Council official can’t explain what he did with the monies he collected


By Makutu Manneh

Momodou Saidybah, the manager of Mansakonko Area Council conference center was unable to explain to the commission what he did with the monies he collected.

He has denied submitting cash to Seedy Sanneh Finance Manager or any other senior official of the council. At the same time he kept insisting that he has been depositing the monies but could not show this  in the bank statements.

Counsel Patrick Gomez showed the witness his own statement were he stated that he used to give the monies he collected from the conference center to Seedy Sanneh, Finance Manager of the council.

Going through his statement he still denied giving money to the finance director or any other senior officer and insisted that he used to deposit the monies he collected in the council’s account.

“I have never given cash to the finance director or finance manager unless if am instructed to buy fuel or cash power. I deposit the monies I collected to the bank,” he said.

Counsel Gomez asked the witness what he meant in his statement when he said he used to make submission to Seedy Sanneh.

He replied that he doesn’t give Mr. Sanneh cash but that he goes to submit his pay slips and that is what he meant.

Counsel Gomez informed the witness that the audit report for 2020 and 2021 indicated that there was Nine Hundred and Seventy-seven Thousand Six Hundred Dalasi which was not accounted for. The report indicated that the collection cannot be traced from any of the council’s accounts.

When asked about his cashbook, the witness said for the whole of 2020 he was not given any cash book. “I was given receipt books in 2020.”

Saidybah said he deposited the monies he collected to the council’s account. The Counsel gave him the bank statement of Mansakonko Area Council but he could not find any deposit he made of such amount. However he insisted that he deposited the money into the account.

Deputy Lead Counsel Gomez put it to him that the auditors were saying that even comparing his cashbook and the cashbook of the council with the accounts in 2021 the monies collected did not reflect in the account. He then put it to him: “it means you did not deposit the money.”

Saidybah was asked to read his statement again where he said he used to give money to Bai Gibbi Sallah and Seedy Sanneh, he agreed he said that to the investigators but denied before the commission that he gave these individuals monies.

The Counsel told him these monies have to be accounted for since he said he did not give anyone the monies and it did not reflect in the bank statements that he made the deposits.

“You have to tell us where the money is, you collected the money and now you said you did not give them the money, where is the money?” Counsel Gomez asked.

The witness still maintained that he deposited the money in the bank. He was confronted with about the Two Hundred Thousand Dalasi collection he made in February 2021, the One Hundred and one Thousand he made in January 2021, the One Hundred Eight-two Thousand Seven Hundred Dalasi he made on February 28th 2021, the One Hundred Thirty-nine Thousand Two Hundred on September 1st 2021.

The witness said he deposited these monies into the council’s account. Counsel Gomez gave the witness both the council’s supersonic account and Trust Bank account to show the commission when he deposited the monies.

The witness checked but could not find his name depositing these amounts, however he told the commission that sometimes it is not the entire monies indicated he will deposit because some are receipts for buying fuel and cash power for the council.  

He also checked his cashbook but could not find entries for these amounts.