Liberia: CAN US Board Exonerates Eric Wowoh of All Allegations on 2 of Its Campuses

0

Monrovia – The investigation launched by the Change Agents Network’s (CAN) US Board, into reports of sexual allegations on two of its operated schools’ campuses in Liberia, has concluded that Mr. Eric W. Wowoh did not commit any of those alleged acts.

Wowoh, who was accused by Daniel Dennis and his Students Against Corruption (SAC) of committing the sexual abuses on the campuses, especially at Heart of Grace in Johnsonville, is the Founder and Executive Director of CAN.

Included in Dennis’ allegation against Wowoh, he lied that Wowoh had raped a 16-year-old minor, who is referred to only as “A.S.” in official Police report to protect her identity.

Police Investigation

The Liberian National Police began an in-depth investigation into the allegations in September 2021 when it was reported to them by Wowoh. In their final “Confirmation Clearance” report, under the signature of Charles B. Blake, Commissioner of Police for CSD, CID and Interpol Affairs, issued on December 22, 2021, the LNP cleared Mr. Eric W. Wowoh of all sexual misconduct (rape) within Triple A in Gbarnga, Bong County and at Heart of Grace.

CAN US Board Findings

However, the CAN US Board’s investigation performed chiefly by Dr. Stefania Forte from March 5 to 13, 2022, was intended “to conduct a fact-finding investigation with the goal of gathering all relevant information pertaining to allegations of sexual assault and mismanagement of Change Agent Network’s funds.”

When she arrived in Liberia, she was joined in the investigation by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and a legal practitioner. Ms. Maminah Carr-Gaye, Assistant Gender Minister of Child Protection and Social Services, Atty. Henry Barkoun, an independent attorney, and Ms. Joy C. Onos were those who assisted Dr. Forte in her investigation of the allegations against Eric.

Heart of Grace School Campus in Lower Johnsonville, Montserrado County

In her findings, the CAN US Board head said she and her co-interviewers had taken statements from all the girls, who were named by SAC as being sexually harassed on the campuses.

“Statements made by Marion Sulunteh, Jestina Dunbar and Delphine Saoromou against Eric Wowoh were inconsistent. Many were found to be motivated by money and a desire for better grades. The girls did not want to report the case to the police, but instead wanted to negotiate deals with the school that included improving their grades and not having to attend summer school.”

Like in the Liberia National Police’s report, Dr. Forte’s report also accused Daniel Dennis, who is a self-style rights activist, that he “had sexual relationships” with some of the alleged victims, including Jestina Dunbar, and Leetor Sidbley.

“His relationship with Justina Dunbar was unethical and created a conflict of interest to pursue an allegation brought to him by his girlfriend,” Dr. Forte said.

She further accused Dennis of dismissing the entire Bong County SAC leadership chapter because they had asked for proof of the sexual assault allegations and asked him to follow the procedures of the organization instead of working independently.

Dennis and one Isaac Naimah are said to have coerced Angie Suomie, a minor, to make false claims of sexual assault against Wowoh without her parent’s consent. “They are also implicated in bribing Angie to maintain these statements with cash, tuition, shopping trips and promises to take her to the U.S.”

Having found out that all the allegations that Daniel Dennis and SAC told against Eric were false, Dr. Forte recommended among others that, “Students Against Corruption should be investigated for sexual exploitation, abuse of power and malpractice.” She further recommends that, “A Cease and Desist communication should be submitted to Hope Novak, Students Against Corruption and others to stop all communications with students, board member and staff under CAN.”

“It was a very sad experience to see that specific individuals tried to tarnish the reputation of Mr. Eric Wowoh and the organization without any tangible proof – only hearsay.  The CAN Board awaiting so-called evidence from Hope Novak, Daniel Dennis and the leadership of Student Against Corruption – to no avail.  All we received was slandering messages on Facebook and the opinions of these people who were the very ones participating in the exploitation of the alleged victims. This investigation was a lot of work caused by a lot of lies.

This is Alexandria A. Andrews Academy Campus in Gbarnga, Bong County

This is Alexandria A. Andrews Academy Campus in Gbarnga, Bong County

Dr. Forte further stated that under Wowoh’s administration, CAN Liberia has seen tremendous progress: “What we are facing with CAN is a sign of incredible growth. We have gone from a one person, one school operation to a major player in primary, secondary and higher education in Liberia. We are the largest private organization in Liberia focused on education infrastructure. We are not only building schools – but we are also creating Education and Empowerment Villages with a holistic approach to all students and the surrounding communities. With this tremendous growth in a very short period, the entire board of CAN-USA is fully involved, engaged, and committed in the day-to-day smooth running of this worthy organization.”

Financial Audit Report

Meanwhile, the Bicon Incorporated, a Certified Public Accountants and Certified Fraud Examiners, which audited CAN’s financial records for the last three years ending at December 31, 2021, has also cleared Eric of all financial mismanagement of CAN’s funds.

“We have audited the accompanying financial statements of CAN Inc., which comprise the income statement, Cash Status and Fund Balance for the period then ended,” Bicon said in its audit report.

The report also shows that Wowoh was able to raise at least US$1,505,149.00 (One million, five hundred and five thousand, four hundred and forty-nine United States Dollars) over the same period.

However, the auditing firm, in its report released on March 24, 2022, notes at least three things that it recommends CAN puts into place to further safeguard its funds. It recommends that internal control structure be put into place; reconciliation of Accounts (transfer from foreign support to Liberia programs) and an operational manual be produced.

Please see full repot here.

Comments
Loading...