By: Nicholas Bass
The Brikama Area Council (BAC) has asked its beleagueredCEO to offer apologies for his assertion that Chairman YankubaDarboe has monopolized decision-making at the council.
The council also asked the embattled CEO Modou Jonga to withdraw his statement that the Yankuba Darboe-led administration has withdrawn D1M from the council’s account.
The BAC also wants Jonga to recant his statement that the council has increased allowances for the staff.
Speaking in a recent press conference held at the council’s auditorium recently, Yankuba Darboe said the BAC has a fixed budget of D200,000 as honorarium which, according to him, was inexhausted. He added that even if the budget was exhausted, Jonga should’ve come out and given the people of the West Coast details of the budget rather than giving the impression that there was no budget for payment of honoraria.
On Jonga’s allegation that he had on 9 August 2023, overrode the contracts committee’s request for more time to scrutinizethree proposals “incorrectly” solicited by the office of the Chairman for the re-introduction of a digital tax administration system, Darboe told journalists that this statement was false, noting that the contracts committee is a sub-committee just like any other committee empowered by Section 34 (8) and (9) of the Local government Act to check any contract agreement of the council. He pointed out that no committee can override the decision of the council.
He explained that BAC has a loan scheme introduced by his predecessor, stating that the beleaguered CEO himself benefitted from the loan scheme as he was loaned D500,000.
“If there was no loan scheme for the council, how did Jongaobtain his loan?” Darboe asked rhetorically.
The BAC chair said the councilors are entitled to a D100,000loan for their first tenure of office and another D75,000 for the following year.
According to Darboe, Jonga erred in his citation of Section 15(1)(2)(3) of the Local Government Act (2002), noting that he [Darboe] is responsible for staff matters, redeployments and recruitment of staff for more productivity in the council and for accountability to his subjects. Darboe said the CEO is answerable to the Chairman.
Darboe also dismissed Jonga’s allegation that he [Darboe] entered into a verbal contract agreement with Finish Tech Construction Company for the provision of two vacuum tank trucks to drain flooded markets, secondary roads, and streets without the involvement of the contract committee. He explained that D6.5M was budgeted by CEO Jonga for a septic tank, which was not purchased.
”It is a misrepresentation of facts for Jonga to say the contract was done orally when the document of the contract agreement of D1M septic tank was delivered to him to endorse,” Darboe stated.
Darboe further explained that the resolution for the increment of councilors’ allowances was passed by the previous administration, describing as false Jonga’s claim that the allowance for the chairman has been increased from D18,000 to D25,000, the deputy chairman’s monthly allowance increased from D9,500 to D20,000 and the councilor’s monthly allowance increased from D6,500 to D15,000 contrary to the approved allowance schedule issued by the Ministry of Regional Government and in violation of Section 12 of the Local Government Finance and Audit Act (2004).
Darboe meanwhile said Jonga was unable to provide proof as to why D50M was withdrawn from the council’s account, stating that the council will continue to look into Jonga’s “corruption” practices and if need be, legal action will be instituted against him.