18 C
City of Banjul
Monday, January 25, 2021

NAMs ask judiciary officials to put house in order

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The lawmakers asked the judicial secretary and his team who appeared before the House’s scrutinising body to ‘go back and prepare’ after they failed to address essential queries raised in the auditor general’s report.

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Karamba Touray, the auditor general, revealed that during their inspection of the exhibit register and physical verification of exhibits at the Brikama Magistrates Court, they understood that some were not presented for verification. The money involved in the exhibits in question is about 50,000 dalasi.        

He said: “During our examination of the exhibit register and physical verification of exhibits in the store, we noted that (some) exhibits could not be verified as they were not found in the store. There was also no evidence that they were returned to the owners… The absence of exhibits in the store casts doubt on the whereabouts of the items. The risk of misappropriation is very high.” 

However, Landing M Sanneh, the judicial secretary, informed the lawmakers that they were able to “trace most of the exhibits” which were supposed to be presented for audit.

He alleged that the monies were stolen by one Mr Malang Badgie, a former registrar, who has fled the country following the audit inquiry. He stated that his office has not gotten the opportunity to see the draft auditor general report, which was to be responded to by the institution as regards the queries raised.

He added that the report was allegedly suppressed from the view of the management by one Mr John Belford, a foreign national who is said to be in the country.

“John Belford should appear before the PAC/PEC and answer questions,” demanded Abdoulie Saine, member for Banjul Central. “He must have had a reason for not passing the draft audit document to the management.”    

House deputy speaker, Hon Fatou Mbye while intervening described the explanation as “unacceptable” saying they had received the report and notice of appearance a week before the plenary. She said the period should have been enough for the judicial secretary and his team to be fully prepared to take questions. 

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