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Basse Area Council CEO testifies in court

Feb 15, 2012, 12:09 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The Chief Executive Officer of Basse Area Council, Yusupha Manneh, Monday testified at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court as the second prosecution witness in the false information case involving the former chairman of Basse Area Council, Omar Sompo Ceesay.

Manneh told the court that the accused person was with the council before as the chairman, and that sometime in the month of September 2011, while he was in Basse, he received a call from governor Omar Khan informing him that the chairman had written a petition against the council.

He said his office was challenged by some officers who informed him that they were there for an investigation, adding that the investigating officers asked him whether he received any letter concerning a petition, to which he responded in the negative.

He said he was also asked by the officers whether he knew anything about the petition, and he again responded in the negative.

Manneh further testified that the intelligence officers took out the letter, which they read out to him and told him that they were going to follow up the investigation, according to the way the allegation were mentioned in the petition.

He said he welcomed them to go ahead with the investigation, adding that he never had the opportunity to lay his hands on the petition letter.

According to Manneh, the accused wrote to Office of the President that no contract was taken over by council since he (Manneh) joined the council.

He added that when he joined Basse Area Council, he was told that some of their projects were washed away by erosion, and they asked him if they could work and implement those projects.

He said he gave them a project for the bridge between Dasilame and Diabuku, which amounted to D189, 000, which was signed by the accused person at the time of his chairmanship at the said council.

PW2 further revealed that he gave them another project for the Chief Court House in Sandu also amounting to D75, 000 received by the same chairman at the time.

He added that he gave another D44, 000 for the completion of the said bridge.

CEO Manneh testified that the resources of council are indeed put into good use; adding that before coming to Basse Area Council, he was working at the Janjangbureh Area Council and his transfer to BSAC was never lobbied by anyone.

Manneh told the court that he had worked in Local Government for around 29 years.

He said he once had a problem with the accused, because when he took over the office, he called for the nominal role of the council and he came across certain things in the nominal role.

He said he decided to call the accused person in his office and told him that it was not correct that their nominal role did not march the salary estimates.

He said he told them that he would not accept the type of salaries paid in that council, because he was the one who would be audited, adding that the chairman and his council were about to beat him in his office.

Manneh further testified that he found in the same council that there were no payments for pension, for about five to six years, and that the petition against him might be a witch-hunt.

At that juncture the case was adjourned till 29 February 2012.