Friday, September 22

Counsel Gomez warns BsAC acting Finance Manager to stop covering Lamin Suso

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By Mama A. Touray

Deputy Lead Council Patrick Gomez on Wednesday warned Basse Area Council’s acting Finance Manager Malafi Badjie to stop his plan of covering Lamin Suso, the Director of Finance of the Basse Area Council.

The Deputy Lead Council warning came up when the acting Finance Manager, Malafi Badjie said council Finance Director, Lamin Suso was taking money from the revenue collectors “conditionally” when the council needs cash. 

He explained that the accounts of the Basse Area Council require both the CEO and the Finance Director to sign cheques, but in a situation when one of them is not in Basse, they collect monies from revenue collectors and later refund it.

As a result of this, Counsel Gomez warned him to stop his plan to cover up for the Finance Director.

“If you think you can come here and make the Commissioners believe that what the Finance Director was doing was for a good course, you must be a fool of yourself because that is a grave mistake. If you think you can cover up for the Finance Director because of your friendship, then you will be making a grave mistake,” Lawyer Gomez emphasised to the witness.

The witness responded, “I won’t do that again”.

Counsel Gomez further told the witness “Forget your relationship with Lamin Suso because that won’t work”.

“Correct,” the witness answered.

When pressed by Counsel Gomez to justify the claim, the witness withdrew his comment stating that it was wrong for Finance Director Suso to collect monies directly from revenue collectors.

The witness said that sometimes he goes with revenue collectors to supervise revenue collection, adding that Director of Finance Lamin Suso also used to go with revenue collectors for collection.

 “He (Lamin Suso) was not doing the collection because he was not responsible for the machine,” the witness said.

Malafi said he came to know that Director Suso used to go with revenue collectors for revenue collection after the publication of the audit report.

He stated further that Director Suso should not be held responsible because the machine owner is the person responsible.

“The revenue collectors were given a circular that they should not give money to anyone and they knew they were responsible for what they collected,” the witness said.

“Are you denying that there were financial malpractices in Basse?” Lawyer Gomez asked.

He responded, “Of course, there were instances of financial malpractices”.

Counsel Patrick Gomez iterated that “You don’t follow rules in Basse” and he reacted “Certainly, yes”.

 “Lamin Suso should not have gone for revenue collection,” Lawyer Gomez said.

 “I was surprised because that was not his responsibility. That was not proper,” the witness said.

Malafi however told the commission that sometime in 2022 the Director of Finance Lamin Suso instructed them to issue GTR receipts. He added that Director Suso informed them that it was a management decision.

“When I issue GTRs to a revenue collector, I go with the person to supervise,” Badjie said.

 When asked by Counsel Gomez if the CEO was aware the witness responded “I don’t know, but the Director of Finance said it was a management decision”.