By: Foday Manneh
The Vice and Acting Chairperson of the Janjanbureh Area Council, Haruna Barry, and Council CEO Pa Sait Ceesay are clearly in disagreement as the former accuses the Chief Executive Officer of financial mismanagement.
According to the Chairman, the CEO, Paa Sait Ceesay, and Finance Director’s failed to provide bank statements of the Council’s accounts for over two years amid growing concerns of financial mishandling within the Council.
“We requested the bank statement because, since 2020, we could not receive any financial statement from all our four bank accounts,” the acting Chairman told Alkamba Times.
“We don’t know anything about revenues, expenditures, and even reconciliation of council funds. And the law necessitates the Finance Director or the CEO to provide a financial report every three months,” he said.
Chairman Barry also blamed the CEO for the inappropriate awarding of Council contracts and projects, saying the latter has been nepotistic in his actions.
“Most of our projects are not going through proper tender and are awarded based on nepotism by the CEO. He will award contracts to his family members and relatives,” Barry told TAT.
“We are working with Reliance Financial Service to secure a loan of D10 million, but they want to give this scheme to someone outside the region, an Uncle to the Finance Director,”
“We don’t know the costs of all 15 boreholes, the office building, and a clinic project we have implemented. None of them, except the Bansang treasury,” he said.
In response to these allegations, the CEO said, “We have a new system in all councils called Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS); we are not able to produce any financial report since the introduction of the system in 2021.”
Ceesay added that efforts are ongoing to provide the financial report with the help of experts and dismiss claims of mismanagement.
“I came to the Council between February and March 2021 and implemented only six borehole projects. So if they are saying 15, that’s false because I did not implement them,” Ceesay explains.
On awarding contracts to relatives and family, Ceesay rebuffed them as “false,” saying all Council projects are awarded through the proper procurement processes by the contract committee.
However, Ceesay slammed Chairman Barry for attempting to use Council revenues and projects for his political gains ahead of the local government elections.
“We have a project proposal with Reliance Financial Service amounting to D10 million, and he (Barry) proposed to do an inaugural program for the project when we have yet to finalize or receive any money from the bank, so I rejected that. “Ceesay added, saying the false allegations against him emanated from his rejection of the Chairman’s proposal mentioned above.