By Mama A. Touray
A Commissioner at the Local Government Commission of Inquiry, Alagie Sillah, on Tuesday told the former CEO of Basse Area Council (BsAC) that he created a monster [Lamin Suso] but that the monster has outgrown him.
“You created a monster and the monster became more powerful than you,” Commissioner Sillahsaid to ex-CEO Touray.
“Yes, that was the case,” Touray agreed.
In his testimony before the commission, erstwhile CEO Touray admitted to several financial malpractices at the council during his tenure.
“Our problem started in 2021. I must admit that I lost control of the whole system because the people under me were difficult to control,” he testified.
It was noted by the commission that the written statement of Touray indicated that former finance director Lamin Suso was engaged in dubious activities. Touray reiterated that Susowas actually engaged in shady transactions that were detrimental to BsAC, adding that before Touray came to the council, the council’s bankaccounts were not “red”. He explained that the accounts started experiencing troubles in 2021 when Suso came.
As per the law, former CEO Touray was the chief accounting officer of the council and was responsible for checking every payment before it was made and ensuring that things worked for the council.
Ex-CEO Touray told the commission that Susoused to bring him cheques to sign and he would regret signing them when he[Suso] left.
Touray explained to the commission that he joined the Basse Area Council with his experience and that his goal was to elevate it but could not succeed.
Meanwhile, according to the auditors, Suso and Touray were held responsible for the misappropriation of council funds. The auditors also exposed the “weak administration” during Touray’s time as CEO.
The auditors further flagged the lack of respect for rules and procedures established in the laws during Touray’s tenure of office.
Ousman Touray was appointed as the CEO of the Basse Area Council in July 2019 while former Director of Finance Lamin Suso was appointed in February 2021.
On how Suso was appointed, Touray told the commission that the appointment of Suso was done by the Local Government Service Commission upon recommendation by the Establishment Committee of the BsAC. Touraytold the commission that he challenged the recommendation of the Establishment Committee through a letter sent to the Ministry of Regional Government and Lands, querying the committee’s decision. He informed the commission that the Ministry did not respond to his letter.