By Buba Gagigo
The Kanifing Municipal Council [KMC] has disagreed with Minister Musa S. Drammeh’s claim that it is ‘usurping the power of the Local Government Service Commission or has made a decision without authority’ by sending its CEO and Finance Director on administrative leave and also recommended for their dismissal.
The Council therefore maintains its decision to keep the duo on temporary suspension as well as its recommendation for their dismissal, until investigation into their alleged D12, 000, 000 fraudulent act is completed.
“Unfortunately, we do not agree with the position of the ministry that the council is usurping the power of the Local Government Service Commission or that it has made a decision without authority. The CEO operates under ‘direction and control’ of the council and the council may recommend the CEOs removal (see section 43 and 45). The establishment and appointment committee is responsible for recommending to the local Government Service Commission the dismissal of the Director of Finance and other officers (see section 37).
“Therefore upon receipt of evidence of financial crimes or maladministration including the fraudulent issues of a council guarantee, it is well within the mandate of the council through its respective bodies to immediately send the concerned staff on administrative leave and recommend their dismissal. No decision has been taken in connection to discipline as you seem to believe,” an excerpt of the council’s reply to the Minister’s letter stated.
On the allegation of fraud by the former Deputy Mayor and a purported cover-up of the allege fraud contained in the petition by the suspended staff to the Ministry, which the Council claimed to have not yet received a copy of, the Council informed the Minister that during the time of the petitioners with the Council, none of them have ever submitted an official report, a complaint, or even a mere letter against the former Deputy Mayor during his tenure.
However, following the revelation of the purported audio of the former Deputy Mayor’s alleged fraud, a special task force has been constituted to investigate the matter, KMC stated.
Musa S. Drammeh, the Minister for Local Government and Lands in a letter on 2nd August called on the Kanifing Municipal Council to rescind its recommendation for the termination of the services of its CEO and Finance Director as well as allow them to resume work following their alleged involvement in the D12 million scandal; but the Council failed to heed to the call.
In addition, the CEO, Sainabou Matin and Director of Finance, Dr Alieu Keita reported to work on Wednesday after the Minister on Monday called on the Council to rescind its decision against them, but they were denied access to the Council premises by the security.