Finance Manager Lamin Suso is yet to Account for  D23 Million he Withdrew from BAC Bank Account

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By Makutu Manneh

Lamin Suso, a former Finance Manager of Brikama Area Council (BAC), has still not provided a single piece of evidence on the Twenty-Three Million Dalasi (D23.3 Million) withdrawal he made during his time at the Brikama Area Council.

Lamin Suso earlier asked for a week to provide the Commission with evidence pertaining to a sum of Twenty-Three Million, Three Hundred and Eighty One Thousand, Two Hundred and Eighty-Six Dalasi (D23, 381,286.53) he encashed from the accounts of the BAC. The request was granted.

On his second day of appearance (on Thursday), Suso made another request and this time around he requested for one month.

“Madam Chair, I want an extension of one month to provide the evidence [of the 23 Million Dalasi withdrawal],” he said.

“Sorry Mr. Suso, we cannot give you more than 10 days,” Chairperson Jainaba Bah replied as she refused the one month request.

The Local Government Commission of Inquiry rejected the requested and instructed him to get the documents.

The Chairperson further told Suso “It is only for you to just go and find the documents and bring them. If you have difficulties with anyone, just inform us and we will take the necessary measures.”

Chairperson Bah instructed the former Finance Manager to get the documents and reconcile with the investigators of the Commission.

Some of the withdrawals made by Suso on the 30th May 2018 were: over D146,000, D150,000, D70,000 and D3,000. On the 9th August 2018, LaminSuso withdrew D600,000 and D300,000. On the 10th September 2018 he withdrew D200,000 and on the 15th September 2018 he withdrew D100,000, on the 9th of November 2018 he withdrew D100,000, D400,000, D200,000 and on the 4th December 2018 he withdrew D300,000. On the 2nd January 2019 he withdrew D600,000.

These were some of his withdrawals. The Commission noted that there were instances he withdrew huge sums of money in one day without any explanation.

Lamin Suso said the monies were used for office transactions, but could not provide evidence when asked.

Lead Counsel Patrick Gomez asked the witness about the procedure in withdrawing money from the council’s account. LaminSuso said he collects cheques to do the withdrawal.

“Where in the Financial Manual is it stated thar a CEO or a Finance Director can sign cheques in the name of council’s staff without any process being followed?” Counsel Gomez asked.

“I don’t see it anywhere in the manual,” Suso answered.

When asked whether what they were doing was right, Suso said the CEO and the Finance Director are responsible for signing and issuing cheques.

“Do you think it is lawful for monies to be withdrawn contrary to the financial manual?” Gomez asked.

Suso, in his response, said it was wrong adding that anything contrary to the dictates of the Fianancial Manual was wrong.

Lamin Suso had previously testified before the Commission during the institutional hearing on the Basse Area Council. He was asked of misappropriation of Council funds and he was questioned on that. Currently, he is being questioned in relation to his time in the Brikama Area Council from May 2018 to February 2021.