By Omar Bah
The embattled Chief Executive Officer of the Brikama Area Council, Modou Jonga, has described as grossly misleading the council’s resolution, which accused him of being incompetent.
On Tuesday, Brikama Area Council passed a resolution recommending the immediate removal of CEO Jonga for alleged incompetence and abuse of office.
The council relied on Section 45 of the Local Government Act 2002 to initiate the resolution.
The resolution alleged CEO Jonga’s willful negligence and dereliction of duties, which it states resulted in the loss of thousands of dalasis in daily market duty collections between October 21 and 25, 2023.
Reacting to the allegations in a Standard exclusive, CEO Modou Jonga said: “The allegation of incompetence and abuse of office is at best without facts and very inaccurate and misrepresentation of facts. To start with, there has not been any impartial verification of these allegations, and I have not been given the opportunity to respond to these allegations during the general council’s sitting. I was appointed as CEO following an open and transparent recruitment process by a centralised independent local service commission in November 2019. I am the first CEO to be appointed by an independent central government service commission. I have served Brikama Area Council with total commitment and dedication.”
Jonga said that as a clerk of council in 2009, he rose through the ranks from communication officer, senior administrative officer, principal administrative officer, and director of administration to his current position.
“The decision to pass a motion to remove me and the director of finance is unilateral and arbitrary because, by virtue of my condition of service, the decision lays in the hands of the Local Government Service Commission,” he said.
Maintenance of vehicles
CEO Jonga said the allegation that he gives priority to the maintenance of his vehicle over procuring market duty tickets is also false.
“The council passed a resolution on payments and monetary issues on June 22nd, recommending that any payment that is above D50,000 will have to be authorised by the chairman. Therefore, he bears the responsibility for payments or expenditures. Precisely, a payment of D145,242 was made for the maintenance of the official vehicles, which have been grounded for more than three weeks because we have given priority to other essential services of the council. During this period, I was depending on a colleague to drive me to work,” he explained.
He said the allegation that the payment for the vehicle maintenance was done before the purchase of the tickets is incorrect.
“On September 7, 2023, we made a payment of D146,250 to GPPC for the procurement of the duty tickets, while the payment for the vehicles’ maintenance was done on October 20, 2023,” he said.
On the issue of the daily market tickets, CEO Jonga argued that he has never stated that he was not aware that the market tickets had run out of supply during his meeting with the council finance and establishment committee, contrary to the claims made in the council’s resolution.
“I was truthful regarding the payments that we have made to the GPPC and the status of the order of the tickets. I have also reported the efforts that I have made to address the issue,” he said.
He also denied having an unfriendly relationship with some of the councillors.
“I have always had an open and honest conversation with council members with regard to the disbursements of funds obtained from the mining royalties.”
He also described as “false and misleading” the council’s claims that its chairman was informed by GPPC director Momodou Ceesay that BAC had, since May 2, 2023, ordered 5,000 daily market duty receipt booklets but only collected 2000, and the remaining 3,000 are still there.
CEO Jonga also showed The Standard some documents to back his claims.
Read more on Monday.