Africa-Press – Gambia. Benet Edet, lawyer and banker who testified before the Commission as representative of Vista Bank Gambia Limited, has affirmed before the Local Government Commission of Inquiry that the Banjul City Council has no overdrafts or loans at the bank.
The Commission probing activities of councils has lately been hearing testimonies by representatives of banks which have been dealing with councils.
Mr Edet first appeared on Monday, when he testified that he had documents relating to Banjul City Council. “That is the statement of account from the date it was opened, on the 21st of August 2002, up to 12th of June 2019, when it was closed. It was a current account,” he said.
He said that was the only account BCC had with the bank, and that there is no overdraft or loans owed to the bank. He said the joint signatories were Muhammed Cham, Mustapha Batchilly and Abdoulie Nyang, director of finance.
Lead Counsel Yakarr Cox later realised that the statement does not contain the bank logo and was also not signed by the bank. She said: “Sir, just to note, the bank’s logo is not on the statement. I don’t believe the name is on the statement either, and I don’t believe it is stamped by the bank.”
The witness in his response stated: “The bank statement does not have the logo, but this is a true reflection of the statement of account issued by the bank. It is not stamped or signed. We were not aware that it should have been stamped and signed, but that can be done immediately after submission of this document.
However, the Commission later asked the witness to regularise these issues (inserting their signature and letterhead in the bank statement and all other supporting documents) and tender them to the Commission for admission into evidence.
Following his reappearance yesterday, he confirmed that the documents had now been stamped and signed.
However, the issue of the bank’s letterhead arose, as Commissioner Jainaba Bah Sambou, chairperson of the Commission, told the witness that the letterhead the statements should have contained is First International, which was the name of the bank when the transactions contained in the bank statement were made.
This follows the witness’ disclosure that until 2021, Vista Bank was named First International Bank.