Liberia: CSO Wants Sen. Teahjay to Provide Progress Report On US$ 700K Used During His Administration As County Superintendent
MONROVIA – A group under the banner of ‘Consortium of Sinoe County Civil Society Organizations’ has written to County Senator J. Milton Teahjay, requesting a progress report on the $700K (seven hundred thousand US dollars) intended for developmental projects in the county.
By: Henry karmo [email protected]
In a statement issued by the organization, they claimed that the county’s financial records showed that during Senator Teahjay’s administration as Superintendent of the County, the county received more than $700K for specific development projects in the county which the people of Sinoe County, through a County Development Council sitting, authorized him to implement specific projects. However, as of today, there has been no report on those projects and how the money was expended.
“We, therefore, request that you kindly find space within your schedule in the shortest possible time to report on the projects and usage of the Sinoe people development money when you were county superintendent.”
The group further stated that, notwithstanding the prime purpose of their communication amongst other reasons, is to ask the senator to report on two specific development projects which have no semblance of trace in their designated locations. The projects are: the Greenville city electrification project which costs $495,000, and the Diyankpo Administration building project, which costs $40,000, totaling $535,000.
“It will be a wise decision if you tell us where this money is and make it available to the people of Sinoe County.”
The civil society group also accused the Sinoe County senator of using his influence to deny senate confirmation of some local government officials nominated by President George Weah in 2018. Some of the officials, according to them, include district and township commissioners and a host of several assistant superintendents for development, district and township commissioners, amongst others.
In 2017, an indictment, which originated from an investigation conducted by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), accused the former Sinoe County Superintendent and his deputy of expending $50,000, representing 30% of land rental fees entrusted to Teahjay and Wlemus by the government for the development of the county.
“In addition, Teahjay illegally disbursed, used and expended without any evidence, $12,000 of proceeds realized from sales of rubber seized from illegal tappers from the SRC plantation,” the indictment statement.
“Therefore, the defendants did knowingly, feloniously, purposely, criminally, maliciously, willfully, and intentionally steal, pilfer, take and carry away, exercise unauthorized control over and convert the total amount of $12,000 to his own use and benefit and or the use of benefits of others.”
Further to the litany of charges allegedly committed, the indictment disclosed that “defendant J. Milton Teahjay awarded contracts valued at $764,500 to individuals and or companies without the processes and procedures required for the awarding of such contracts.”
CENTAL wants Teahjay penalized
In 2020, the Center for Transparency and Accountability (CENTAL) called on the Liberian Senate to launch an investigation into allegations linking Sinoe County Senator Milton Teahjay to collecting $20,000 from Cllr. Ndubusi Nwabudike to be confirmed as Chairman of the National Elections Commission by the Liberian Senate.
Speaking at a news conference in Monrovia, the Executive Director of CENTAL, Anderson Miamen, said the Senate must investigate one of its own for his alleged involvement in corrupt practices.
“We call on the leadership and members of the Liberian Senate to timely and thoroughly investigate the reported payment of $20,000 by Cllr. Ndubusi Nwabudike, current head of the Liberia Anti -Corruption to be confirmed as Chairperson of the National Elections Commission,” Miamen said.
He added: “We call for appropriate punitive action against the Senator by his colleagues for practicing interest peddling and bribery by soliciting jobs for his family members, friends, and confidantes as basis for confirming nominees, a clear violation of relevant Liberian Laws, including the Code of Conduct of 2014 and the 1986 Liberian Constitution.”