Mrs Jones-Nebo was the deputy director of public prosecutions in Nigeria and Mr Bakibinga was a lawyer at the Directorate of Public Prosecutions in Uganda.

For his part, Attorney General Carl Bethel said the appointees were appointed by the JLSC about a month ago. He noted the country has had foreigners fill senior positions before: Ricardo Marques, a Guyanese national, served as director of legal affairs in the OAG and later became a Supreme Court justice; Emmanuel Osadebay, a Nigerian, came to the country as a magistrate and later served on the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal; Francis Cumberbatch, from Guyana, became assistant director of public prosecutions.

The OAG has often struggled to retain top talent and sources noted the office has recently had a genuine void. 

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Since coming to office in May 2017 the Minnis-led FNM government has either granted or stated its intent to grant foreign investors well over a billion dollars worth of concessions and has given the illegal racketeering numbers bosses humongous tax breaks. Meanwhile the budget allocations to the Offices of the Attorney General and Director of Prosecutions, and to the judiciary generally, are grossly inadequate to the point where these key institutions of our democracy are now very vulnerable to being infiltrated by foreigners from some of the most corrupt countries in the world. This does not bode well at all for country.

Each year the Minnis-led FNM government seems all too willing to throw away millions and millions of dollars on the hiring of additional unqualified and incompetent civil workers to compensate for their failure to introduce effective policies for the creation of private sector jobs. As a consequence, our bloated civil work force is literally starving important departments and agencies of the funding they need to attract talented Bahamians to key senior government positions. Our bloated civil work force that Minnis and Turnquest refuse to do anything about is a deadly cancer eating away at our country's more important democratic institutions.

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birdiestrachan 3 weeks, 5 days ago

It is all good for the peoples time voters. It is to bad they can not find some one from Africa to take positions held by Bethel and doc.

Bethel's excuse is very poor it shows he has no regar for Bahamians,

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TheMadHatter 3 weeks, 5 days ago

I applaud this move which champions and celebrates our African heritage.

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TalRussell 3 weeks, 5 days ago

The 91,409 comrade Souls who ended up voting for the 35 red shirts candidates, had have done so after selecting the most convincing 35 red shirts liars running sit up in House who by some stroke genius even managed out lie PLP's contesting against them - after choosing believe that 2017 -2022 would indeed be "It's the locals time occupy top jobs up in up in AG's office, yes, no................... the best liars now in charge conducting the Populaces governing affairs..........and who gets work for their politically appointed (unelected) "QC" AG.....God save we beloved British Queen................

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Quietobserver 3 weeks, 5 days ago

I am unsure of our position. If we have qualified Bahamians, by all means, this is outrageous. However, the article said that no local person had applied for the post. So, a foreigner was appointed. Who is to blame?

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TheMadHatter 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Good point except they flagrantly admitted they did not advertise locally but only in the Fiji Marine Magazine subsection on shark diets. They could have done better to inform.

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Economist 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Those who feel that they should have got the posts will now need to up their game and show everyone how much better they are. Alternatively, they can go into private practice and beat up, if they can, on these new foreign appointees in court.

Competition is healthy, we can't expect to get an appointment just because we are Bahamian.

Look to the UK where their current head of the Bank of England is a Canadian. Just because you are a UK citizen does not mean you get the job.

Welcome to the REAL WORLD.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Wow! Did you just dump the Bahamas and Canada in with Nigeria and Uganda when it comes to pay grade? Our minimum hourly rate of pay seems to be headed the wrong way.

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TheMadHatter 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Oh really? What then can we expect as Bahamian citizens ... fresh air?

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TalRussell 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Comrade Economist, for some reason the very thought place colony's own in AG's office positions has upset you, yes, no..........

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birdiestrachan 3 weeks, 5 days ago

There were no statements from the Government on these appointments. and they lie with a calm face that they are transparent and the Government in the sunshine

They are all masterful liars indeed..

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joeblow 3 weeks, 4 days ago

... anyone who grew up watching PLP's have learnt much about masterful lying!

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