Friday, April 12, 2024

PW 4 Acknowledges Cashing Over Ninety-five Thousand Dalasis from Late Lamin Jarju

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By: Alieu Jallow

In the ongoing D11 million theft involving the three senior government officials of the Ministry of Health, PW 4 Muhammed Sissoko, a businessman, has acknowledged cashing cheques amounting to D95,000 from the late Lamin Jarju, Deputy Program Manager at the National Malaria Control Program.

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Mr. Sissoko told the court that the Police Fraud Squad informed him that the five cheques received and cashed amounted to D95,000, which he was asked to repay. These transactions, according to him, happened between 2019 and 2022.

PW 4, in his testimony, recalled embarking on a trip to Basse with the late Lamin Jarju, where they made a brief stop at Sibanor Health Centre. He spent a minimum of 30 minutes on both occasions, and upon their return, he was given two cheques but cannot remember the dates when he cashed them out.

“I cashed both cheques on two different dates, and I was given D20,000 each from these cheques, with each of them worth D500,000,” Sissoko outlined.

In 2023, Mr. Sissoko told the court that he was invited by the Fraud Squad of the Gambia Police Force for questioning regarding the cheques he had withdrawn, where he affirmed to the police of withdrawing the cheques.

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Accordingly, he said the investigation took time, but while with the Fraud Squad, he was shown documents indicating signing contracts, payment vouchers, and a copy of his CV. He was questioned whether he signed any contract with HEPDO, an assertion he opposed, noting he never signed any contract with the said institution.

Similarly, a CV bearing his details and payment vouchers indicating receipt were also tendered to him, something he opposed, stressing it was not his CV and he never signed any payment voucher.

Furthermore, he was shown a written report indicating he wrote that and submitted it, which he told the Fraud Squad he never did. At this point, he told the court that he didn’t study or know anything about malaria, so he had no idea about the report.

“I don’t know HEPDO and have never been to the place; it was at the police station I knew about them,” Sissoko stressed.

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The case is adjourned to 15th April 2024 for cross-examination.

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