Liberia: In the Corruption Fight, The Gander Must Be Treated Like the Goose
WHEN THE NEWS of dismissal of Nathaniel Blama dismissal for alleged fraud hit the public on Wednesday, social media buzzed with questions why President George Weah is yet to suspend the Chairman of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) who was also found liable of forgery by the Liberia National Bar Association.
BLAMA HAD JUST returned from a controversial indefinite suspension which began in March after he was diagnosed as Liberia’s coronavirus index case. He was reinstated on last Thursday but was suddenly dismissed on Wednesday for alleged fraud.
THE EXECUTIVE Mansion claimed Dr. Blama committed forgery by signing an agreement with CO2Bit Technologies, LLC, a company registered and incorporated in Florida, USA.
CO2BIT IS PART of an international dispersed group of technologists and philanthropists undertaking the oration and support of CO2Bit, a Shun Network Bashed Digital As set created as a mechanism to finance and promote the proliferation of sustainable carbon neutral energy generation projects and assets to enable evolving participation in global economy.
AS PER THE AGREEMENT, the company shall award and the EPA shall acquire a future right to utilize CO2Bit coins as part of a finance mechanism within Liberia for the sole purpose of addressing climate change effects associated with declining CO2 sequestration within Liberia.
BITCOIN SHALL award 5,000 CO2Bitcoin assets to the EPA. The company shall deliver the encrypted key associated with the CO2Bitcoins and any passwords or asset as well as any all other transaction documents.
AS PER THE MANAGEMENT, the EPA shall solely be responsible for the identification of climate mitigation activities and allocation of funds and shall appoint a management team which shall be responsible for the management of the funds raised from the award.
THE AGREEMENT ALSO states that the any proceed from the sale of CO2Bitcoins shall be distributed promptly to the climate change activities.
MR. BLAMA TOLD FrontPageAfrica that contrary to reports that he committed government’s resources in the agreement, he only stated that whatever proceeds that come out of the agreement would be used for environmental works.
“IT’S A PLATFORM like the Green Climate Fund, like the Adaptation Fund, like the Global Environment Facility Fund – it’s the same kind of platform set up globally. We have had this discussion with the finance minister before, I’ve had the discussion with the Minister of State and they are aware,” he said.
HE EXPLAINED THAT he signed the agreement on March 8, though it was dated on March 7 before leaving for Switzerland where he later returned COVID-19 positive.
BLAMA’S ACTION IN our view was rather a breach of standard procedure and not fraud as stated by the Executive Mansion. There has been no evidence to show that he diverted funds or proceeds from the agreement for personal use, neither has there been any evidence that he attempted diverting funds.
INTERESTINGLY, the President moved swiftly with his dismissal in the fight against corruption. But ironically, the man who heads the anti-corruption house has been expelled from the Liberia National Bar Association for what they considered as acts of forgery.
CLLR. A. NDUBUISI Nwabudike flopped at the confirmation hearing when he was nominated as Chairman-designate of the National Elections Commission. He staggered when it came to proving his Liberian nationality. Almost every piece of document he presented carried a different date of birth. Even his naturalization certificate could not be authenticated by court.
HIS ACTIONS WERE clearly an act of forgery. This was established by the National Bar Association after a rigorous investigation.
THE PRESIDENT’S BLIND eye and deaf ear to the LNBA’s investigative report, recommendation and the public outcry for the suspension of Cllr. Nwabudike and the launching of an independent investigation or review of the LNBA’s findings shows clear hypocrisy in his quest to fight corruption.
AS IT STANDS, the man who has been stripped off his right to practice law in Liberia for forgery continues to enjoy he confidence of the President and continues to head the country’s lead corruption fighting agency – sad!
PERHAPS, BLAMA was right when he said his dismissal was out of personal vendetta and not because of a wrong doing.
WE AT FRONTPAGEAFRICA also wonder if the Managing Director of the National Transit Authority (NTA) is also untouchable. Despite reports he single handedly signing a US$500,000 public private partnership without following the Public Procurement laws with a Senegalese firm, Mr. Heibert McCauley is yet to face any investigative panel. He still enjoys the confidence of the President.
IF CORRUPTION would end in Liberia, it would take a realistic and holistic approach without fear or favor. Liberia would continue to wallow in the menace of corruption as long as we continue to treat the goose better than the gander.