Recently, the NAO published spate of audit reports including the Securiports, Banjul project, Covid-19 funds and many others citing grave irregularities within the government institutions.
“The audit reports gave an opinion and it shouldn’t stop on that to conclude,” he analysed, saying: “The audit reports can have mistakes and they can be biased too. We must do our internal investigation as we did to health because the alleged person is helping the police in their investigation.”
He stated that it is said that to have a strong case, one should have strong evidence. Giving example in Dr Bamba Banja’s case, the ex-permanent secretary at the Ministry of Fisheries, President Barrow explained that when an allegation was raised, they set up a commission of inquiry as well as court proceedings.
“We went to court and Banja is now imprisoned. Banja was part of my favourite permanent secretaries because he is educated and I knew he knows his work,” the president recounted.
Despite all that, Barrow noted that when his government found out they had evidence of corruption against Dr Banja, they proceeded to court. He says to prove a case beyond any reasonable doubt is not easy.
“It’s an opinion and we are doing our findings to stage an investigation on whether we can build a case,” the President stated.