The disgraced Mayor of the Banjul City Council Rohey Malick Lowe and her management staff, have been engulfed in another major corruption scandal, this time around, they have been accused of perpetrating a bogus procurement scheme, resulting to the Council losing millions of dalasis, which had ended in the pockets of corrupt officials, nepotism, among other disturbing and damning allegations, Freedom Newspaper can report. Mrs. Lowe has surrounded herself with close family members, friends, relatives, and fellow political party colleagues to allegedly defraud the City council, insiders familiar with the story have intimated. The council’s longtime staffer, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mustapha Batchilly, and the Germany recent returnee notorious drug pusher now turned Council Adviser Makumba Sanneh are part of this secret corruption scheme cartel to defraud the council.
Within her two-year tenue as Banjul’s Mayor, Mrs. Lowe, has facilitated the hiring of her family members into the Council. She has brought two of her relatives from the United Kingdom to work at the BCC. One of them is said to be the council’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, and the other hire is Mam Lai Jasseh, a Council Consultant.
Mai Lai, whose appointment was never properly vetted, has been hired to help restructure the council. He isn’t qualified for that post. He has so far been paid over one million dalasis.
The Mayor hired her relatives as consultants. And consultancy fees are often jacked to the roof. Council is paying millions into fake consultancy.
The official car of the late Banjul Mayor Lai Bah was purportedly sold to Mam Lai Jasseh, the Mayor’s relative. He bought it from a so-called auction sale for an unspecified amount of money. Insiders said the car was sold to him for about a quarter million dalasis. Mam Lai hasn’t finished paying for that car.
Mam Lai has also been tasked to oversee the European Union million Euro project. He is a close relative of Mayor Lowe. He is the go-to person for the Mayor at the BCC.
The EU BCC project had five different components: waste management is part of the five components of the project.
The EU had bought trucks for the council to collect waste. It has also bought bins for the city council.
Mayor Lowe was the secret supplier of the trashcan bins that were distributed to the Banjul residents from the council. She is operating a company, which she uses to conduct business with the council.
Mayor Rohey Malick Lowe owns the company called Kebba and sons supply company. She is using third parties to run the company for her. She was paid D13 million dalasis when her company supplied trashcan bins to the council.
The Kebba and son company supplies bleaches, soap, and “ommo” to the BCC.
As we pen this write up, there is another tender in the local newspapers for the supply of trashcan bins and trucks to the council.
With her relative Mam Lai Jasseh, out there handling the EU million project, she is going to bid for the upcoming tender, so that she can sell the remainder of her trashcan bins currently stored.
The Mayor has also brough in another relative of her, Nyange Cham to the council. Mr. Cham is a BCC consultant. He has been hired to do small council works.
Contracts given to Cham are often overbilled, and fake procurement funds are shared between the CEO and Mayor’s office.
The Mayor, who was onetime jailed in Germany on drug related trafficking, has also hired a close relative of her, as the council’s retained lawyer. Her first Cousin Ms. Sasum Sillah, the daughter of veteran Gambian Lawyer Ousman Sillah, is the BCC lawyer. Mayor Lowe’s father, the late Malick Lowe and Sasun’s father Ousman Sillah are related. Mayor Lowe’s mother is Satou Sillah.
Mayor Lowe had also brought in Makumba Sanneh to work as the Council’s adviser. Mr. Sanneh and Mrs. Lowe used to sell drugs in Germany in the eighties and nineties. They are both Banjulians.
Mr. Sanneh has been hired on contract. Besides his council advisory role, he is also in charge of the Banjul Market collection and trade license unit. He is the Mayor’s go to guy to coordinate the markets duty sales, tax collection and banking.
Widely known as Max Sanneh, he is also part of the BCC Garba Jahumpa school board. He is paid board allowances.
His salary and other allowances included, Makumba Sanneh rakes over D30,000 dalasis. The kickbacks are not included.
With all the stolen money that he is making at the BCC, Max Sanneh, is not treating his wife right. Could you imagine that he is giving that lady D100 dalasis daily fish money? Max wouldn’t tell us that he doesn’t know that there is inflation in Banjul. He is a heartless husband.
Still on Max, he has impregnated a Banjul girl. The girl, who is in her twenties, is expecting a baby in this September or October.
Acting on the directives of her mischievous Mayor, Max recently went to the Banjul market and ordered the tailors to make thousands of facial masks for the council. The tailors were compelled to make the masks.
The shameless Mayor wants to earn a good name by falsely claiming that the masks gift came from her, when in actual fact, it came from the poor tailors.
Perhaps, she is going to pocket the diaspora sponsored masks and replace it with the masks she received from the Banjul market tailors. She is a fraudster.
Finance and the CEO’s office are complicit in this organized financial crime against the BCC. We will get to CEO Batchilly’s case later as we proceed with this masterpiece.
The most traveled Gambian Mayor has reached a ticket procurement deal with the Cinderella Travel Agency. She bought her tickets from Cinderella. Tickets are often inflated, and she spent days and weeks outside just to be paid per diem allowances.
During such long trips, she would stay with her friends and relatives. Yet she would claim for hotel expense per diem and travel imprest.
The Mayor has been flying with non-staff members of the council to attend conferences and other missions. Her delegation is paid per diem allowances, even though on some occasions they are hosted in free hotels and fed by their host countries. Council has lost millions of dalasis from such useless trips. One of those, who was paid such an undeserved per diem allowance, was Neneh Toubab. She said she was paid per diem even though she doesn’t work for the council.
The Mayor has been doing whatever she wanted at the council. She is not accountable to the councilors. Some of the projects she executes are usually not approved by the councilors.
She got six elected councilors and five nominated councilors in that council. The five nominated councilors are from the UDP.
She has been giving money to the councilors to buy their support. Pa Babou Cham and Boss Gaye were recently both given D150,000 dalasis. Deputy Mayor Omar Touray was given D100,000 dalasis.
She fired workers who do not toe her line. She fired Ebou Lolley and Mahmout because they were accused of being Barrow supporters.
Ebou Lolley and Mahmout used to work at the rates department. They had their contracts terminated last year during Barrow’s tour. She refused to renew their contracts.
“She is rude, arrogant, she keeps transferring the staff she couldn’t get along with. She will cancel their contracts just for the sake of it. She treats the company’s accounts as her personal property,” one insider alleged.
COUNCIL FAKE INVESTMENTS
Mayor Lowe has reached a deal with The Gambia Ports authority Managing Director Ousman Jobarteh for the KG5 park to be given to the ports. Part of the deal is for the ports to buy two waste collection trucks for the council and build a mini stadium for the city. The proposed mini stadium would be built behind the National Assembly building.
The GPA has already bought two waste trucks for the council. The mini-stadium project hasn’t started yet, but it is on the pipeline.
The reckless Mayor and her corrupt management had sold a landed property to an Indian investor called Nando. The land in question is located behind the National Assembly. It was sold to Nando for D3.5 million dalasis without the approval of council and the local government ministry.
Nando was charged D3.5 million dalasis but guess what? Only D2 million dalasis got into the council’s bank account. The remaining D1.5 million is unaccounted for. It has went into the pockets of the Mayor and her CEO.
The Local government Ministry has voided that sale transaction based on what we gathered. The Indian man Nando, has been frequenting the office of CEO Batchilly, asking for his land to be given to him.
After that land sale to Nando, Batchilly bought a four-wheel truck for his wife Touma Njie, a PPP National Assembly member for Banjul South. It was a Valentine’s present.
Mustapha Batchilly is the son of the late Amara Batchilly. He is related to the Semega Janneh family. He has been working at the council for over twenty years. He mastered the in and out of that council.
He hires the staff, there are so many ghost workers at the BCC. Ghost workers salaries are going into the pockets of corrupt management officials. Auditors should audit the books and see for themselves.
Mayor Lowe has also secured a D10 million revolving loan for the women of Banjul. It is a one-year loan. Residents who had benefited from that project are paying between five to ten percent interest on that loan.
The loan was allocated to the council by the Guaranty Trust Bank. Its goal is to help the Banjul women, who are involved in small business activities.
Sadly, some of the borrowers haven’t been paying on time. They have defaulted in their payment to the bank. The council would be responsible for the repayment of that loan if they are found wanting.
The Mayor has also been giving fuel coupons to her family members and friends.
Written by an Investigative Editor