Monday, July 22, 2024

BAC Principal Cashier Testifies on D44,000,000 Receipts Issued Without Evidence

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By Mama A. Touray

Lamin K Kanteh, the Principal Cashier of Brikama Area Council, testified regarding audit findings accusing him of issuing a D44,000,000 receipt without supporting evidence of the money being deposited into the council account.

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In response to the audit report, Cashier Kanteh stated, “I don’t deposit money. I only issue receipts,” and mentioned that his cash book was lost and remains untraceable.

Lead Counsel Patrick Gomez emphasized the need for Kanteh to produce the cash book to justify the unaccounted money, stressing, “You must account for this.”

Another audit discovery highlighted by Chairperson Jainaba Bah concerned over D60 Million recorded in the cash book without corresponding deposit slips verifying these amounts in the bank.

Chairperson Bah pointed out that the 2019 audit report showed Kanteh receiving cash exceeding 1.7 Million Dalasi by August 30, 2019, yet these amounts were untraceable in the bank accounts.

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The Commission directed Kanteh to present his cash books from 2018 to 2023. Chairperson Bah noted, “The unaccounted amount exceeds D100,000,000, and we urge you to provide evidence.”

Kanteh testified that revenue collectors used to bring cash to the council, where he would issue them receipts, until 2020 when they were instructed to deposit collections directly into council bank accounts.

He refuted claims that revenue collectors continued bringing cash to the council in 2020, stating, “The bank system started in 2020. I did not receive revenue from collectors that year.”

In 2021, during a cash shortage at the Council, Kanteh stated that some collectors were requested to bring cash directly, while others continued bank deposits.

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Kanteh, serving as Principal Cashier since 2015, will resume his testimony on April 15, 2024.

The Local Government Commission of Inquiry was established to investigate local government councils’ financial and administrative practices from May 2018 to January 2023, aiming to improve transparency and accountability.

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