By: Mama A. Touray
Former finance director of Basse Area Council (BsAC) Lamin Suso told the LG Commission on Tuesday that it was normal practice at the BsAC to contract loans from individuals.
“It was normal for Basse Area Council to take loans from individuals and repay them when they have money,” Suso testified. He added that seeking loans from individuals was not a novelty at the council.
Asked about the procedure for taking loans from private individuals, Suso replied that it started when a document was sent to the General Council and subsequently to the local government ministry for approval.
“If we had followed the normal procedure, we would not have gotten what we wanted,” Susoresponded when asked why the council was not following due process in taking loans.
He reiterated that he was a benefactor to the council by giving it loans to pre-finance some of its activities, explaining that he once loaned thecouncil D570,000 for the payment of a 1 by 6 to the staff. Suso further explained that he acquired the money from friends.
However, when asked by Deputy Lead Counsel, Patrick Gomez, to give a breakdown of the money he received from friends, Suso attempted to give the commission the amount but when the figures were put together, they were less than the D570,000 he claimed to have loaned the council.
“The maths did not add up,” counsel Gomez put to him.
“It is not that the whole money was meant for the payment of 1 by 6,” he replied.
“Don’t change your story. You are changing because your maths did not add up,” the deputy lead counsel pressed. Further quizzed as to how the money was spent, Suso replied: “The request was for personal reasons.”
“When you were trying to act smart, saying the money was for the payment of 1 by 6, you think we will not get you. Are you maintaining that the money was for 1 by 6,” asked counselGomez.
“Yes, it was for 1 by 6,” Suso replied.
When put to him that the money was not used to pay 1 by 6, Suso agreed. He said he could not tell how much was spent on 1 by 6 unless he reverts to the records.