Resignation at Bassa Sports Association Links Supt. to Alleged Corruption
Buchanan, Grand Bassa County – The resignation of the Assistant Secretary General of the Bassa Sports Association (BSA) could smear the credibility of county Superintendent J. Levi Demmah who also served as mobilization Chairman for the county team during the 2015/2016 National County Meet.
Thomas Bedell’s resignation is opening a Pandora box in the county especially as the court of public opinion debate the issue and Bedell’s assertions contained in his letter of resignation addressed to the Superintendent may even raise more eyebrows.
Despite his assertions, the BSA has drawn a line between him and the association with the association President telling FrontPage Africa on Tuesday that Bedell’s arguments are coated with errors.
Bedell claimed that he’s tendering his resignation based on ‘looming apparent corruption that has engulfed the BSA’, adding that Superintendent Demmah and the Legislative Caucus have marginalized and usurped the functions of the association thereby politicizing the BSA.
Amongst other things, the former BSA Assistant Secretary General alleged that the Executive Committee of the association was unaware of the usage of US$164,000.00 during the aforementioned tournament.
Wrote Bedell: “… The financial report presented to the Bassa people by you Mr. Superintendent was never written or prepared by the Financial Secretary, Mr. Alfred Welwean or any member of the Bassa Sports Association.”
He also claimed that the superintendent and the caucus have failed to account US$200,000.00 raised to fund the county’s participation in the county meet while slamming Mr. Demmah for underappreciating individuals and institutions who made contributions and were not mentioned during the report, something Bedell labelled as ingratitude and the demonstration of the lack of fiscal discipline, accountability and transparency in the management of public fund.
Bedell further accused members of the Legislative caucus and the President of the BSA for politicizing the association after the made several new reappointments of BSA officials saying that the move signaled disunity, administrative malpractice, marginalization and political intolerance.
When Superintendent Demmah released the 2015/2016 county meet financial report for Grand Bassa in early March, there were mix-reactions of people in the county but as people were still savouring the county’s back-to-back success, many ignored the emerging assertions about the report.
Meanwhile, others wanted more explanations on how US$90,000.00 was spent in the 2013 county meet when Grand Bassa also won the tournament and then US$200,000.00 was expended in 2015 edition of the tournament only for the county to repeat the same feat.
Many reporters requested copies of the report for scrutiny but the BSA and Mr. Demmah have failed to make copies of the report public.
The argument was ignored but with an ex-official of the BSA now making these assertions and calling for an independent audit and investigation, some are suggesting for Superintendent Demmah to come clear and give full detail.
Mr. Demmah has made on response to Bedell’s assertions, while the legislative caucus is also thrashing the claims by refusing to make public response to the assertions.
Responding to FPA inquiry on the matter on Tuesday, the Chair of Grand Bassa Legislative Caucus, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence said in a text message that she personally spent US$5000, 00, excluding supplies to support the Bassa teams and didn’t handle money. The Senator further mentioned that she’s not aware that any member of the caucus was involved with the expenditure aspect of the team operations during the county meet while suggesting that those making the allegation must provide supporting documents.
In an official comment on behalf of the County Legislative Caucus, Senator Lawrence texted FPA saying: “The caucus doesn’t get involved with expenditures in the county, including the money for the county meet; we only approved and monitored.”
Bedell’s open assertions are drawing mix opinions in the county especially the Port City of Buchanan. His assertions are being opposed by executives of the BSA who are avoiding any stand-off with both the Superintendent and the caucus.
Speaking to FPA in a phone chat, the BSA President Arthur Jimmy said the association has distanced itself from the comments made by its former official. “We have disassociated ourselves from the content of the allegation; it is mere by a lot of errors,” Jimmy said. “In the first place,” he continued.
“The report in question that he alluded to was done by the BSA and not the Chairman of Mobilization. The report in question was written by me as the Chairman.”
Inducted in February 2016 as Grand Bassa County’s first male superintendent, Demmah was seen as the freashness to revive a county sinking in disunity and political divisiveness. When he outlined Reconciliation and unity; Youth development, improved financial management system and infrastructure development as his foremost objectives, observers were breathing air of relief.
Over the last couple of weeks, Demmah has come under some criticisms for making harsh statements against a reporter and threatening to take Emmanuel Dee, Vice President of the Bassa Youth Caucus, to court for making allegation against him.
Dee had recently accused the Superintendent of showing unwillingness to work with his Assistant Superintendent for Development – Adonis Greaves. The Bassa Youth VP in an interview with FPA described the Superintendent as an ‘intolerant administrator’.