Liberia: ‘Unexplained Absences’ from Board Meetings Cited in Ben Sanvee’s Resignation from LPRC Board
Monrovia – Mr. Benjamin Sanvee, the former Acting Chairman of the opposition Liberty Party who was part of a faction within the party which endorsed the candidacy of George Manneh Weah in the second round of the 2017 presidential elections, has stepped down from his position as a member of the board of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC).
In a letter dated April 8, 2019 sent to President Weah and in the possession of FrontPageAfrica, Mr. Sanvee, expressed thanks to the President for the opportunity to serve but fell short of stating his reason for resigning his post.
Mr. Sanvee wrote:
“Dear Mr. President, please accept this letter as a formal notice of my decision to resign as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) effective April 8, 2019. I remain deeply grateful for the opportunity you’ve afforded me to serve my country. I wish you well and continue to pray for the upliftment of our people.”
Mr. Benjamin Sanvee
I remain deeply grateful for the opportunity you’ve afforded me to serve my country. I wish you well and continue to pray for the upliftment of our people.”
Mr. Sanvee failed to elaborate on his reasons for stepping down but FrontPageAfrica has learned that his unexplained prolonged absence from board meetings was a key factor that prompted his resignation.
On December 5, 2018, Bishop Dr. Josiah K. Pah, Sr. wrote Mr. Sanvee seeking explanation over his five months absence from the board without any written excuse and information. “As you may be aware, the established procedure of the Board is to write a letter to the Board through the Chairman informing him on how long you will be and stating reasons. As you may also be aware this is a new board which requires your constant attendance and presence at all meetings. I would be grateful were you to inform me on any development soonest,” Mr. Pah wrote.
On December 10, 2018, Mr. Sanvee responded with the following communication to the Board Chair:
Dear Mr. Chairman,
Thanks for your letter and I’m grateful for you continued interest and concern about my abrupt absence. I’m hopeful all is well with your able leadership.
As per my absence, I had anticipated returning to the country before the end of the year but I’m still engulfed in Some family emergency. Believe me Mr. Chairman, I’m doing all I can to deal with the situation and working hard for my return to join you and other directors. At this stage, I’m hoping to be in Liberia sometime in February of next year. I intend to reach out to the MD to discuss some way forward. Mr. Chairman, please accept this as my official Communication to be place on the record about my absence. Happy Holidays and my regards to the entire team.
Mr. Sanvee who served as National Youth Advisor in the government of former Liberian President Charles Taylor contested the 2014 Senatorial elections, finishing a distant third.
Weah, running as a candidate for the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), won that election with 78 percent of the vote, beating President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s son, Robert, who took 11% of the vote, and former youth leader, Benjamin Sanvee who had 4% of the vote, according to the National Elections Commission final tally.
Regarded as one of the rising stars in Liberian politics, Mr. Sanvee along with Musah Bility and LP’s standard bearer Harrison Karnwea raised eyebrows after the first round when the joined Weah and the CDC on stage to express support for the CDC in the second round.
The endorsement came shortly after the LP’s standard bearer Charles Walker Brumskine led charges of complaints of fraud and irregularities after he scraped third with 9.6 percent of ballots, in arguing the National Elections Commission (NEC) had rigged the vote.
When the dust finally settled and all parties set aside the complaints after the Supreme Court ruled that Brumskine and others crying foul lacked sufficient evidence to proceed, coupled with the intervention of ECOWAS, Mr. Sanvee declared at the CDC’s headquarters: “You are the choice of the people, Senator Weah. We endorse your presidency. We endorse your presidency because the people have spoken.”
Sanvee was rumored to be linked to several high-profile jobs but eventually landed on the LPRC board when President Weah appointed him on February 14, 2018.