At least twenty two (22) staff of Drug Law Enforcement Agency, The Gambia (DLEAG) has been reported for testing positive for the use of cannabis and this result was presented to the Board of the Agency who has decided suspending them for two months without salary and with a condition to subject them to retest at their own cost.
This was revealed in a statement made available to this medium Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, by Mr Ousman Saidybah, Public Relations Officer at DLEAG.
PRO Saidybah further explained in the statement that after the two months period, they were subjected to other drugs of abuse test. Twenty one (21) of those on suspension availed themselves for a retest while one (1) person abstains by failing to make himself available.
“After the second retest, five (5) persons were found to be positive. Four (4) for Cannabis and one (1) for opium. These five persons in addition to the one who abstain are presently on indefinite suspension pending decision on their fate by the Board of Governors,” he further disclosed.
Premise on this and with blessing from the board of governors, he said, the management contracted an independent laboratory firm to conduct the drugs of abuse test for all staff at the agency.
“No single staff was exempted. The topmost senior being the Director General to the least most junior staff were all subjected to this test.
“It is important to note that neither the test was conducted in such a way that the person analyzing the urines samples cannot know whose sample was being analyzed.
“Samples were collected and labeled with EE numbers of staff rather than using their names,” he explained.
According to him, this is part of the continued reform initiatives aimed at maintaining professional standards and in compliance with policy instruments as provided for in the agency’s Staff Service Rules and Staff Code of Conduct, the Agency conducted drugs of abuse test for all staff of the Agency.
“Section II (11:12) of the staff service rule talks about the conduct and discipline of staff. It prohibits staff from consuming any form of intoxicant or illicit drug while on duty, abusing any form of illicit drug while in the employment of the Agency and equally directs the Agency to conduct periodic test on all staff to determine their drug use status. Similarly, Part III (6) of the staff code of conduct deemed staff intoxicated or under the influence of any form of illicit drug unfit for duty and service,” the statement pointed out.
He emphasized that the management of the Agency want to assure the public of its stance of zero tolerance to any form of misconduct and unprofessionalism by its staff.
“The test will be a continuous process and “it is here to stay, as the entity mandated by law to fight against drugs, we cannot in any way allow our own staff to be found wanting and any staff found wanting will be dealt with accordingly,” he added.
PRO Saidybah clarified that the DLEAG Commissioner for North Bank Region is not among those found wanting in this exercise
He described the Commissioner as a fine gentleman who has dedicated his service to the agency and country from his time at The Gambia Police Force to DLEAG