Liberia: Leaked Audio Exposes How CARI Heads Plotted to Steal Entity’s Assets
CARI, Bong County – A leaked audio, which is three minutes, twenty-nine seconds, in the possession of FrontPageAfrica has revealed a ploy carried out by the acting officer-in-charge of the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) Paulette Findley and David Tokpah, head of the Natural Resource Department of the entity, to steal assets belonging to CARI.
Report by Selma Lomax, [email protected]
Looting of the entity’s assets has become widespread since Findley assumed the helm of CARI last year. Two months ago, a 50 KVA generator reportedly owned by CARI was discovered by some staff of the entity in a compound in Gbarnga. The discovery of the generator prompted an investigation by the Crimes Services Department of the Liberia National Police after employees accused Tokpah of being responsible for the disappearance of the generator.
Police later charged Tokpah as the main suspect in a theft of property case involving three employees – Anthony Taplah, an agriculture engineer and the chief security at CARI, Sam Lewis.
According to the police, Tokpah admitted to removing the generator from CARI compound, but couldn’t state where he took it. “The issue about the whereabouts of the machine has been a major concern for our investigation so far. Tokpah admitted taking the generator from CARI compound but couldn’t disclose where he took it,” Superintendent Kelenso Flomo, head of the Crimes Services Department of the Bong County Police Detachment told FrontPageAfrica.
Tokpah, according to the police, Tokpah took advantage of the absence of Findley, who recommended him to act as acting officer-in-charge of CARI, to take the generator. Upon her return, Findley denied instructing Tokpah to take the generator away in her absence.
“I don’t know about what transpired in my absence. What happened has brought embarrassment to the management of CARI. I am calling on the police to carry on speedy investigation to establish the reality,” Findley said.
Leaked Audio Links Findley To Stolen CARI Generator
But an audio in the possession of FrontPageAfrica has revealed that Findley and Tokpah connived to steal the generator. Findley, in the audio, mandated Tokpah to quickly remove the generator from CARI compound and take it to the vendor whom Tokpah had identified. “You people should take the generator from the compound and you people should do it quick because Nagbe (the institution’s finance officer) ma sick.”
In the audio, Findley recommended to Tokpah to give the head of the General Service Agency in Bong County one of the institution’s generators as a means of buying his silence before they begin selling items she and Tokpah have earmarked. “We should give the GSA man one generator to keep him quiet,” she said.
Tokpah, in the audio, disagreed with Findley and recommended to Findley to give him US$200.00 instead of one generator. “What?! Who should give him one generator? We should just find his US$ 200 bulks. Oldma, under this sun here, stealing da stealing. For the fact that he ate US$200 every one of us stole,” Tokpah said.
Findley, Tokpah celebrate plot to sack Jomah
Also, in the audio, Findley and Tokpah were heard celebrating the dismissal of the former director of the fishery department at CARI, Nykoi Jomah. Jomah was dismissed for fraudulently withdrawing LD$ 10,000 from the institution’s account.
Police charged and sent Jomah to court on allegations of forgery, theft of property and misapplication of entrusted property.
The Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Gbarnga in May 2020 dismissed the case against Jomah: “The case was dismissed by Court without prejudice to the State. The Defendant is therefore discharged by Court from further answering to the charges levied against the Defendant by the State on the proviso that the matter is dismissed without prejudice to the State,” a Clearance from the court obtained by FrontPage Africa.
Since his dismissal, Jomah has been protesting in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, terming his dismissal. He claimed Findley has refused to pay his benefits for eleven months.
“What?! Who should give him one generator? We should just find his US$ 200 bulks. Oldma, under this sun here, stealing da stealing. For the fact that he ate US$200 every one of us stole”David Tokpah, Head of Research Department, CARI
Celebrating Jomah’s dismissal, Findley, in the audio, said her stance on Jomah has instilled fear in some workers of the entity. “Haha, Haha, David Tokpah, you know what? My driver said “oldma, people are saying since you removed Jomah from CARI, people really afraid of you. Soon they saw you coming, they started running to go on the field. They saw Jomah as their strong man and they thought he would have overpowered me, but since I removed him, they have gotten afraid of me,” Findley is heard in a leaked audio in the possession of FrontPage Africa.
Tokpah, in his response, said he warned Jomah to be mindful with Findley because of her connections she has with the executive. “I warned Jomah, I warned him, I warned him. I told him “I have been dealing with two of you people”, I warned the man. I told him that the place the oldma (Paulette Findley and I na go) you know people, oo, but you can’t fight that woman and win.”
Findley has reportedly used her influence to instill fear in workers of the entity who differ with her on issues that don’t favor at the institution seemingly because of her proximity with the minister of state, Nathaniel McGill.
Before her ascendency as officer-in-charge, Findley fell out of favor with the former director general of CARI, Marcus Jones, over his refusal to accept recommendations from her regarding employment of volunteers at the institution.
Jones was provoked to dismiss Findley after she reportedly slapped him in the face during a spat between the both of them on the compound of CARI. Findley, FPA gathered, promised Jones that she was going to return in his steer as head of CARI.
And after months, Jones was dismissed by President George Weah and replaced by Findley as acting officer in charge of CARI.
When contacted, both Tokpah and Findley confirmed their voices in the leaked audio.
Conversation between CARI’s acting officer-in-charge Paulette Findley and the head of Natural Resource Department of the institution, David Tokpah, on how to steal the institution’s assets
Paulette Findley: “Haha, Haha, David Tokpah, you know what? My driver said “oldma, people are saying since you removed Jomah from CARI, people really afraid of you. Soon they saw you coming, they started running to go on the field. They saw Jomah as their strong man and they thought he would have overpowered me, but since I removed him, they have gotten afraid of me.”
David Tokpah: “I warned Jomah, I warned him, I warned him. I told him “I have been dealing with two of you people”, I warned the man. I told him that the place the oldma (Paulette Findley and I na go) you know people, oo, but you can’t fight that woman and win.”
Paulette Findley: “Someone called me and said “Paulette Findley, I am afraid of you!” What! You removed Jomah from CARI?”
David Tokpah: “But Rep. Marvin Cole seh afraid of you then that Jomah?”
Paulette Finley: “It’s about time for you people to enjoy CARI while I am there.”
David Tokpah: “Tomorrow, we will call the GSA (General Service Agency) man, to prepare our receipt. The thing was on air, it was on air. We will earmark the ones we want. We will take our own first before we call the other staff and tell them how much it cost. We will find something for the GSA man, he will be standing there.”
Paulette Findley: “We should give the GSA man one generator so that we keep him quite.”
David Tokpah: “What?! Who should give him one generator? We should just find his US$ 200 bulks. Oldma, under this sun here, stealing that stealing. For the fact that he eats US$ 200 every one of us stole.”
Paulette Findley: “You people should do it quick because Nagbe (the institution’s finance officer) ma sick.”