‘High Gov’t Officials to Testify in Parker’s Case’ — Sources

Parker (in blue dress) walks along with members of her legal counsel at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia

Monrovia – Multiple sources at the Temple of Justice told FrontPageAfrica Tuesday, Oct 17, that several high-profile former government officials are set to testify in the trial of the former Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA), Ms. Matilda Parker and Comptroller Christiana Paelay.

Report By Kennedy L. Yangian [email protected]

Though the case has been suspended since September 17, 2018 by Judge Boima Kontoe until he can study a submission made by the prosecution and rejected by the defense that they are unable to locate their witnesses currently, therefore, the court should go ahead and accept the testimonies of its six previous witnesses.

In the wake of the court ruling in this submission, the sources, who spoke to this paper but begged anonymity claimed when the court shall rule and accept the submission made by the prosecution and allow the case to proceed, the defense will be requesting on the witness stand several high-profile government officials.

The sources further named the high- profile officials as former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, NPA Board Chairman and Vice Nathaniel Barnes and Morris Dukuly, among others. President Sirleaf is reported to have written a letter to Parker while as NPA Managing Director instructing her to initiate the projects, which are part of items the court is looking into.

Former President Sirleaf’s letter according to the sources cleverly states that Parker should take such action as is necessary to expedite the removal of sunken vessel (wreck) and dredging of the Greenville Port.

Morris Dukuly, then Vice Chairman of the Board of the NPA, during the first project for the ship wreck removal in alignment to the NPA policy, signed the contract and the checks in the absence of the Chairman, who was on travel leave.

Nathaniel Barnes, Chairman of the NPA Board, the sources added during the second project for the Greenville Port assessment and plan requirement to open the port, signed the contract and checks.

“For the roles these former high-profile government officials played, they are going to be called to appear and testify in this economic sabotage case,” one of the sources added. 

Parker and Paeley were indicted in 2015 by the state through the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) on charges of economic sabotage, theft of property and criminal conspiracy. They have since pleaded not guilty.

The Special Grand Jury of Montserrado County accused the defendants that between the period of July 2011 up to December 2012 while serving in their respective positions at the NPA, made fraudulent payments from the accounts of the NPA to a bogus company the Denmar Enterprise Inc to remove wrecks from the Port of Greenville in Sinoe County.

The payments the Grand Jury revealed was done without the approval of the Public Procurement and Concession Commission and that of the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA) since the work was maritime-oriented.

“The action of the defendants is in violation of Chapter 16, sub-chapter “F” Sections 15,80  (a( b) © of the New Penal Law of the Republic of Liberia,” said the Grand Jury, who also claimed that of all of the payments made by the defendants no work was done but there were reports submitted by the defendants.