It was revealed before the Commission that a staggering 4 million dalasis was spent on the finance unit alone in 2019.
“What was spent on the finance office was three times more than what was spent on development in 2019,” Deputy Lead Counsel Patrick Gomez, put to Ousman Touray, the ex-CEO of the Basse Area Council who has been testifying before the Commission since Monday to continue his testimony.
The witness affirmed that the annual staff salary amounted to around 7 million dalasis, and that 1.4 million was usually spent on transportation and 2 million expended on the activities of the finance department.
He confessed that the situation at the Basse Area Council “was not normal”.
The deputy counsel provided the witness with vouchers Ex-finance Director Lamin Suso tendered to the Commission, which Lamin Suso himself had disregarded and discredited later in his testimony following tough cross-examination by the counsels.
The Commission noted that the vouchers did not meet the requirements as they had several discrepancies in terms of date, voucher numbers, signatures and information.
Witness Touray said some of the vouchers were signed by the director of finance: “The signature on the column I supposed to sign is not my signature. The signature was forged.”
Ousman Touray said he did not sign some of those vouchers because the finance unit did not justify the claims for payment.
The deputy lead counsel asked whether he reported this to the General Council. However, Touray said he did not.
At some point, Deputy Lead Counsel Gomez said: “To me you created the Finance Director.” The deputy lead counsel also said that Mr Touray made the former finance director who he was.
The witness agreed with the counsel.
“That was why it was difficult to report him,” he said, repeating: “This was why you could not report him.”
“Yes,” the witness answered.