By Makutu Manneh
Mr Abdoulie Saidykhan, the Branch Manager of Vista Bank at Brikama, Kombo Central, yesterday informed the ongoing Commission of Enquiry into Area Councils and Municipalities that Finance Director Suso of Basse Area Council had withdrawn the sum of one hundred and forty- one thousand Dalasi (D141, 000) from their bank.
According to him, the said money was encashed through a Cheque belonging to the Basse Area Council (BsAC), adding that in October2022, the CEO of Basse Area Council came to his office with a statement about the aforesaid transaction.
“CEO Touray told me that one of the signatures in the Cheque was his, but the other signature wasn’t his,” Saidykhan disclosed.
Mr Saidykhan informed the commission that when he asked CEO Touray if he had received a bank notification about this transaction, he replied in the affirmative.
He also informed the commission that Suso wasn’t questioned about this transaction because he was also a signatory and equally the Finance Director of Basse Area Council.
He added that in October, 2022, the Finance Director went to Vista Bank again with a Cheque of Fifty Thousand Dalasi (D50, 000) belonging to the Council.
However, he said while they were on the process of paying him (Suso), they (Vista Bank) received a call from their Basse Branch informing them that the CEO of Basse Area Council had called to inform them that he had received a notification of D50, 000 being cash from the BsAC’s Account and that he (Touray) was not aware of approving any payment from the BsAC Vista Bank Account to Suso.
According to CEO Touray, the transaction that involved Lamin Suso was not signed by him, which made them halt the process and informed Suso that the D50,000 payment could not be made.
Saidykah admitted Suso is his friend and he (saidykhan) has helped him in most of his transactions; adding that he also lent money to Suso on several occasions, but all those loans have been repaid.
Mr Saidykhan revealed that immediately after his testimony at the Commission, Suso called him but he did not pick his call.
“Getting a call from Suso and CEO Touray is like receiving a call about a funeral,” he said.
The Local Government Commission was established to conduct a full and impartial investigation into the local government councils with a view to enhancing transparency and accountability in the councils. The Commission of is doing a holistic and fair review of the financial and administrative operations of the councils.