KMC scandal under investigation as Mrs. Sonko denied entry

Aug 5, 2021, 12:35 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

Mrs. Sainabou Martin-Sonko, the embattled chief executive officer of the Kanifing Municipality Council (KMC), and other staff who are currently under investigation by officers of The Gambia Police Forces (GPF) amid the D12 million corruption; scandal has been denied entry into the KMC complex in Kanifing, under the orders of Mayor Talib Bensouda, The Point has been reliably informed.

The Point has been learned that Mrs. Sonko and the council’s director of Finance yesterday morning reported to work following an order from Ministry of Local Government and Lands, urging the Kanifing Municipal Council to rescind its recommendation on the termination of the services of the council’s CEO and Finance director pending the investigation of the police into their alleged fraud.

However, the duo were denied entry to the KMC by the council’s municipal police who said they had been given orders to not allow them entry.

In another development, Pa Musa Bah, former Deputy Mayor of the Kanifing Municipality Council (KMC) is currently under investigation amid the one million dalasis corruption scandal he is also allegedly involved in.

The Establishment and Appointment Committee and the Contract Committee of the council have been tasked with the investigation of the council’s former deputy mayor who resigned recently over allegations of D1 million corruption scandal.

It could be recalled that Freedom Newspaper, an Online media outlet based in the U.S. reported last month that Pa Musa Bah, now former KMC deputy mayor, was caught on tape allegedly soliciting bribes from a local Gambian company, which has been contracted to print waste collection fee tickets for the council.

Freedom Newspaper further added: “The mayor was allegedly asking for a kickback of close to one million dalasis, per the audio recording that we had in our possession.”

“The company in question is called Ecotech. The secret recording happened in a meeting Deputy Mayor Bah had with one Gaston Meltus, a representative of the Ecotech Company.”

“Ecotech was among the companies that bid for the KMC waste disposal “tickets issuance” project. The company was awarded the contract following a review made by the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) and the KMC.”

Meanwhile, Isatou Faal, the spokeswoman of KMC, who spoke to The Point in an interview yesterday, confirmed that the council is currently conducting an investigation over claims that the former deputy mayor is being involved in alleged corruption practise.

The investigation committees, she added, are doing their work independently without the interference of anybody, saying: “After the completion of the investigation, the council will publish in full details of the findings of the investigation.”

The KMC Public Relations Officer (KMC) also confirmed that Mrs. Sainabou Martin-Sonko, chief executive officer of the council and others were denied entry to the council by the municipal police.

Quizzed by this reporter why they were denied entry at the council, she said: “The decision is based on the council’s resolution that the accused persons are on a forced mandatory leave based on the pending outcome of the police investigation. It’s also based on the recommendation of their termination by the general council.”

KMC, she continues, will not adhere to the ministry’s request in order for the council to reverse its general decision on the suspension of Mrs. Sonko and others pending the outcome of the investigation. This, she added, is based on good governance and ethics.