By Adama Tine
A senior official at the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) who wishes to remain unanimous in an interview with Mamos Media Monday said the recently sacked KMC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mrs. Sainabou Martin Sonko directly violated the Local Government Finance Audit Act as well as the public Finance Act 2014.
Mrs Sonko is accused of involvement in criminal acts ranging from fraud, tax evasion and theft.
According to reports, Mrs Sonko acquired a bank loan in the name of the Staff Association of KMC without their consent and used the funds to acquire a property which had been grossly overvalued and also forged council’s documents and approval to obtain a guarantee purportedly from KMC to secure the said loan.
According to sources, there is a requirement in the law which even if the council itself has to go for a loan, should have the prior approval of the Minister of Lands which was never done by Mrs. Sonko.
The source added that Mrs. Sonko never even brought acquiring the loan before the general council to resolve.
He said the revelation about the former CEO came up while they were about to have a directors’ meeting when one member of the staff association revealed to the Mayor that the committee that was about to be dissolved took a loan guaranteed by the Mayor himself and the council which came as a big shock to the Mayor as he was never aware of the loan. He said this prompted the mayor to launch an investigation.
“Upon investigations we realized that D12 million was secured as loan by CEO Mrs. Sonko on behalf of the KMC staff welfare to purchase a land of 100x 100m,” our source quoted Mayor Bensouda.
“We were also told at the gathering that immediately the loan was disbursed, D10 million was paid into the account of the land vendor and over D1 million withdrawn from the staff welfare,” he disclosed.
He said the council has recommended the termination of services of its CEO and other individuals involved in the matter. He further said that a complete investigation and committee review was also recommended with immediate effect for their digital revenue collection contract.
When asked about the resignation of Deputy Mayor of KMC Musa Bah on Monday amid reports that he solicited bribes of up to one million dalasis from a company, our source said “The council has not disbursed that said amount to the company but had only disbursed D400, 000 as advance payment of a contract”.