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 KMC ASKS BARROW TO MEDIATE
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toubab1020



11602 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2022 :  08:00:09  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
SNIPPET:
"In August last year, KMC was gripped by a reputational crisis after the mayor, Talib Bensouda alleged the chief executive officer Mrs Sainabou Martin Sonko illegally conducted financial transactions totaling about D12 million."


==========

https://standard.gm/gambia-news/kmc-asks-barrow-to-mediate-in-row-with-ministry/

==========


By Omar Bah on January 18, 2022

Kanifing Mayor Talib Bensouda has confirmed reaching out to President Adama Barrow for him to negotiate in the row between the council and the Ministry of Lands.

Last week, the ministry instituted a commission of inquiry to probe into ‘allegations of fraud and malpractice’ at the council.

In August last year, KMC was gripped by a reputational crisis after the mayor, Talib Bensouda alleged the chief executive officer Mrs Sainabou Martin Sonko illegally conducted financial transactions totaling about D12 million.

Mrs Martin Sonko was barred from entering the KMC compound even after the local government ministry asked her to return to work following a decision to suspend her by a council resolution.

The council has since described the commission as a witch-hunt.

But commenting on the matter for the first time in a Star FM exclusive to be aired today, Mayor Bensouda said: “We have notified the president about the issue going on between us and the ministry and we asked to mediate between the two sides to address the matter amicably.”

He said the decision to reach out to the president was reached at a council meeting last Wednesday.

“I was tasked by the council general assembly with two options, which is to go to court and challenge the legitimacy of the Ministry of Local Government’s commission of inquiry because we feel there are procedures. The other thing was to reach out to the president to inform him that we are not an enemy to the government,” he said.

Mayor Bensouda said he didn’t go to State House to beg him to stop the commission of inquiry as being rumored in some quarters.

“I cannot tell you all about what we discussed there but the president told us that he wants the work to continue because the development of this country is what interests him, so the conversation was positive,” he said.

Commenting on the commission of inquiry, Mayor Bensouda added: “The KMC is not running away from public scrutiny because since I was voted into office, every year we are audited by the National Audit Office and in every three months, the ministry sends inspection team as part of a routine exercise to monitor the council.

However, seven months ago when the problem started we reported the matter to the police and the Ministry of Lands who were supposed to look into the matter through the Local Government Service Commission but when we sent the report and the investigation commenced at the Police Fraud Squad, the Ministry of Lands decided to stop the investigations and that really surprised us because every citizen has the right to report a matter to the police and if that happens, the police must investigate. Nobody should stop an investigation.”

Bensouda said the ministry didn’t also allow the service commission to investigate the matter but instead “they said they have a report from the other side which they never showed us.

“Even the inspection team they sent to KMC based on the report I sent them was asked to look at things I never complained about. But despite that, we allowed them to do the inspection with full council backing but two months after the inspection, we have not received the report from the inspection team. Now they said they set up a commission based on a report we have not seen. This is why we think they have an ulterior motive: they want something beyond the truth,” he alleged.

He added: “This is why we want to question the legitimacy of the commission because the Local Government Act clearly states that if the minister sends an inspection team they should take that report and direct the council to call a general council to share the report with them and instruct the council on what to do. So if the council refuses their instructions then they will set up a commission of inquiry. That’s what the law says.”

“So we want to see the report of the inspection team because I received credible evidence that the report cleared the council from all wrongdoings and found the other side culpable,” he said.

He alleged that one of the people accused by his office has been appointed as a diplomat to Russia.

On allegations that he illegally benefitted from the waste management trucks, Mayor Bensouda said the truck contract was taken through due diligence and that it was investigated well before it was commissioned.

He said reporting “corruption in this country is now becoming a crime”. “This is very worrying because it will scare people from reporting issues of corruption,” he said.

He urged Gambians to put their differences aside for the interest of national unity. “Gambia is a small country, elections will of course happen and ideas will be different but what is important is that we are all one family.”

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Momodou



Denmark
10865 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2022 :  15:27:07  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
High Court orders KMC inquiry suspend proceedings
The Standard: JANUARY 20, 20
22
https://standard.gm/gambia-news/high-court-orders-kmc-inquiry-suspend-proceedings0/

Justice B.V.P Mahoney of Court of Appeal, who is authorized by the Chief Justice via a fiat to hear and determine this case, has on Tuesday ordered the newly established KMC commission of inquiry to suspend proceedings until the court hears from the Attorney General and local government minister in respect of the order to stay proceedings.

The KMC had filed an ex-parte earlier this week seeking, among other things, an order suspending the establishment of the commission of inquiry, arguing it was not done in accordance with the applicable law.

The Council also sought an order for all proceedings of the commission be stayed pending the determination of the matter.


The Order, seen by The Standard, reads in part:

“The summons is supported by a statement containing grounds upon which the said relief is sought to the effect:

- that the 1 st Respondent’s decision to institute the Commission is wrong in law in that the mandatory preconditions set out in Section 151 (2) of the Local Government Act have not been met;


- that the decision is ultra vires, illegal and in excess of the powers of the Minister;

- that the decision of the Minister is unreasonable, illegal and an abuse of power in that part of the subject matter of the Commission is pending before another suit at the High Court;

- that the decision of the Minister is unreasonable and contrary to natural justice as the subject matters of the Commission were subject of an Inspection and Report which have not been shared with the Applicant;

- that the Minister acted in abuse of power, in bad faith and contrary to the requirements of Sections 148, 149, 150 and 151 of the Local Government Act; that the said decision is ultra vires, illegal and in excess of the powers of the Minister under Section 151 (2) of the Local Government Act as the Minister does not have the power to institute a commission of inquiry in the circumstances; and that the decision is ultra vires, illegal and in excess of the powers of the Minister as the Commission envisaged in Section 151 (2) (a) of the Local Government Act is an administrative investigatory commission and not a commission of inquiry pursuant to Section 2 of the Commission of Inquiry Act and Section 200 of the Constitution which he sought to establish.

The summons is also supported by an affidavit sworn to by Ousman Gaye, the Clerk of the Applicant and attached thereto are 7 documents mainly correspondence between the Applicant and the 1 st Respondent including Applicant Council’s resolutions, Government Gazette and writ of summons in another case.”

Justice Mahoney said the court has jurisdiction to entertain.

“I am further satisfied that the applicant has complied with the procedure set out in Order 53 of the Rules of the High Court in England and that the Applicant has established more than the minimum requirement for the grant of leave to apply for an order of certiorari against the Respondents.”

“Since the Commission instituted by the I st Respondent has already been established by Gazette dated 3 1 st December 2021, it would be an exercise in futility to suspend the establishment of the Commission. However, considering the circumstances in this application brought by the Applicant particularly the challenge to the legality of the institution and establishment of the Commission and the allegations of procedural impropriety and infringement of the rules of natural justice, I believe it would be in the interest of justice that the proceedings of the Commission be stayed pending further order of this Court upon the Respondents being given an opportunity to be heard on the issue.”

The parties will argue the application on notice for stay on Monday 24d1 January 2022 at 2pm. The ruling on the application on notice for stay to be delivered on Tuesday 25th January 2022.

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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toubab1020



11602 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2022 :  21:16:45  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Snippet from the above post:

"The parties will argue the application on notice for stay on Monday 24d1 January 2022 at 2pm. The ruling on the application on notice for stay to be delivered on Tuesday 25th January 2022."



That was very Quick....interesting

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 20 Jan 2022 21:19:18
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Momodou



Denmark
10865 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2022 :  21:28:22  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The High Court Dismissed KMC's Application to Stay (suspend) the Commission of Inquiry.
By Kexx Sanneh


Justice Basiru V.P. Mahoney today dismissed the Kanifing Municipal Council’s (KMC) application seeking to stay (stop) the proposed Commission of Inquiry.

The Minister of Local Government established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate allegations of corruption and malpractice at the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) and for connected matters.

KMC wanted the Court to stay the proceedings of the Commission pending the hearing and determination of the their case against the Minister challenging the legality of the Commission.

KMC filed their main application for certiorari and a motion on notice for stay of proceedings of the Commission. The Respondents filed an affidavit in-opposition.

KMC, in its application for stay of proceedings of the Commission stated that it received a letter from the Minister of Lands in January 2022 informing it that the Ministry had established the Commission acting pursuant to the power under saction 151 (1) (a) of the Local Government Act and that the Council believes that the setting up of the Commission is in excess of the powers contained in the said section hence the application for Certiorari to quash the establishment of the Commission.

KMC alleged that the Commission has not been established under due process of law. The lawyer for the Council submitted that the Council will be prejudiced if it will have to participate in proceedings that it is challenging the legitimacy of the Commission.

It is the position of the Council that there is no urgency in the Commission commencing its proceedings because the inspector whose investigation allegedly led to the establishment of the Commission finished their inspection sometime in August 2021 while the Commission was established in January 2022.

The Respondents, on the other hand, in their affidavit in-opposition presented that the Minister acted within the powers conferred on him by section 151 subsection 2 paragraph (a) of the Local Government Act. They submitted that the application for a stay of proceedings of the Commission is a mere attempt to delay the proceedings of the Commission.

Lawyer Binga D. for the Respondent’s submitted that an application for certi is to quash a decision of a judicial body. He said application for stay does not apply in certiorari cases.

Binga furthered submitted that there is a presumption that the establishment of the Commission was done in line with the law unless proved otherwise as held in the case of Ya Kumba Jaiteh versus the Clerk of the National Assembly on the subject of presumption of regularity of official acts.

In his ruling, Justice Mahoney held that stay of proceedings is a valid application in a Certiorari matter where the circumstances demand.

Justice Mahoney said there is one issue brought out by Counsel Binga which affects the court's discretion. That is the submission on presumption of regularity of official acts and the Supreme Court decision on the issue.

Justice Mahoney cited the Supreme Court decisions in Ya Kumba Jaiteh versus the Clerk of the National Assembly delivered on the 28 January 2020 and Gambia Participates versus the Clerk of the National Assembly as well as Section 17 subsection 2 of the State Proceedings Act that an interim injunction cannot be granted against the State.

The court held that the Minister exercised his powers under the Local Government Act, rightly or wrongly, and is presumed to be regular until determined otherwise in the main suit.

“Going by the Supreme Court decisions in Ya Kumba Jaiteh versus The Clerk of the National Assembly and Gambia Participates versus the Clerk of the National Assembly, no court can restrain the performance of the power exercised by the State,” Justice Mahoney said.

He said in this case KMC wants to restrain the performance of the official act of the Minister, which cannot be granted. He added that the court is bound by the Supreme Court decisions mentioned above.

“This court is bound by the decision of the Supreme Court and as the facts in the instant matter fall within the presumption of regularity of official acts for which the law prohibits the granting of an injunction to prevent the act being performed, the application for a stay of proceedings of the Commission of Inquiry pending the determination of the main suit cannot be granted and is dismissed,” the Judge ruled.

The court urged both parties to file their arguments in the main suit latest Friday and the court will preside over it on Monday, 31st January.

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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toubab1020



11602 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2022 :  21:49:18  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So continues on 31st January 2022,The Lawyers will start work in ernest....The Commission of Enquiry will take even more legal time to reach a decision.


+++++++++++

SNIPPET FRON THE ABOVE POSTING:

“This court is bound by the decision of the Supreme Court and as the facts in the instant matter fall within the presumption of regularity of official acts for which the law prohibits the granting of an injunction to prevent the act being performed, the application for a stay of proceedings of the Commission of Inquiry pending the determination of the main suit cannot be granted and is dismissed,” the Judge ruled.

The court urged both parties to file their arguments in the main suit latest Friday and the court will preside over it on Monday, 31st January."

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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Momodou



Denmark
10865 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2022 :  20:35:42  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The KMC Inspection Report Exposes the Ill-Intention of the Minister and his Illegal KMC Commission.
By Madi Jobarteh


I have in my possession the Final Report of the Inspection Team deployed to KMC by the Minister for regional governments Musa Drammeh in August 2021. Reading the Report, I have come to the conclusion that the intention of Musa Drammeh to constitute a commission of inquiry on KMC is not genuine at all. I have no doubts that any decent citizen who has access to this report will have no choice but to stand up and speak out for the Pres. Adama Barrow to sack Musa Drammeh immediately and subject him to an investigation in the way and manner he has mismanaged that local government system.

No wonder, since this Final Report was submitted to him in October 2021, it was never made public. Not only did he fail to publish the report to demonstrate good governance but he also never acted on it. Rather the Minister decided to create a commission of inquiry in January 2022. Why?

We all recall in July 2021 when the KMC General Council decided to suspend the CEO and the Director of Finance for suspected corruption. They then took the right decision to report the matter to the police to investigate the matter. Instead of supporting the KMC in this crusade, the Minister rather caused the riot police to invade KMC grounds to force the reinstatement of the CEO. When that failed, the Minister then decided to immediately establish an Inspection Team in August 2021 to investigate the entire KMC.

In October 2021, the Inspection Team submitted their final report to the Minister. The Inspection Team comprised five officials – two from his own Ministry and three from the Internal Audit of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. Instead of the Minister acting on the findings and recommendations of the final report, he rather decided to set up a whole new commission of inquiry, albeit illegally.

The Inspection Team should be commended indeed for doing a very thorough and professional job as manifested by the quality of their report. In their report, the Inspection Team has found no misconduct, act of corruption or abuse of power by the KMC Mayor Talib Bensouda. Rather, what the Inspection Team found out was blatant and deliberate acts of abuse of office, negligence, unprofessionalism and insubordination by the CEO and other top officials.

For example, the Final Report found that the CEO had disregarded the Mayor’s advice not to enter into a dubious loan agreement which tantamount to insubordination. They also found that the CEO disregarded basic standards, due diligence and transparency on a wide range of issues including staff appointments, loans and contracts, among others. The Final Report also found the CEO wanting in failing to provide the necessary notifications to the Local Government Service Commission on these issues, as required by law. Finally, the Inspectors said the CEO had received a sum of D30,000 from a company which amounted to bribery.

Which Minster on earth will receive such a compelling report from an investigation team that he established himself yet he goes ahead to ignore that report? Minister Drammeh should be forced to accept this report and act on it without delay. If he had acted on this report, adequately and on time, he would have helped and saved not only KMC but also the entire Gambia from corruption and misery. But Minister Drammeh rather decided to bury this report and set up a phony commission of inquiry. He should tell us his reasons.

What will his so-called commission of inquiry do that his Inspection Team did not already do? Why would he waste public resources to do a job that was already done efficiently and diligently by another body that he himself set up? What does Minister Musa Drammeh truly want?

I hope and pray that the High Court will finally agree with KMC to throw out his illegal commission of inquiry. If the Minister is indeed interested in fighting corruption, then let him send Inspection Teams to each and every area council. More importantly, if the Minster wishes to improve local governance and community development, let him embark on serious reforms in the local governments.

Since 2017 when Musa Drammeh assumed this position, he has offered no progress whatsoever. The local government system is the foundation of national development. But this cannot be done until and unless the Local Government Act is reviewed in order to modernize and democratize it and make local governance truly decentralized. Yet since 2017, the Minster has failed to bring about any legal and institutional reforms within the local governance system. Therefore, why should Musa Drammeh continue to be a Minster. He should be sacked and investigated, ASAP.

For The Gambia Our Homeland.

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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toubab1020



11602 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2022 :  23:07:57  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

SNIPPET FROM THE ABOVE POSTING:

"I hope and pray that the High Court will finally agree with KMC to throw out his illegal commission of inquiry. If the Minister is indeed interested in fighting corruption, then let him send Inspection Teams to each and every area council. More importantly, if the Minster wishes to improve local governance and community development, let him embark on serious reforms in the local governments."

++++++++++++

MONDAY 31st January 2022 is the day which will be remembered in the history of the beginning of NEW GAMBIA

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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Momodou



Denmark
10865 Posts

Posted - 29 Jan 2022 :  14:51:14  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By Kexx Sanneh

A few days ago, I laid my hands on the report by the inspectors into the Kanifing Municipal Council's alleged fraud and connected matters. The Inspection Team was constituted by the Minister of Lands and Local Government.

This is a case I have been following, and it is highly a matter of public consumption.

Below is the full report of the inspection exercise on the alleged fraud at the Kanifing Municipal Council.

"THE REPORT OF THE INSPECTION EXERCISE ON THE FRAUD ALLEGATIONS AT THE KMC.


Consequent to the purported fraud allegations levelled against the CEO of Kanifing Municipal council and some staff by the Lord Mayor of the Council, the Ministry for Lands and Regional Government decided to dispatch a team of inspectors to investigate the matter and verify the authenticity of the fraud allegations.

To establish the facts, the inspection team was tasked to look into the following under-mentioned subheadings, which also constituted the terms of reference for the exercise.

• A loan amounting to twelve million dalasis purportedly secured in order to buy a parcel of land for senior management of KMC.

• The alleged forgery of a letter captioned: Guarantee Purchase of Land Advance Agreement purportedly written by the Council dated 23rd, June 2021and sent to AGIB

• Salary advances to Councilors

• Renewal of staff contracts

• Solicitation and receipt of a bribe amounting to 030,000

• All contracts awarded by the Council

• Unilateral stoppage of salary deduction

• Staff appointment from July 2020 to date.

According to the inspectors the process of looking at the aforementioned points certain revelations pop up and this prompted the team to look into new revelations in order to establish the facts as contained in this report.

THE METHODOLOGY USED.

The Inspection team reviewed secondary data sources including official letters, the list of names of staff of the Council, bank accounts, contract letters, appointment letters, General Council minutes, and other relevant documents. We also hold face-to-face interviews with persons of Interest such as the Lord Mayor, The CEO of KMC, Senior Officials of the Council, staff that was alleged to have committed the fraud and we also meet third parties involved in the saga. We also embark on side visits to relevant institutions and locations.

REPORT ON THE FINDINGS ON THE FRAUD ALLEGATI0N INSPECTION AT THE KMC.

1. A loan amounting to 12 million Dalasis to acquire a piece of land measuring 100m x 100m

The Kanifing Municipal Council staff welfare association (KMCSWA) did apply for a loan of Twelve million Dalasi (D12, 000,000) from the Arab Gambia Islamic Bank (AGIB) and the Kinifing Municipal Council (KMC) was used as corporate guarantor. The said loan attracts an interest of D4, 030, 511.

The reason for applying for the said loan was purported to purchase a parcel of land for the senior staff of the Council. Sainabou Martin Sonko upon assuming office as the new CEO had some plans for the staff that she wanted to initiate. Among those plans was to help staff who do not have land to be able to acquire a plot of land through the KMCSWA.

As a result of that, she decided to lead the efforts to search for a parcel of land and a loan to buy a parcel of land once it is found. This was all to be done through the KMCSWA.

A list of thirty-five names of senior staff who are ostensibly interested in plots of land was prepared by Baboucarr Sanyang in consultation with Sainabou Martin-Sonko and was sent to AGIB. The bank wanted to have a list of those that are interested in plots of land as part of the documents that should accompany the loan application form.

1.1 THE FINDINGS OF THE INSPECTORS.

a. The inspection team gathered that there was indeed a loan guarantee purportedly issued by the KMC on behalf of the KMCSWA to the tune of Twelve MIiiion Dalasi (012, 000,000) for the purchase of a plot of land for the senior management staff of the KMC.

The plot of land measuring 100mx100m located at Brufut belongs to one Mariama Fanneh and was valued at GMD7.5 million and GMD4.5 million, being open market and forced market value prices respectively, by Agbon & Associate a Real Estate Consultant firm.

This company was recommended to the KMCSWA by AGIB bank because of their 'professionalism' In, the way they do their property valuation over the years.

b. In addition, when the KMCSWA applied for the said loan for the purchase of the aforementioned parcel of land; the bank did ask the Staff Welfare Association to provide the valuation price for the land.

However, the Association could not provide the bank with a certified property valuation officer and that was when the bank recommended them to a property valuation company that have done similar business for clients of the bank before who happened to be Agbon & Associate.

c. When the bank realizes that the forced sales value price for the said land was D4,5 million and the open market value price at D7.5 million, the bank decided not to take the Lease documents for the said land as collateral and instead requested another type of collateral.

This was when the idea of having a corporate guarantor was brought to the fore. This according to the bank, was requested in the event that the KMCSWA defaulted in re-paying the loan and they wanted to recover their monies even if they are to sell the parcel of land at the forced sales value price and the market value price they would not be in a position to recover the loan that the KMCSWA was applying.

d. The Inspection team further gathered that despite Agbon & Associate informing the KMCSWA of the real cost of the plot of land as per their valuation, the latter decided to go ahead and purchase the plot of land at Ten MIiiion Dalasl (D10, 000,000).

According to Baboucarr Sanyang (the treasurer of the association) "they have already on the price with the landowner and that is what they were going to pay despite the valuation price of. Agbon & Associate." It should be noted that the valuation was done for the consumption of the KMCSWA and not the bank.

This was the reason why when the land valuation was being carried out an executive member of the KMCSWA in the person of Baboucarr Sanyang accompanied staff of Agbon &Associate to the parcel of land to witness the process.

e. The Inspection team gathered that there is no loan policy, instruments, or document guiding the issuance of loans or the provision of loan guarantee within the KMC. However, It was noted that, if there is any possibility of obtaining a loan for the KMC or if the KMC was to issue a loan guarantee on behalf of any entity within the Council, then it has to come to the attention of the General Council for ratification once ratified by the General Council the CEO would have to communicate the resolution of the General Council to the Minister for Local Government and Lands for approval.

g. On the purported list of 35 senior staff that were interested in plots of land, it was discovered that two of them (Fatoumatta Saho Cham and Ebrima S.K Fofana) were no longer working for the KMC.

The inspection team engaged the people who are on the list, and apart from Alieu Keita and the CEO Sainabou who are on the list and are aware of the transaction the rest all claimed not to be aware of any plot of land being negotiated on their behalf nor have any of them discussed with the KMCSWA to take a loan on their behalf to purchase a parcel of land for them.

h. The according to Sainabou Martin-Sonko and Baboucarr Sanyang, the reason for applying for a loan of 12 million dalasis while they agreed with the landowner to purchase the land at 10 million dalasis was that they wanted to use part of the monies to pay for the clearing of the parcel of land, pay for the demarcation of the plots and for the bank to deduct their charges.

According to the duo, if they had applied for the exact amount, they would have fallen short of the agreed purchase price with the landowner.

i. It was discovered that the executive of the KMCSWA comprises thirteen persons but, it appears that only four persons (BakaryJawo-President, Baboucarr Sanyang-Treasurer Mam Kaba Bass-Vice-president, and a non-executive member Salnabou Martin Sonko) are the ones actively running the executive.

When this 'executive' meets they mostly do not have a quorum yet the quartet mostly takes decisions on behalf of the KMCSWA thereby violating the constitution of the association.

Other members of the executive were neither involved in the transaction for the loan nor were they involved in the negotiation for the purchase of a parcel of land at Brufut.
The people involved in the negotiation of the loan are CEO Salnabou Martin-Sonko, Baboucarr Sanyang, and BakaryJawo. There is no evidence to suggest that the trio was negotiating the loan on behalf of KMCSWA.

We could not find any minutes of the executive meeting where the matter of a loan was discussed nor do we see any evidence to suggest that the staff and management of the council are aware of the transaction of the said loan.

j. It was also discovered that the CEO Sainabou Martin-Sonko is not a member of the executive of KMCSWA as earlier stated as per the dictates of the constitution of the association. Based on that, CEO Sonko should not be a signatory to their accounts.

However, she became one of the signatories to their account at the AGIB Bank which is not in line with the constitution of the association.
Moreover, she signed a letter together with the president of the KMCSWA applying for a loan of 12 million Dalasi purportedly on behalf of the association which she should not have even signed; for she is not a member of the executive of the association.

This suggests that the CEO had a vested interest in the whole saga. The CEO told the inspection team that she was a signatory to the account because she wanted to 'monitor' the account to know the Inflow and outflow of the funds in the account. It was put to her that she could have done that without being a signatory and she agreed to that proposition.

k. It was revealed that the issue of applying for a loan on behalf of the KMCSWA was championed by the CEO Sainabou Martin-Sonko even though she is not part of the executive. According to her, she champions this cause because she wanted to help her staff to acquire plots of land.

Furthermore, the CEO is aware that in 2018 the KMCSWA took a loan at the Trust bank Limited and defaulted in paying that loan. As a result, the KMC main account with the said bank was debited in order for the bank to recover its outstanding balance.

This was because the KMC was used as a corporate guarantor by one of the former CEOs and when the association defaulted in repayment of the loan the bank debited the sum of D696, 609. 77 being the outstanding loan balance which she is aware of.

l. The corporate guarantee letter for the loan was signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Salnabou Martin-Sonko and Director of Finance, Dr. Alleu Keita of the KMC thereby committing the Council to take full responsibility for the loan in case of default.

The loan guarantee was neither brought to the attention of the General Council for deliberation nor was the consent of the MoLRG sought. It was discovered that the only thing that was stopping AGIB bank from approving the loan was the institutional or corporate guarantee letter since they have rejected the idea of using the land lease document as collateral as earlier noted.

m. Upon receiving the corporate guarantee letter, AGIB immediately disbursed the funds to the account of the KMCSWA with the bank. On the same date. GMD10, 000, 000.00 (Ten Million Dalasl) was transferred to the account of Mariama Fanneh with AGIB as they allege the cost of the land. GMD1, 500, 000.00 (One million five hundred thousand dalasis) was withdrawn by Baboucarr Sanyang -the treasurer of the KMCSWA.

The inspection team also discovered that Sanyang ostensibly paid the said amount to Mr. Sheriff Sarr of Sarr Construction Company situated in Kanifing Jimpex Road who is a contractor and a former councilor of KMC for clearing, demarcating, and paving of roads in the acquired land and payment of capital gain tax to the GRA.

However, this could not be substantiated by the inspection team nor could Mr. Sanyang furnish the inspection team with any genuine receipt of payment emanating from Sarr Construction Company and GRA.

n. It was also discovered that the CEO and her team of those who purchase the parcel of land do not know the price for each plot of land if they are to sell them to those that are purportedly interested in the land and are on the list nor do they have any payment plan towards servicing the plot of land.

Even when the land was bought those that are on the list were never Informed of the availability of the parcel of land and they were never called to a meeting to discuss how the land will be demarcated and sold in order for the KMCSWA to repay the loan that was applied.

It should be noted that the CEO Salnabou Martin Sonko did state that if Council staff could not afford the plots of land, they have plans to sell these plots to people outside of council who could afford them thus they can have the money to repay the loan.

o. It is observed that when the Lord Mayor called AGIB to cancel the loan transaction, the landowner returned the ten million Dalasi that was paid into her account. It happened that there were some monies already in the KMCSWA account with AGIB prior to the 12 million being deposited into the account.

Therefore, when the whole deal was frozen the bank was obliged to debit the main account of the KMC of D985, 539.65 being the outstanding balance from the loan transaction.

The. Inspectors RECOMMENDATIONS

#10003; The Kanlflng Municipal Council should desist from serving as corporate guarantor to any association within the council.

#10003; CEO Salnabou Martin Sonko, Baboucarr Sanyang, BakaryJawo, and Dr. Alieu Keita must account for the monies that the AGIB bank has debited from the KMC main account with the bank amounting to D985, 539.65 being the outstanding balance of the 12 million Dalasi that the KMCSW took from the bank.

#10003; The executive members of the association should take up their responsibilities as dictated by their constitution.

#10003; Mr. Baboucarr Sanyang must account for the D1, 500, 000 that he withdrew from the KMCSWA account and he alleges to have paid it to Mr. Sarr.

#10003; Only the executive members of the association as stipulated in their constitution should be signatories to their accounts.

#10003; The CEO should be replaced as a signatory to the account of the Welfare Association.

2. SOLIDATATION OF AND RECEIPT OF A BRIBE BY THE CEO OF KMC FROM ALMOT

Context: A verbal agreement was entered into between ALMOT Real Estate Company and the KMC brokered by Bolong Badjle a staff of the KMC for the purchase of one Hundred and Sixty-Seven (167) plots of land situated at Kunkujang village, (Gunjur) from ALMOT to be sold to the junior staff of the Council.

This agreement was initiated when Jaja Cham was acting as CEO but there was no formal signing between the two parties. When the new CEO Sainabou Martin-Sonko assumes office she was informed about this verbal agreement that the Council had with ALMOT and she ordered ALMOT to produce all the legal documents for the said land.

The CEO of ALMOT (Mr. Danso) eventually provided some form of documentation such as land transfer and it was accepted pending his acquisition of a lease document for the said land.

It should be noted 19 other names were later added to the 167 names that constitute the initial agreement thus bringing the total number of plots to 186. These new inclusions were to able allocated their plots in another location in Kitty village.

Thereafter, a formal agreement was entered into between ALMOT and the KMCSWA; signed in the office of the CEO for the real estate company to provide the 167 plots of land for interested staff of Council at the cost of D60, 000 per plot payable in 40 months.

It should be noted that the total cost for the 167 plots of land stood at Ten Million, Two Hundred Thousand Dalasi (D10, 200, 000) as per the agreement between ALMOT and the KMCSWA. Staff who were interested in the plots had their salaries been deducted D1, 500 monthly, and these monies were collected by the KMCSWA and paid to ALMOT.

These staff deductions started in October 2020 until May 2021 when the KMCSWA decided that ALMOT must show the staff their plots of land that they have been paying towards. In the absence of that, the association would stop making payments to ALMOT.

When ALMOT failed to honour his side of the bargain, the KMCSWA decided to stop paying the staffs deduction to ALMOT. This according to the CEO was to put pressure on Mr. Danso to stick to the earlier agreement for him to regularize the documents for his land as well as to demarcate the land and allocate plots of land to the staff that is paying towards their plots. When the payment to ALMOT was not forthcoming the CEO of ALMOT Mr. Alieu Danso decided to make a follow-up about the monies.

During the process of Mr. Danso going after his money, the following findings were gathered. (It should be noted that this land transaction is different from Martama Fanneh's land deal in which a loan of 12 million dalasis was applied for on behalf of the KMCSWA).

2.1 FINDINGS of the inspectors

a. It was discovered that in a letter written by the CEO of ALMOT Mr. Danso to the CEO of KMC, (Sainabou) the former was requesting for the CEO of KMC to pay upfront the sum of D4.5 million Dalasl towards the payment plan for the plots of land for the Council staff.

b. The D30, 000 allege bribery received by the CEO Salnabou Martin Sonko from the CEO of ALMOT Alleu Danso; is a result of the contractual agreement to purchase a plot of land for the KMCSWA.

Mr. Alieu Danso alleges that he once received I called from Baboucarr Sanyang stating that CEO Sainabou Martin Sonko requested for him to give her One MIiiion Oalasl (D1, 000, 000) as 'cola nut' in order for her to speed up payment of the D4.5 million he earlier requested to cover up 12 months as the first installment.

Alieu Danso allegedly declined to honour the request solicited by CEO Sonko. Mr. Danso later said that he was called again by Baboucarr Sanyang allegedly conveying another message from CEO Sonka that, Mr. Danso can now give her One Hundred Thousand dalasi (D100, 000.00) instead, which Mr. Danso again said he does not have.

c. However, Mr. Oanso told the inspection team that it was after these calls that he decided to come and meet CEO Salnabou Martin-Sonko personally and persuade her to take Thirty Thousand Oalasl (D30, 000) instead. He said he gave the money to Sainabou in the presence of Baboucarr Sanyang in expectation of favour to receive the D4.5 million he had earlier requested.

d. The CEO Sainabou Martin Sonko also confirmed to the inspection team of receiving the D30, 000. 00 from Mr. Danso. However, she denied the allegations that she received the money as a 'bribe' in order for her to expedite the payment. She further stated that it does not make any sense knowing that the KMCSWA did not have 4.5 million in its account to make such payment to ALMOT.

e. Sainabou Martin-Sonko further stated that she refused to take the offer of D30,000 from Mr. Danso of ALMOT thrice but she was later convinced to receive the money by Baboucarr Sanyang saying in Wollof: "li terrango la, teh tarranga ken do kodelodeh"', loosely meaning: This is a favour and no one rejects a favour. It was as a result of the persuasion of her colleague Baboucarr Sanyang that she finally accepted the said money.

f. However, in our engagement with Buboucarr Sanyang on the aforesaid, he denied ever being present when the CEO received an amount of D30, 000 from Mr. Danso.

e. He further denied that he has ever told Mr. Danso that the CEO of KMC wanted him to give her One Million dalasi and One Hundred Thousand Dalasi respectively. Accordingly, he did admit that he has seen Mr. Danso in the CEO's office on two occasions but could not tell what they were discussing.

h. In another separate engagement with Mr. Danso and Sainabou Martin Sonko respectively; they both confirmed to the inspection team for the third time that in all their meetings Baboucarr Sanyang is always present and he was there when the CEO received the money.

i. In having two admissions and one denial we have concluded that Mr. Sanyang was indeed present when the D30, 000 was given to CEO Sainabou Martin-Sonko. This is because Baboucarr did later admit that it could be possible that he was present when he was confronted with the admission of the CEO but could not remember if the money was given to Sainabou. Again there is no point for the CEO to accept receiving the money in the presence of Baboucarr when that was not the case.

THE INSPECTORS RECOMMENDATIONS

#10003; It was confirmed by both Mr. Danso and Sainabou Martin Sonka that the sum of D30, 000 passed hands between them and knowing that that was done during executing her duties either covertly or overtly to influence her decision in favour of the request from ALMOT even though the KMCSWA may not have such monies is in itself is a betrayal of trust of a public official holding public office and therefore such a practice must be condemned and if possible sanctioned.

#10003; CEOs of the Council should not use their office for private gains when executing their duties as public officials.

#10003; The staff welfare executive should completely desist from informal transactions with a third party without the knowledge of the general membership as they are representing the interest of the general staff and not themselves.

#10003; The staff welfare executive should be transparent and accountable to their members at all times to ensure trust and confidence by organising annual general Meetings.

#10003; The welfare association should not look for money to the detriment of its members.

#10003; The CEO of ALMOT must be held responsible for attempting to bribe a public official.

3. FORGERY OF A LETTER CAPTIONED " GUARANTEE(PURCHASECOF LAND ADVANCE AGREEMENT)-KMCSWA DATED 23RD JUNE 2021.

iii. Context: The KMCSWA purportedly had plans to enter into another land deal on behalf of its members. It could be recalled that they had already entered into a deal with ALMOT for 167 plots of land. In their quest to buy more lands that will be later sold to their members led to opening two more bank accounts with Reliance Financial Service and AGIB bank.

According to Baboucarr Sanyang and the CEO, the purpose of opening these accounts apart from the one they had with Trust Bank Gambia Limited was to negotiate with these financial institutions for a loan If they happen to come across anyone selling a parcel of land in which they are interested in.

When the land that was on sale belonging to Marlama Fanneh situated at Brufut was brought to their attention; Sainabou Marlin Sonko decided to call the land vendor and expressed interest in the land. This was followed by another call in which both parties arrange to go and visit the land. On the appointed date Baboucarr Sanyang went to represent the CEO to visit the Land.

After he had visited the land he confers with the CEO and they both called the land vendor again to say that the KMCSWA was going to buy the land. They entered into a series of negotiations and they finally agreed to buy the land at Ten MIiiion Dalasi.

After they had agreed on the price for the sale of the land with Mariama Fanneh; Sainabou Martin Sonko and Baboucarr Sanyang on behalf of KCMCSWA decided to approach the AGIB bank for a loan.

Initially, they had wanted to apply for a loan of ten million Dalasl (D10, 000, 000) but they were advised that If the parcel of Iand they wanted to buy was ten million Dalasl as they have stated; It will be wise for them to apply for a loan that is above the price of the land considering that the bank was going to deduct the usual transaction fees.

This was when the KMCSWA decided to apply to AGIB for a loan of Twelve MIiiion dalasis. When they submitted their loan application, it was reviewed by the bank together with the property valuation document done by Agbon & Associate when the bank realizes that the force sales value for the said land is D4.5 million dalasi, it was decided that the KMCSWA should provide an institutional guarantee which was a usual thing that the bank asked for when institutions apply for a loan and they could not get all the required documents that the bank needs as collateral.

This prompted the KMCSWA and the CEO to draft a letter of guarantee and the inspection team made the following findings:

3.1 FINDINGS of the inspectors

a. The CEO, Sainabou Martin-Sonko, Baboucarr Sanyan & and Bakary Jawo are the main people behind the application of the loan of D12. 000, 000 on behalf of the KMCSWA.

When the application for the loan by the KMCSWA was stalled, It was the CEO who went to the bank on a personal business and decided to speak to Mr. Samba Faye of AGIB about the status of the application made by the welfare association.

It was from that informal meeting with Mr. Faye that the CEO was aware of what had stalled the application for the loan which was that the capital valuation of the land done was far less than the amount of loan they have applied. Instead of that, the KMCSWA needed to provide an institutional guarantee letter to support the loan application.

b. She then decided to approach the Lord Mayor regarding the issue of KMC to serve as an institutional guarantee on behalf of the KMCSWA.

The Lord Mayor allegedly enquired about the amount that the KMCSWA wish to apply and when the amount was known to him, he advised the CEO against the Idea of using KMC as an institutional guarantor for the said loan.

c. The CEO approached the Lord Mayor again on the same issue on two other separate occasions and the Lord Mayor advised the CEO not to proceed with the application of the said loan and instead look for some cheaper alternatives if she wants to buy land for her.

d. The CEO felt that since she initiated the idea of buying land to be sold to the staff, the only thing preventing her from having this loan in order to buy the land is the institutional guarantee and the Lord Mayor is not agree to the idea of KMC being used as collateral, she then decided to prepare a letter captioned "Guarantee (purchase of Land Advance Agreement)-KMCSWA" dated 23rd June, 202, behind the back of the Lord Mayor which was sent to the bank.

e. After she had written the letter and signed, she needed another person who is a signatory to the KMC account with AGIB bank and she decided to approach the Director of Finance Dr. Alleu Keita to be the second signatory to the letter while Baboucarr Sanyang and Bakery Jawo respectively signed as witnesses.

f. Although the CEO claimed to have sent the said letter to the office of the Mayor and the clerk of Council for their information, the inspection team could not find any evidence that this letter was ever sent to the office of the Mayor and the Clerk of Council.

g. However, the institutional guarantee provided to AGIB has fully committed the KMC to service the loan and its related cost in the event the KMCSWA defaults in paying back the loan.

Under normal operating procedures within the KMC, if a loan was to be obtained by the Council or if an institutional guarantee is to be provided by the KMC for a loan, It should pass through the General Council for ratification.

If it is ratified by General Council resolution, it would be forwarded to the Minister for Lands and Regional Government for final approval as per the Local Government, Finance and Audit Act 2004 section 14(1) which states that: "A Council may with the prior approval of the minister raise funds for the discharge of its function."

Accordingly, in signing an institutional guarantee purportedly from KMC on behalf of the KCMCSWA to secure a loan from AGIB, the CEO Sainabou Martin Sonko acted ultra-vires by not passing the request to the General Council and not informing the mayor to whom she is answerable.

In addition to that, the CEO flouted the embargo placed on loans by the very Council she is serving.

h. When the bank received the institutional letter of guarantee signed by both the CEO and the Director of Finance who are both signatories to the KMC main account, the bank assumes that due process has been followed since the letter is emanating from credible sources, decided to disburse the loan amounting to D12, 000, 000 as applied.

I. When the above transaction was brought to the attention of the Mayor, he quickly called the bank to reverse the transaction as he claimed he was not in the know.

In addition to that, the Director of Finance upon realising that the said transaction did not go through due process as per the workings of the Council regarding loan application also called Mr. samba Faye of the bank to block the transaction. Mr. Faye did confirm that he received a call from Dr. Keita but it was too late; for the funds had already been paid into the account of the association.

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE INSPECTORS

#10003; Those that sign the letter of guarantee committing KMC to be fully responsible for the loan must be held responsible for their actions.

#10003; The Bank should have done due diligence when the documents submitted by the KMCSWA were sent there particularly on the signatories to the accounts of the association.

#8730; The CEO's apparent disregard of the Mayor's advice and acting in a silo is tantamount to an act of insubordination and should be frowned upon accordingly.

4. SALARY ADVANCE TO COUNCILLORS

iv. Content: There have been salary advances given to Councillors and staff of the Council since the days of the former Lord Mayor Yankuba Colley.

When the new Mayor assumes office the same practice continues. Councillors and staff of the Council who are in dire need of cash do approach the Council through the Office of the CEO writing to apply for a salary advance.

When approval is granted, usually by the CEO and in some Instances the Mayor, the applicant would be given his/her approved amount after reviewing the applicant's salary or allowance.

The Council has no salary advance policy or guidelines to follow since the inception of this practice nor do they have a salary advance file for staff or Councillors as a point of reference.

4.1: FINDINGS OF THE INSPECTORS.

a. It is observed that some Councillors in some instances were giving loans which are five times more than their monthly allowances. For example, a particular Councillor once applied for a loan advance of D125, 000 which was to pay for the treatment of his child.

Another Councillor also applied for a salary loan advance of D81, 000 which was approved. However, it should be noted that at the time of writing this report the Councillor who was given a salary advance loan of D125, 000 is yet to fully pay the loan and there is a balance of D20, 000.

b. It is observed that salary advance loans to Councillors were not only given to a particular political party representative at the Council but for all the political parties that are represented in the Council who wish to apply for the loan.

c. It is also observed that even members of staff who are not Councillors also benefited from this loan scheme'.

d. It is observed that salary loan advance applications for the Councillors and members of staff were all approved by the CEO. In some instances, the Mayor will okay the application before the CEO signs the approval for the monies to be paid to a particular Councillor.

e. It is observed that the approval of the amount for the salary advance loans is left to the discretion of the CEO after she had seen the minutes of the HR Manager.

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE INSPECTORS.

#10003; It is recommended that salary advance loan to any person must not exceed 50% of his/her take-home salary at any given time.

#10003; The Council should develop a proper policy that will guide the issuance of salary loan advances to their staff and Councillors.

#10003; All those that owe Council relative to a loan that was given to them both past and present staff must pay their salary loan advance in full.

5. RENEWAL Of STAFF CONTRACT

v. Context: The Council has an establishment Committee that looks into personnel matters and the CEO by virtue of her position sits in that Committee.

The Council awards two types of contracts for personnel i: one is for a staff of the Council who reaches the statutory retirement age, and the council through the Establishment Committee feels that the services of such staff are still needed.

The other one is sought for the services of someone externally, people whose skills are rare and are unique and could not be found within the staff of the Council.

All contract matters are forwarded to the Establishment Committee sits over them and makes their recommendations and these recommendations are forwarded to the office of the CEO for further action.

5. FINDINGS OF THE INSPECTORS

a. It is observed that five people were awarded contracts during the period under review.

b. It is observed that these five people's contract award letters were not copied to the Local Government Service Commission for their Information.

c. The contracts awarded are for one year subject to renewal.

d. It is observed that the Council does not have a staff succession plan thus the awarding of contracts to retired staff of the Council.

e. It is observed that all the contracts awarded in 2021 were signed by the CEO.

f. It is also observed that some staff appointment letters did not capture their grade point.

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE INSPECTORS

#10003; The Council should put in place a succession plan for members of staff.

#10003; The Council should provide a scholarship scheme for the members of staff who will be trained in the tailor-made course for the effective and efficient functioning of the Council.

#10003; Appointment letters should capture the grade points of the appointee.

#10003; The local Government Service Commission should be notified of any contract appointment by the council.

6. STAFF APPOINTMENT FROM JULY 2020 TO DATE

VI. Context: As already highlighted the Council has an Establishment Committee that is responsible for the hiring of staff that the Council needs.

Usually, the management would come with a list of vacant positions that they want to be filled. These vacant positions are compiled and forwarded to the Establishment Committee for their most valid action.

After the Establishment Committee had deliberated over the matter; whatever recommendations they came up with are sometimes brought to the attention of the Mayor who would then advise the CEO were necessary to do the needful.

The Mayor does not deal with staff matters and this is the prerogative of the CEO who is the chief accounting officer of the Council.

6.1 FINDINGS OF THE INSPECTORS

a. It is observed that a total of eighty (80) staff were appointed /employed by the Council during the period under review without the knowledge of the Local Government Service Commission.

b. Out of this number, eight (8) staff were above Grade 5 thereby contravening the communique that was sent to all Local Government Council by the local Government Service Commission who mandated the councils to only recruit and appoint staff from Grade 1 to Grade 5 after following the due process of recruitment Staff above grade 5 are to be appointed by the Local Government Service Commission.

c. The CEO appointed 8 staff above grade 5 knowing full well that she should have notified the LGSC of the vacant positions thereby acting ultra vires.

d. The CEO appointed 72 staff ranging from grade 1-5· without copying the LGSC thereby failing in her duties.

e. It is observed that all the appointment letters were either signed by the CEO or were signed for, on her behalf.

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE INSPECTORS.

#10003; The Council must at all times comply with the established orders particularly when hiring staff.

#10003; Staff that are grade five and above and are employed by the Council should have their status regularised by the Local Government Service Commission. Those that are Grade 5 and below should also have their appointments regularised and copied to the Local Government Service Commission.

#10003; The council should communicate to the Local Government Service Commission any recruitment and appointment of staff.

7. UNILATERAL STOPPAGE OF SALARY DEDUCTION

vii. Context: Refer to point number 2: Solicitation of and receipt of a bribe of D30, 000.00 by the CEO from ALMOT for the context.

7.1 FINDINGS OF THE INSPECTORS

a. It is observed that the monthly deductions were been effected but these deductions were not being paid to the account of Mr. Danso, the CEO of ALMOT Real Estate.

b. It is observed that staff who were being deducted from their monthly salaries for a period of seven months have neither been allocated a plot of land nor have they even seen the plots they are servicing.

c. It is observed that some staff are now beginning to demand their monies to be returned to them because they could not be allocated a plot.

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE INSPECTORS.

#10003; Staff that was being deducted monthly towards the payment of a plot of land from ALMOT Real Estate and could not have their plots must be refunded all their monies.

#10003; The CEO of ALMOT must refund all the monies that were paid to him.

8. REVIEWS OF ALL CONTRACTS (INCLUDING ECOWTECH)

During the review of contracts by the inspection team, we first requested a list of contracts that the Kanlflnc Municipal Council (KMC) had signed with suppliers and all the necessary documentation concerning the said contracts.

The list of Contracts provided to the inspection team

1 NOFAYLE = setting up Municipal bus service 20th January 2020 contract amount D5, 000, 000.00. No completion date and no contract period.

2. BAJAM enterprise = Bakoteh dumpsite fence on the 23rd April 2020 contract amount D8, 500, 000.00. No completion date and no contract period.

3. NIANI SUPPLY = Police uniform on the 21st 0ctober 2019 contract amount 1, 650, 000.00. For 2 Months period.

4. TENDER ENTERPRISE = Rehabilitation on the 29th March 2020 contract amount of 3, 250, 000.00 for 2 months period.

5. GREEN VISION = LatCumb Road on the 26th March 2019 contract amount of 2, 708, 640.00, for 3 Months of Construction.

6. SHYBEN A MADI = Supply of 1 Nissan Patrol Five Nissan Hardbody pickup, one Nissan civilian 30 Seater on the 15th February 2019 contract amount of 13, 657, 085.50 for 6-8 weeks.

7. FINISH PROFILE = Serekunda Market Shed construction on the 29th March 2019, contract amount of 2, 913, 408.00 for 2 Months of Construction.

To be continued...

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
10865 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2022 :  14:44:06  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
High Court nullifies KMC Commission of Inquiry
The Standard: Feb 7, 2022
By: Alagie Baba

https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/high-court-nullifies-kmc-commission-of-inquiry

Justice Basiru V.P. Mahoney on Friday quashed the Commission of Inquiry set-up by the minister of Regional Government to investigate alleged corruption and malpractice at the Kanifing Municipal Council.
The judge held that the Minister acted in excess of the powers conferred on law in establishing the Commission. The court found that the Minister cannot jump to setup a Commission without following the prescribed procedure established by law.

Justice Mahoney said the Minister failed to fulfil the pre-conditions prescribed by the Local Government Act before instituting a Commission of Inquiry.


Justice Mahoney said the Minister acted beyond his powers to give the Commission powers of a high court judge.

Justice Mahoney dismissed the Attorney General's argument that the court lacks the jurisdiction to grant an order of certiorari to quash the Commission of Inquiry. Justice Mahoney said the Court has the jurisdiction to quash the decision of the Minister where the circumstances exist. He added that the powers of the court in granting orders of certiorari goes beyond lower courts and tribunals, to include statutory bodies task with public duties.

He stressed that the Minister failed to fulfil the mandatory pre-condition before setting up a Commission of Inquiry.

The Judge stated that a Commission of Inquiry cannot be established based on allegations. He said the Minister would only be able to exercise his discretion in setting up a Commission of Inquiry based on the recommendations of the inspectors after the inspection exercise. He added that the word used in the Act is “may" which means permissive and not mandatory.

He emphasised that the Minister can institute a Commission of Inquiry, but in accordance with the powers conferred on by law (Local Government Act).

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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toubab1020



11602 Posts

Posted - 11 Feb 2022 :  11:41:51  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by toubab1020

So continues on 31st January 2022,The Lawyers will start work in ernest....The Commission of Enquiry will take even more legal time to reach a decision.


+++++++++++

SNIPPET FRON THE ABOVE POSTING:

“This court is bound by the decision of the Supreme Court and as the facts in the instant matter fall within the presumption of regularity of official acts for which the law prohibits the granting of an injunction to prevent the act being performed, the application for a stay of proceedings of the Commission of Inquiry pending the determination of the main suit cannot be granted and is dismissed,” the Judge ruled.

The court urged both parties to file their arguments in the main suit latest Friday and the court will preside over it on Monday, 31st January."



As I wrote before "The Lawyers will start work in ernest....The Commission of Enquiry will take even more legal time to reach a decision."

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



11602 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2022 :  16:51:38  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
RELATED
https://standard.gm/gambia-news/lands-minister-seeking-legal-opinion-on-kmc-saga/

The Lawyers will start work in ernest....The Commission of Enquiry will take even more legal time and MONEY to reach a decision.

Was I right or was I right ?

+++++++++++

quote:
Originally posted by toubab1020

quote:
Originally posted by toubab1020

So continues on 31st January 2022,The Lawyers will start work in ernest....The Commission of Enquiry will take even more legal time to reach a decision.


+++++++++++

SNIPPET FRON THE ABOVE POSTING:

“This court is bound by the decision of the Supreme Court and as the facts in the instant matter fall within the presumption of regularity of official acts for which the law prohibits the granting of an injunction to prevent the act being performed, the application for a stay of proceedings of the Commission of Inquiry pending the determination of the main suit cannot be granted and is dismissed,” the Judge ruled.

The court urged both parties to file their arguments in the main suit latest Friday and the court will preside over it on Monday, 31st January."



As I wrote before "The Lawyers will start work in ernest....The Commission of Enquiry will take even more legal time to reach a decision."


"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 13 Feb 2022 16:55:15
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