JAC Account Assistant Instructed to Provide Evidence on D4 Million Withdrawal


By Makutu Manneh

Lamin Baldeh, the accounting assistant of Janjanbureh Area Council (JAC), has been instructed by the Local Government Commission of Inquiry to provide them with evidence on his withdrawal of over Four Million Dalasi (D4 million) from the Council’s GT Bank and Trust Bank accounts.

Before being instructed by the Commission, Baldeh was first asked why he withdrew this amount of money and what he did with it. In his response, he said the millions he withdrew were meant for salaries and petty cash expenses.

At this juncture, the Commission provided the witness with bank statements for him to show them the withdrawals, with some explanation.

“You withdrew these monies and we want to see the evidence, and to see if these monies were paid to the respective accounts of the employees for salaries,” Chairperson Jainaba Bah told the witness.

Baldeh in his response said he used to pay staff on cash basis from his office, but Chairperson Bah further told him to bring along all the payment vouchers he has made for salaries and petty cash expenses from his office, in order to verify his claim since the bank accounts do not show any corresponding payment regarding staff salaries.

For the petty cash imprest, the witness said they started with D25,000 which was raised to D50,000.  

The witness informed Commissioners that before becoming an accounting assistant, he was a revenue collector and used to work in Bansang to collect license and rates, and added that he was not assigned any responsibilities until 2021. He testified that as a collector in 2018, he used to collect revenue but he was not depositing the funds in Council’s accounts.

When asked by Counsel Patrick Gomez why he was not depositing the revenue collected in Council’s accounts, the witness said the former Director of Finance, Pa Ansu Darboe, used to give him direction on how to make payments. 

“Do you have any experience in accounting?” Counsel Gomez asked the witness.                

“I have little experience in accounting,” the witness responded, and said he was given money by the Director of Finance to spend as petty cash. He added that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pa Sait Ceesay, was aware of this but he cannot tell whether this was approved by him.