According to a document seen by TAT, the former chairman of Brikama Area Council and two senior officers were involved in borrowing D2.5 million from Jah Oil Gambia Limited to pay council staff salaries.
Sheriffo Sonko, the former Chairman; Modou Jonga, the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO); and Alhagie Jeng, the Director of Finance, were the BAC officials reportedly involved in the transaction.
BAC is the biggest council with the most significant revenue base in the country, and this arrangement was as recently as November 2022.
“Following a prior discussion on 29th November 2022 between Brikama Area Council (BAC) and Jah Oil Gambia Limited, we, the undersigned authorities of Brikama Area Council, hereby agreed to take on credit the sum of GMD 2 500, 000 000.00 (two million five hundred thousand only).
“Repayment Period: February to May 2023. Monthly Repayment Amount: GMD 625 000.00(DSix Hundred and Twenty-five thousand Dalasi only).”
However, TAT was informed that the borrowed sum was never used to pay staff salaries.
Multiple sources within and outside the BAC were contacted who told TAT the loan had never been used for the stated purpose and that BAC continues to need help paying staff salaries.
Sources close to Jah Oil also said the BAC is yet to complete repayment of the loan, going by the agreed repayment plan from February to May 2023.
The document seen by TAT and signed between the two parties also stated that immediately after Jah Oil disbursed the loan, the BAC will purchase all council’s fuel needs from Jah Oil for the fiscal year 2023.
TAT contacted Chairman Sheriffo Sonko, now a protocol officer at the Gambia’s diplomatic mission in the republic of Turkey, who has not replied to our message up to the time of going to press.
BAC CEO Modou Jonga and one Hydara, Managing Director of Jah Oil Gambia Limited, promised to get back to TAT this week to set the records straight.
It would be recalled that the BAC, under its new chairman, Yankuba Darboe, recently suspended 14 staff including Alhagie Jeng, the Director of Finance, on suspicion of engaging in corrupt practices.