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Journalist Cholo Brooks Sued For US$1M For Investigative Report

Journalist Cholo Brooks Sued For US$1M For Investigative Report

Monrovia – Lawyers representing the legal interest of Joel Cholo Brooks, Publisher of an online news outlet have rubbished a US$10 million lawsuit against the journalist filed at the Civil Law Court by Praise Tony Lawal of the Praise Glory Lawal (PGL) Construction Company on Action of Damages for Libel.

Recently GNN published series of articles quoting documents from the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) calling the Ministry of Finance, Development, Planning (MFDP) not to make any payment to in favor of the Praise Glory Lawal (PGL) Construction Company until ‘The ongoing investigation surrounding circumstance leading to the award of a contract to the PGL Construction Company valued at Five Million United States Dollars.

The LACC document in the possession of this news outlet dated on May 13, 2015 and signed by the Program Manager/Enforcement Division also noted with keen interest that “Result from our preliminary investigation the PGL Construction Company has allegedly received One Million Nine Hundred Thousand United Sates Dollars for the rehabilitation of the Brewerville/Bopolu road project without submission of a Bill of Quantity (BOQ) to the Ministry of Public Works,” the LACC investigation revealed.

Based on all of these allegations against the PGL, a team of GNN, independent investigators took up an assignment to publicly verify the authenticity of these communications from the LACC and other sources which gave rise to toured the entire road in question where unfortunately it was noticed that residents of the area (Brewerville/Bopolu) were in a constrained situation due to the deplorable condition of the road.

Also in the possession of this news outlet were the verification report on the Brewerville/Bopolu road project, a 5-page document from the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning (MFDP) described the poor performance of PGL on the rehabilitation of the Brewervill/Bopolu road noting, “PGL is registered under Code F4100 which is for the construction of building, instead of roads and railways”, this statement by the committee contradicts the role of the PGL in this latest report.

In its findings dated on June 27, 2017, the Committee said: “Physical verification established that from Kpo Hill to Bomnoma, there is no clearing of vegetation on the side of the road. From Gandima to Bopolu there is no evidence of clearing of vegetation.

We verified twenty three bridges and eight drainages; out of the eight, six are untouched, there were two drainages constructed by the Company (PGL) with incomplete wing walls causing erosion that undermines the culverts. Bridges on this road are still in deplorable state, meaning that they were not improved by the Company in accordance with the contract.

Approaching Winnie Town the culverts were poorly done which is resulting to the overflow of the water,” the Committee comprised of Ezekiel Korva; acting director, Accounting Service Unit, Steve Joe Joe; director, Physical Audit Unit, Juvenal C. Pearson; assistant director, Physical Audit Unit, Gabriel B. Nyenpan, II; Senior Compliance Auditor, Patrick S. Jackson; Senior Compliance Officer and Sando Adams Compliance Auditor.

 Documents in the possession of this news outlet has revealed that PGL has defaulted in its contract with the Liberian Government for the rehabilitation of the concerned road project, this situation has compelled residents of the area to use detour route to travel due to its deplorable condition.

During a tour of the road followed series concern been expressed by the residents of the area, our team of reporters hired a 4runner jeep for the purpose of doing thorough investigation on the overview of the road, unfortunately, despite of the kind of vehicle that used for that road it was still difficult to go further as the road was inaccessible to vehicles.

Speaking to residents of the area, many of those interviewed by our staff expressed disappointment in the Liberian Government of been insensitive of their plight, making reference of the deplorable condition of their road.

However, with the 10 million dollars lawsuit being filed against the Publisher of GNN, Joel Cholo Brooks, the management says it is determine to bring to justice the management of PGL to book for defrauding the Liberian people of their taxes under the pretense of providing them with roads. 

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