Liberia: Embattled Anti-Corruption Vice Chair, Kanio Bai Gbala, Requests Leave of Absence after FPA Investigative Report
MONROVIA – Cllr. Kanio Bai Gbala, Vice Chairman of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), has requested a one-month leave of absence following a FrontPageAfrica investigation that uncovered his alleged conflict of interest and corruption at the National Port Authority.
Cllr. Gbala in his request addressed to the Chairman of the Commission stated that his decision “was provoked by an August 30, 2021 news report in the FrontPageAfrica Newspaper which alleges that I am professionally conflicted regarding the ongoing corruption investigation of the National Port Authority (NPA)”.
He continued, “While I am absolutely convinced that I have committed no legal wrong nor violated any conflict of interest provision of our laws, I believe it is necessary that I take this leave of absence in order to allow the independent and professional men of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) to undertake a speedy and impartial investigation into this matter without any public perception of bias or impartially.”
FrontPageAfrica’s investigation uncovered that Cllr. Gbala, the Managing Director of the National Port Authority and others established a company with the sole purpose of awarding the handling services contract at the Port of Buchanan to the company.
They reportedly used funds from the NPA to purchase a US$65,000 966 Loader to carry out the handling services at the Port of Buchanan by their newly established Creative Developers Inc.
According to the source, “Bill Tweahway has 60% share in the company, Cllr. Kanio Bai-Gbala was given 10% share, Deputy Comptroller Christian Brownell was given 15% share; while Hamed Sidiki Fofana was given 15% share. So, from the time the company was founded, they had a single machine and each time a vessel is in port, it will be used to do the loading and their invoices will be sent to them,” a source within the Freeport of Monrovia informed FPA.
Mr. Tweahway did not respond to FPA’s inquiry while Mr. Fofana and Brownell could not be reached up to press time for comments.
However, Cllr. Gbala denied being a shareholder of the company – Creative Developers Inc. (CDI) but stated, “I bought shares in Creative Developers on behalf of my younger sister, Zarylee Gbala upon being invited by my friend Sidiki Fofana who established the company and is the CEO.”