By Muhammad Bah
The current Executive Director of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Lt Colonel Alagie Sanneh, on Tuesday, 21st April 2015, told the National Assembly Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committee (PAC/PEC) that the case involving the theft of store items at the Banjul City Council (BCC) Disaster Management Committee (BCC-DMC), which is part of the audit queries, could have been withdrawn by his predecessor.
The auditors noted that there was a break in at the store in Banjul on 18th July 2011 and that a report was written by the BCC Disaster Management Committee Coordinator on 7th September 2011 but this was not copied to the relevant authorities.
According to the report of the BCCDMC Coordinator, the break in was reported to the police on 2ndSeptember after which the police did their investigation and concluded that the items cannot be moved over the store windows and consequently the Coordinator and the volunteer attached were charged for steeling which they denied.
It was noted that the BCC and NDMA authorities were informed about it but that the case was later withdrawn from the police and no further action was taken. “We were not provided with the police report on the breakage,” said the NDMA Executive Director.
He further told the PAC/PEC that when he took over as head of the agency, he made efforts to know why this case was withdrawn, adding “but I still could not reach any conclusion as to who withdrew the case and why.”
Lt. Col. Sanneh said he spoke with some police officers as well as the staff of both the BCCDMC and NDMA but could not still ascertain as to who was responsible. “I assume it was my predecessor,” he said.
He said the case was not mentioned in the handing over notes and that he was not briefed on it either.
The NDMA head said his agency has been weaken by the lack of demarcation of duties which is also part of the audit queries. He said he has written to the office of the president for more senior staff to be employed such as the directors of operations, administration and an Information Technology (IT) officer and that it has been approved.
He said that other factors highlighted will all be the thing of the past and also clarify other issues as well.
The Speaker Abdoulie Bojang said as far as the police representatives are there, he is asking them to look at the issue once again to know what has actually gone wrong on the BCC store theft case and who made the withdrawal and why.