By Makutu Manneh
Lamin Suso, former Finance Director of Basse Area Council has admitted before the Local Government Commission of Inquiry that he and Finance Manager Malafi Badjie used to go for revenue collections during weekends.
Suso confirmed this when the Deputy Lead Counsel Patrick Gomez cited the internal audit report which indicated that Suso and co. used to do these collections without the knowledge of the CEO.
Initially, he denied it but after some questioning from Counsel Gomez, he accepted it and said the audit report was correct.
However, he said the CEO was aware of the collections he and Malafi Badjie participated in. He added, “The CEO was always aware of the collections.”
He said that there were times when he used to bring together revenue collectors in a team and they go for revenue collection.
Suso went further to explain that the shops including foreign exchange bureaus were not paying their license fees and that was why he formed that team and went with them to do the collection.
He said he and Manku Manneh were on the ground doing revenue collection, and “on that particular day we made a good collection.”
The witness continued that Ndabah Krubally, the Cashier of the Council was also with them taking records and that Malafi Badjie was also with them and his reason for going was because he knows Basse very well.
Before this, the Counsel had earlier asked Suso if he had ever gone to collect revenue with Malafi Badjie; he denied ever going with him.
He explained that at times he used to head the teams and at times Malafi Badjie used to head the teams. He said Malafi Badjie as the finance manager is a senior revenue collector and Molamin Keru as the licensing manager is also a senior revenue collector.
Suso admitted that he received cash from revenue collector Lamin Manneh on different occasions. He also accepted that the monies were supposed to be deposited in the respective accounts of the Basse Area Council.
He said the monies he got from Lamin Manneh were used to purchase fuel for the NDMA vehicles in Basse.
Basse Area Council’s former Finance Director also confessed that he went with collector Manku Manneh for collection when the latter (Manneh) was on annual leave.
He said he was not aware of the allegation that Manku Manneh had a revenue collection device with him at home, which he used to do discrete collection without the notice of the council.
When he was questioned about the auditor’s report that the Basse Area Council was illegally paying Trekking Allowance to employees, Suso admitted and said it was wrong to do this because they were not entitled to it. He stated that the Trekking Allowance was Seven Hundred and Fifty Dalasi (D750) per day.