Sainabou Martin Sonko, CEO Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC)
By Buba Gagigo
The CEO of Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), Sainabou Martin Sonko, has admitted to taking a thirty thousand dalasis (D30,000) bribe from ALMOT Real Estate Company’s CEO while appearing on Eye Africa TV’s Ifang Bondi program.
Prior to these revelations, A five-member Inspection Team from the Ministry of Land and Regional Government had earlier probed CEO Sainabou Martin Sonko and some council staff for fraud allegations.
The team’s recommendation was based on their discovery of a 12 Million Dalasi loan that the Kanifing Municipal Council Staff Welfare Association (KMCSWA) got from AGIB bank to buy a 100m x 100m piece of land. The Investigation also exposed Sainabou Martin Sonko’s D30,000 alleged bribe from ALMOT Real Estate Company.
During the Eye Africa interview, Mrs. Martin Sonko outlined her interactions and the demands she made of the CEO of ALMOT to provide proper documentation for the land.
“He (the CEO of Almot Real Estate) told them (Staff Welfare Association) he owns the land. But the land is owned by one Touray family in Gunjur. He told them (the Touray family) that the Staff of KMC are interested in their land. He asked them to give him the land and he will deliver it to the staff association. When the staff association pays monthly, he will be paying the family as well. When this was reported to me, I wanted to allow the process to continue. I gave him time and told him that the documents of the land are not completed. I told him the payment will start when his company processes the documents and brings the right documents to my office to be filed,” Sainabou Matin Sonko explains.
Mrs. Martin Sonko said she insisted that the payment to ALMOT should be halted until the land documents were verified since Alieu (the CEO of ALMOT Real Estate Company) had already collected money for six months without any paperwork.
“When the six months elapsed, I asked the Welfare members how far they have gone with Alieu in getting the proper documentation for the land. They said Alieu hasn’t provided the documents for the land. I called him (Alieu) to my office, and I told him the monies we paid to him are not our money. It belongs to the Staff welfare association. I told him that we cannot continue paying him without the proper documents that entitled us to the land.
“So that at the end of the day we will not be losers. He wrote to my office but only address it to the welfare association. But the letter was meant for me. So, I did not honor the letter because it was not addressed to me. In the letter, he said I should advance him three million dalasis. I have never requested any money from Alieu. But as soon as I summoned Alieu to tell him that six months have elapsed, he came to my office one fine morning. He said he came to see me to “Delo Njukal” or whatever. So he handed over thirty thousand dalasis (D30,000) to me.”
The Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) CEO said she refused to take the money but the CEO of ALMOT Real Estate left the money sitting on a desk in her office and left.
“I refuse to take that money from him because I suspected why he was doing that. But he insisted that the money was from him personally and he just decided to give me the money wholeheartedly. After dropping that thirty thousand dalasis at my office, a few days later he came with another letter to claim for D4.5m advance. He said that will help him in getting the documents for the land. But I refused to pay.
“Immediately the payment was stopped Alieu and everyone who was involved in spending the welfare staff money went mad. He (Alieu) wrote a complaint letter to the Mayor to say that I solicited a bribe of one million dalasis from him but he ended up giving me thirty thousand dalasis and I accepted it but before that, he offered to give me one million (out of the D4.5m) but I refused.”
When pushed by the host of Ifang Bondi on the the thirty thousand dalasis she received from the ALMOT Company CEO, Sainabou Martin Sonko admits receiving the money but says it was imposed on her. She admits it was a mistake on her part.