Liberia: Amid Diplomatic Passport Controversy, Honorary Consul Unveiled in Burkina Faso
Monrovia – Liberia unveiled a new Honorary Consul in Burkina Faso Monday, in the wake of major controversy surrounding the alleged selling of diplomatic passports and consulship to foreign nationals.
Mr. Soudré Dieudonné, 43, was installed in office on Monday, in a large hotel complex in Ouagadougou, the Burkinabè capital, the online Burkinabe-based Informateur reported Monday.
Acting Foreign Minister Henry B. Fahnbulleh was reportedly on hand for the unveiling of Dieudonné.
Liberia does not have an embassy in the Capital, Ouagadougou and Liberians are not required to obtained visas to travel there.
The publication describes Dieudonné as a prosperous economic operator and a native of Pouytenga, in Kouritenga, who who started from nothing to establish several flourishing companies in the construction industry, road transport-trade, through his company, the General Services du Burkina(GESEB) said to be present in Burkina Faso. The report says the company is doing business in Benin, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire, although it is unclear which project it is carrying out in Liberia.
Mr. Soudré Dieudonné’s unveiling comes in the wake of yet another scandal involving honorary consulship in Liberia and the case of Mr. Akintunde Ojo who it has been discovered, has been acting as Honorary Consulate General to Mexico for Liberia.
Mr. Dieudonné, according to the publication, was elected consular at the Chamber of Commerce, is a member of the Regulatory Authority of Public Order(ARCOP) and is also vice president of the commission for infrastructure development and public private partnership at the Chamber of Commerce of Burkina Faso.
Dieudonné’s unveiling comes in the wake of yet another scandal involving honorary consulship in Liberia and the case of Mr. Akintunde Ojo who it has been discovered, has been acting as Honorary Consulate General to Mexico for Liberia.
The government through its spokesman, Lenn Eugene Nagbe has defended the appointment, saying it acted prudently and legally.
Mr. Ojo, a Nigerian, is accused of being an alleged drug criminal who bribed his way through the George Weah-led government for the acquisition of a Liberian diplomatic passport and a diplomatic post, for the purpose of carrying out his drug deals under the protection of Liberia’s sovereignty.
Late Monday, the Consulate’s website in Mexico was taken down, barely 48 hours after eyebrows were raised on how Mr. Ojo, obtained his Liberian diplomatic passport and got his assignment as Liberia’s Honorary Consul General to Mexico. Mr. Ojo’s only internet presence was the Liberian Consulate in Mexico’s website https://www.lbrmex-hcg.com which is now “Under maintenance”.
FrontPageAfrica has not been able to independently verify Mr. Ojo’s involvement with drugs and could not obtain any information on the internet that links him to any involvement in drug or crime.
It is unclear what criteria was used to appoint Mr. Dieudonné but Under the 2012 Revised Regulations for Honorary Consuls for Liberia, candidates for the Honorary Consul post can be named among persons that are: Citizens of the Republic of Liberia resident in Receiving State; Citizens of the Receiving State; Citizens of a third State having permanent residence in or documented with the state permit in the Receiving State and having strong ties with Liberia; having either worked in Liberia for a significant period of time or have invested in or established business, educational and other vital links with Liberia.
The appointee must also be capable of fully financing the activity of the consular office, providing suitable premises for the Honorary Consulate or underwriting the rent of the Honorary Consulate, providing the required logistics including furnishing, stationery, and equipment (transport, communication, etc) and must be able to underwrite the salaries of staff except where otherwise spelt out in these Regulations.
Additionally, appointees must also be capable and willing to promote the interests of the Republic of Liberia in the Receiving State leading to the establishment and enhancement of economic, commercial, educational, scientific, cultural, sports, and other ties and attracting investments and foreign capital into the economy of the Republic of Liberia and must not have any criminal records and or under criminal investigation.
Burkina Faso was used as a launching pad for Liberia’s brutal civil war where the first batch of rebels under the command of Charles Taylor were trained as a secret mercenary army to topple President Samuel Kanyon Doe, receiving fresh supplies of artillery from Libya.