Monrovia - On Friday, January 6, 2016, FrontPageAfrica submitted additional documents to the Ministry of Justice in Liberia as it prevailed on the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf-led government to thoroughly investigate the embattled head of the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (LIBTELCO).
More revealing documents linking Mr. Muah to the casino in Bangui will be released in our Monday, January, 9, 2017 edition. Stay Tuned. Mr. Muah repeatedly denied when contacted that he had no ties whatsoever to the casino. You be the judge.
Cllr. Frederick D. Cherue
Ministry of Justice
Republic of Liberia
Dear Minister Cherue:
Happy New Year!
I received your letter dated January 5, 2017 requesting my presence in a meeting on January 10, 2017 regarding exchange of email communications between myself and Mr. Sebastian Muah, Managing Director of the Liberia.
I am currently not in Liberia. I am one of five journalism fellows selected from around the world in this year’s Southend fellowship at the University of Toronto. I have been here since September 2016 and will be ending my stay here at the end of April 2017.
I appreciate your decision to investigate the issues raised in the FrontpageAfrica reportage. It is a welcoming development in Liberia, as more than majority of corruption cases and abuse of public office around the world usually begins with investigative journalist reports.
This is move in the right direction for a Minister of Justice to begin an immediate investigation on such serious corruption allegations, albeit with suggestions from the Executive Mansion.
That said, I was a little surprised by tone of your letter, as it suggests that you are attempting to protect Mr. Muah, that you are placing a greater emphasis on the accusation of “extortion” than the actual merit of the case of a potential illicit funds being invested by a Government official in Central African Republic (CAR), and that you investigating mainly because of the “portfolio” he holds in Government, not necessarily the merits and demerits of the corruption allegation.
This is probably not what you meant by that is how your letter reads.
In your letter you wrote
“The Ministry of Justice is in receipt of a thread of emails between you and Mr. Sebastian Muah, General Manager, Liberia Telecommunications Authority regarding ownership of shares in a casino business in the Central African Republic (CAR) and allegation of extortion, which if established is criminal under the laws of Liberia.
This is indeed a concern of the Government of Liberia (GOL) in light of the portfolio that Mr. Muah occupies in this connection…”
As you indicated, you have the email threads between me and Mr. Muah. I have also published the emails between Mr. Muah and me for the public to see and decide. We have published all of the communications in our Friday, January 6, 2017 publication and will continue to dissect Mr. Muah’s explanation in the days ahead.
It is our hope that the Ministry of Justice will do its best to get to the bottom of this as there are several windows of opportunity to ascertain the extent of Mr. Muah’s ownership in the Casino in Bangui.
But in furtherance of your investigation, I am available to confirm the emails in your possession if you can send them to me vial email.
A few facts to bring forth:
(1) Mr. Muah provided you the emails and he had likely had a discussion with your office.
(2) FrontPageAfrica initiated the process of notifying the President’s office about Mr. Muah’s alleged activities in Bangui, the Central African Republic (CAR). Nowhere in the communications I submitted to the President’s office is there any mention of an attempt at extortion. The only mention of anything resembling “extortion” is expressed by Mr. Muah who made several overtures which were rejected by me; and
(3) this is not the first time FrontPageAfrica has brought issues of alleged improprieties to the attention of the President’s office.
Nevertheless, we stand ready to provide to the ministry any and all communications including communications linking Mr. Muah to the Casino in Bangui as a part owner.
Again, I am available via email or telephone if you wish to request any information you think may be helpful to the investigation.
Please permit to provide the following suggestion. The Ministry of Justice begins with the Asset Declaration made by Mr. Muah at the time of his first appointment and assesses the potential for illicit wealth accumulation.
We have been informed that nearly a quarter million dollars was deposited by Mr. Muah as investment in this casino.
Unless the President of Liberia gave ministers and managing directors pay raises or bonuses in the past few years, it is hard to convince a reasonable-minded person whether such investment is supported by the salaries of Mr. Muah.
He has been employed in Government since 2008, that is nearly eight years and he claimed he cannot even afford to pay of $50,000 he claimed he owes Wells Fargo but can afford to make nearly a quarter million investment in CAR.
If that is not a red flag, I really do not know what is.
While I await your phone call or email, I am attaching documents linking Mr. Muah to the Casino in Bangui including his passport he submitted as part of the business registration process.
I hope you will read the emails carefully and peruse the information contain here to undertake an investigation into Mr. Muah as the President has requested.
I wish you all the best in your investigation.
Rodney D. Sieh