Basse Area Council: Cashier Says Decline in Finances due to Non-adherence to Due Process

86

By Makutu Manneh

Ndabah Krubally, Basse Area Council Cashier, has attributed the decline in the council’s finances to Director Suso’s non-adherence to due process and procedures in the course of his work.

Krubally informed the Local Government Commission of Inquiry that the Finances of Basse Area Council started to collapse when Finance Director Lamin Suso assumed office in 2021.

“Basse Area Council Finance started to fall apart in 2021 because finance director Lamin Suso didn’t follow any due process,” he said.

He testified that when a leader does not follow the right procedures in an institution, those under that leader may follow the same footsteps.

Krubally added that the council’s leadership was not following due process, alleging that all payments were done before they passed through the procurement office and internal auditor for proper documentation.

He submitted that he receives orders from the CEO and Director of Finance, who tell him what to do, and that it is difficult to refuse directives given to him by his superiors.

When Deputy Lead Counsel Patrick Gomez asked Krubally about the D51 million withdrawals on different occasions the finance department made between January 2020 to October 2022, including his (Krubally) alleged withdrawal of over thirty-five million Dalasi, he said that many of these expenditures were salaries because when the month ends, his name will be put on cheques to make withdrawals and that sometimes he will be instructed to withdraw from one council account and deposit it to another. In these withdrawals, the auditors indicated that there was no evidence of these monies being used for the council’s operations nor did the withdrawals follow a good accounting process. Pertaining to the government’s D2 million subvention to the council, he said the director of finance and the CEO instructed him to withdraw 1.3 million dalasi a day after the money was paid into the council’s account. He said these cheques were signed by the Director of Finance and the CEO, noting that out of the D1.3 million, he deposited eight hundred thousand to the council’s Vista Bank account and three hundred thousand to the council’s Supersonics account. Krubally further informed the commission that he gave the finance director and CEO each one hundred thousand Dalasi,  which they paid this year after the council asked for it. He said the finance director was paid one hundred and fifty thousand as a refund because he claimed to have pre-financed certain council activities. Krubally said when the procurement officer was not at work, the CEO Ousman Touray would ask him to step in even though he does not know anything about procurement.

“Whenever the procurement officer is not around, I am delegated to do his work and I have no knowledge of procurement,” he said.

Krubally said he was called by Foday Danjo, former chairman of the council to apply for a job at the council because he has confidence in him.  He said he started as a revenue collector at the market from 2018 to 2020 and then the council wrote to him that he was redeployed from revenue collector to cashier. Krubally added that he hasn’t done any course in finance but has sixteen years of experience at Jahally-Pachar Rice Field as an account clerk, adding “I learnt on the job.”