The accused KMC Chief Executive Officer Sainabou Martin Sonko has started speaking out, claiming that she was begged by the KMC Mayor Taliba Bensouda not to leak the audio recording in which the Deputy Mayor Pa Musa Bah, has been implicated in a kickback corruption scandal. She said the Mayor told her that if the audio is leaked to any third party, it could cause a devastating blow to the opposition United Democratic party because 2021 is an electioneering year in The Gambia. “ I discovered the fraud by the Deputy Mayor that was published on the Freedom Online Newspaper sometime in May of this year. Then I reported it to the Lord Mayor and he begged me to keep it within ourselves because we are in an election year and if this information should be leaked to the public, it would be not good for them,” she wrote in a statement issued on Wednesday.

Mrs. Sonko said she decided to speak out because the confused and panic stricken KMC Mayor Bensouda, has been cracking down on his staff since the Freedom Newspaper publication, accusing them of leaking information to the US based online Newspaper.

“I want to hold back and wait for my lawyers to complete my petition and what legal action would be taken against the Mayor and the Council for defaming my character before I speak to the public but I received disturbing news that some innocent staff who have nothing to do with this issue are being victimized and transferred to departments and units that do not commensurate with their qualifications and skills set,” she stated.

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Mrs. Sonko has been accused of stealing D24 million dalasis from the Council, a charge she has denied.

The KMC Mayor claimed that she allegedly defrauded Council by using the Staff Association through a local Gambian Bank.  She has threatened to sue the KMC Mayor for defamation of character.

“All the accusations leveled against me are false, misleading and only intended to defame my character. I am cooperating with my lawyers to complete the petition and the legal action to be filed against the Mayor and the Council and when we are ready, I will also give a press briefing to give a detailed explanation and the evidence will speak for themselves,” she remarked.

“But the one Million Dollar question I want to ask is, if it was true that I defrauded the Council the amount of money they are claiming, why am I going about my business in this country freely and not arrested and put behind bars by now,?” she asked.

According to Mrs. Sonko, Mayor Bensouda, wasn’t happy with her when she secured the said loan for the KMC staff. She said was even asked by the Mayor to resign.

“So when I signed the corporate guarantee for the KMC staff welfare association for AGIB bank to grant the welfare a loan facility to purchase a piece of property in Brufut that was intended to be reallocated to interested staff and The Mayor became mad with me and surmount a Directors Meeting and demanded for my resignation, I confided to a trusted colleague that; but I had discovered a more serious case than mine and the Mayor did not take any action against that individual and he is now asking me to resign based on a guarantee I signed not in my name but for staff welfare,” she said.

While she was battling with accusations of defrauding council millions of dalasis, an audio containing the voice of his Deputy Mayor soliciting one million dalasis bribe landed into her hand. She shared the audio with one of her colleagues.

“My colleague asked if I have any proof of what I was saying and I played the audio for her to listen. Then She advised me to share the audio with her so It would serve as a back up in case something happens to my phone. How the audio reached the Freedom Online Newspapers, I cannot explain but immediately the audio was leaked, the Mayor blamed me for it and began the smear campaign to tarnish my image only to pay back for what had happened to Deputy Mayor,” she added.

Below is the full text of Mrs. Sonko’s statement.

…………………………………………………………..

I discovered the fraud by the Deputy Mayor that was published on the Freedom Online Newspaper sometime in May of this year. Then I reported it to the Lord Mayor and he begged me to keep it within ourselves because we are in an election year and if this information should be leaked to the public, it would be not good for them.

So when I signed the corporate guarantee for the KMC staff welfare association for AGIB bank to grant the welfare a loan facility to purchase a piece of property in Brufut that was intended to be reallocated to interested staff and The Mayor became mad with me and surmount a Directors Meeting and demanded for my resignation, I confided to a trusted colleague that; but I had discovered a more serious case than mine and the Mayor did not take any action against that individual and he is now asking me to resign based on a guarantee I signed not in my name but for staff welfare.

My colleague asked if I have any proof of what I was saying and I played the audio for her to listen. Then She advised me to share the audio with her so It would serve as a back up in case something happens to my phone. How the audio reached the Freedom Online Newspapers, I cannot explain but immediately the audio was leaked, the Mayor blamed me for it and began the smear campaign to tarnish my image only to pay back for what had happened to Deputy Mayor.

I want to hold back and wait for my lawyers to complete my petition and what legal action would be taken against the Mayor and the Council for defaming my character before I speak to the public but I received disturbing news that some innocent staff who have nothing to do with this issue are being victimized and transferred to departments and units that do not commensurate with their qualifications and skills set.

All the accusations leveled against me are false, misleading and only intended to defame my character. I am cooperating with my lawyers to complete the petition and the legal action to be filed against the Mayor and the Council and when we are ready, I will also give a press briefing to give a detailed explanation and the evidence will speak for themselves.

But the one Million Dollar question I want to ask is, if it was true that I defrauded the Council the amount of money they are claiming, why am I going about my business in this country freely and not arrested and put behind bars by now?

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