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HomeGambia NewsGAMBIA: BRIKAMA AREA COUNCIL REVENUE COLLECTOR COULD NOT ACCOUNT FOR D1.8 MILLION

GAMBIA: BRIKAMA AREA COUNCIL REVENUE COLLECTOR COULD NOT ACCOUNT FOR D1.8 MILLION

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Nfansu Bojang, the Brikama Area Council’s (BAC) deputy valued-property manager and revenue collector, has not submitted an accounting for the more than 1.8 million Dalasi in revenue collection he has made.

He was called to respond to accusations that he suppressed revenue. Bojang was unable to explain the earnings during his two-day testimony before the Local Government Commission of Inquiry.

He had previously worked for BAC as the interim manager of rates and taxes.

Regarding his 2021 collection of D1,847,000 (one million, eight hundred, forty-seven thousand dalasi), he was questioned. The accusation was made in an audit report that the BAC Internal Audit Unit had written.

“The examiners are accurate. This collection is mine. The witness stated, “I used to deposit money in the bank on time, and these are the receipts.

At the age of 20, he started working for the council on December 7, 1988. He claimed to have earned a certificate in business management and communications in the 1990s. He also completed the “English for Everyone” online course. He claimed to have completed the fundamentals of accounting but to not have a certificate as he was unable to pay the tuition.

The following documents were tendered: the witness’s employment letters (both temporary and confirmation), a 2009 promotional letter tasked with overseeing certain positions, and a 2024 redeployment letter from the rates and tax unit to the valued-property unit as deputy manager.

Both the supplementary statement dated March 20, 2024, and the witness statement dated November 24, 2023, were offered and allowed into evidence.

He claimed that although working as an accounting assistant in 2018, he continued to collect money, concentrating on flat charges for Wullingkama, Jabang, and Tranquil. The witness stated in his testimony that he carried his cash books spanning from 2016 to 2023. He gave the Commission his cash books. A bundle of cash books was admitted.

Lead Counsel notified the witness that the D234,700 he had received was not accounted for in the audit report issued by the BAC’s Internal Audit Unit.

“I was not made aware of this negative finding against me. The witness stated, “No one has brought this to my attention.”

One of the most reliable collectors, according to the witness, he deposits money into the BAC GT Bank account every day. During his second day of testimony before the Commission, he acknowledged that he had been tardy in transferring the council’s money to the bank.

The witness stated that although the Internal Audit Unit received the documents he gave them for auditing, they misplaced them.

The witness made D71,000 in revenue between February 2, 2020, and March 2, 2020. A bank deposit slip with the date March 22, 2020, and the sum D71,800 was produced by the witness. The two amounts and the dates were different, so he was warned and requested to cease. According to the witness, typically, they post in their cash book first and then wait a few days or weeks to deposit in the bank. In order to prove to the Commission his receipts for the period of February 22, 2020, to March 2, 2020, he was returned his personal cash book. The cash book entries indicated that D71,000 had been collected in total.

“How much is listed in that cash book?” Counsel Gomez enquired.

“D71,000” was the witness’s response.

“How much did the auditor record as the unposted balance?” Lead Attorney Gomez probed more.

The witness said, “D2,000.”

“What does that signify?” Gomez enquired.

The witness said, “It means I did not post that amount.”

Counsel Gomez stated, “That means your entire collection was D71,000 but you only recorded D69,000.”

The witness said, “Yes.”

Regarding the D2000 recording, the witness said there was a mistake.

“Even certified public accountants commit errors. It was a mistake, he admitted.

The date of the audit was January 8, 2020. The witness claimed that the auditors had the cash books and that Yaya Bah was in possession of the bank slips when he was questioned about why he had been audited nearly a year after the collection instead of on a weekly basis.

When asked where the money was, the witness stated that although the date and quantity were different, he had deposited it. He was informed by Lead Counsel Gomez that he is missing the D71,000 deposit slip. The witness acknowledged that the deposit slip, which was for D71,800 at a later time, was incorrect. The witness was informed by Lead Counsel Gomez that the cashier had not provided a receipt. The witness stated that Yaya Bah received the deposit slips from the finance director, who also had the cash book with the auditors. He described the difficulties he had retrieving his cash book and bank deposits. With the director of finance’s assistance, he claimed to have personally visited the bank to retrieve his misplaced deposit slips. This is when the witness started crying. After a little while, the witness stated that he had all of the deposit slips and had placed all of the money in the BAC’s bank account.

He brought up the issue with Finance Director Camara on the D1.8 million in receipts and how the finance unit failed to submit them. He added that at this point, the Finance Director wrote to the bank and allowed him to pick up the deposit slips by visiting the GT Bank headquarters on Kairaba Avenue.

The witness stated, “The cash book was with the auditors for five years and they did not return it to me.”

When he arrived at the Commission, he claimed he was there to retrieve his cash books from the auditors.

The witness stated, “They told me they didn’t have my cash books at first, but they called back to say they did have the books after two (2) days.”

“I followed them for a long time until I gave up. The witness stated, “They did not give me the deposit slips.”

He stated in his testimony that he was unable to obtain it until the Commission’s investigators called to alert him of the D1,847,000 that was unaccounted for.

“I placed all that cash in the Brikama Area Council’s GT Bank account [he brought up the bank account],” the witness declared.

His 2021 cash book was delivered to the witness. Why does he have three totals on the first page, someone asked him?

A question regarding a D103,565 collection the witness made was posed. According to him, it was picked up between February 21 and 26, 2021, and no deposit was paid.

“As I was collecting money from taxpayers, I deposited the funds. The testimony stated that it was not made once.

He claimed to have deposited D831,400 in total between January 12, 2021, and December 31, 2021. The witness acknowledged that he was expected to perform reconciliation and make deposits on a weekly basis. The witness was informed by Lead Counsel Patrick Gomez that he was not depositing the money on a weekly basis in 2021.

As you said, the witness corroborated.

In order to detail his deposits, the witness was required to produce deposit slips or display the Commission from the accounts.

What you say and what is in the GT Bank are not the same.

September 1, 21 – D37,000

28.02.17 D79,165

Counsel stated: “The next time you deposited money was on February 28th, with the exception of January 9th. You made no deposits from January 1 through January 9; your next deposit was made on February 28.

In response, the witness said, “That is true.”

The witness is the owner of a car with licence plate BJl 6275 G, according to the system audit conducted by the Brikama Area Council’s Internal Audit Unit. The witness stated that he does not own an automobile and that this has been the case since 2018. When pressed further, he acknowledged owning an automobile, which he used on council outings.

Chairperson Bah informed the witness, “You were given both fuel and paid transport allowance.”

The witness confirmed, “That is accurate,” and said, “My transportation allowance was one thousand, five hundred Dalasi.”

This week, the witness will return to provide an account for the D1.8 million Dalasi.

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