Liberia: Alleged Sudden Accumulation of Wealth, Embezzlement Getting Rampant among Officials of Government
MONROVIA – Last week, Assistant Minister for Logistics at the Ministry of State, James Emmanuel Potter, came under fire and the criticisms of youth league of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) for popping champagne on an Audi Q7 he had bought for his wife as a birthday gift. The contention surrounded his ability to afford such a luxurious car with his meager salary. The youth league believed there was something sinister that needed investigation. They described his action as anti-pro-poor.
“The Revolutionary National Youth League of the Mighty Coalition for Democratic Change (RNYL-CDC) condemns in its stoutest term the reckless display of wealth on the part of Assistant Minister J. Emmanuel Potter. The action of Emmanuel Potter who couldn’t afford a 2,500 USD vehicle years back will in less than three years be displaying and popping champagne over a luxurious Audi Q7 vehicle,” said Hassan Newland, Assistant Secretary of CDC Youth League.
The week barely ended when the news of the Director for Mines at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Samuel T. K. Wilson, being transferred to central administration for re-assignment as per Civil Service regulations.
According to the Ministry, the transfer is intended to revamp and clean up the Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) sub-sector, to make it more responsive to national growth and development.
However, FrontPageAfrica has gathered that Mr. Wilson is also being investigated by the Ministry of Justice over his acquisition of a luxurious 18-bedroom guest house in the Du Port Road community which has raised eyebrows over his dealings in mines sector.
He is also said to be carrying out another construction on the RIA Highway. FrontPageAfrica has, however, not been able to verify this information as Mr. Wilson could not be reached for comments up to press time.
FrontPageAfrica gathered that the Minister became concern over the matter taking into consideration that Mr. Wilson’s take-home pay is about US$600 and only acquired the property after his employment to that position.
Mr. Wilson closed down his Facebook account immediately the news hit social media.
And while the public is yet to get a comprehensive detail of the story unfolding at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, another broke out at the Port of Buchanan over the weekend.
The Manager of the Buchanan Port in Liberia was suspended for alleged financial impropriety amounting to over US$200,000.
Mr. Charles Gull and his Chief Statistician, Amara Kamara were suspended early Friday afternoon for their alleged involvement in diverting monies intended for the Government of Liberia into their personal accounts both in the United States and Liberia, respectively.
The funds, according to reports, were remittances reportedly paid by Arcelor Mittal and Equatorial Palm Oil for the exportation of iron ore and palm oil out of the country via the port in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
Mr. Gull and Mr. Kamara were arrested and risked off by agents of the National Security Agency (NSA) for interrogation early Friday afternoon.
Though the NSA, though it’s Director Henrique Pearson remains tightlipped on the arrest and subsequent investigation of Mr. Gull and Mr. Kamara, there are reports that the pair remain in the custody of the NSA.
In a release issued late Friday evening under the signature of the Communications Director of the NPA Malcolm Scott, the NPA confirmed the suspension of Mr. Gull and Mr. Kamara.
The release endorsed that the pair was suspended without pay for alleged financial impropriety.
According to the release, an investigation has been launched into the matter.
“The Management of National Port Authority informs the public that Buchanan Port Manager, Mr. Charles D. Gull and Amara Kamara, Chief statistician, outstation ports, have been suspended with immediate effect without pay for “alleged financial impropriety”.
“The two employees will remain suspended until the outcome of an ongoing investigation which they have been subjected to”.
The release pointed out that the actions taken against Mr. Gull and Mr. Kamara are in “straight adherence to the NPA’s administrative axe against any of its staff who may be found punishable for acts consistent with the Port’s policy”.
Meanwhile, the NPA has vowed to release the details and findings concerning the ongoing probe and subsequent actions by the NPA Management to the public.