Liberia: CDC Suspends ‘Strong Member’ Jemima Wolokolie for Alleged Fraud, Extortion of Money

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Madam Wolokolie, who currently serves as the Deputy Minister of Commerce has been at the center of a loan scheme that her party claims it did not sanction

Monrovia – The National Executive Committee of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) has with immediate effect suspended the membership of Madam Jemima Wolokolie for alleged extortion of money, corruption and fraudulent misrepresentation.

The CDC, in a release on Tuesday, said Madam Wolokolie is also being suspended for being the “criminal mastermind-in-chief in the unauthorized running of a fake loan scheme suspiciously orchestrated to tarnish the party’s ethical image and disintegrate its ranks.”

According to the party, the alleged activities of Wolokolie, who recently rejoined the CDC after several years of support to the Unity Party, is “grave, criminal, dangerous and unbecoming of a party member.” 

Madam Wolokolie, who currently serves as the Deputy Minister of Commerce has been at the center of a loan scheme that her party claims it did not sanction.

“National Executive Committee of the CDC makes it clear that it will not countenance counter-progressive and rebellious activities within the ranks of the CDC and promises to relentlessly pursue and dismantle sleeper cells of gangs and culprits of chaos and disorder, irrespective of the depth or width of their influence.”

– Statement, Congress for Democratic Change

She, along with Rebecca McGill, sister of the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill recently launched a loan scheme under the group “Liberians in Support for Democratic Change (LSDC)”.

Her suspension came in the wake of her appearance on a local radio station on Tuesday to further defend her group’s action.

According to Madam Wolokolie, the loan scheme is part of strategy being put in place and approved by the ruling party to woo voters for the CDC in the 2020 Senatorial elections and 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections.

But party’s officials have taken serious exceptions to her claims, saying “her acts of lawlessness and rebel-works every time she leaves and returns remain preserved in the archives of the Grievance and Ethics Section of the party.”

The party alleged that in May 2018, “suspended partisan Jemima Wolokolie, subjected the Chairman and Members of National Executive Committee of the CDC to senseless verbal insults and this led to her suspension by the President for ‘Insubordination and unprofessionalism.”

The party also noted that in 2012 Wolokolie, appearing on state radio, ELBC, rejected the CDC as a viable democratic pathway, and outrightly demeaned the then standard-bearer Amb. George M. Weah as “Unfit for the Presidency.” 

Excerpt of the statement: “In light of these acts of systematic and wanton disregard for law and order, the National Executive Committee of the CDC swiftly moves to send suspended partisan Jemima Wolokolie to the Grievance and Ethics Committee for speedy investigation and/or prosecution, and is authorized to employ its constitutional premises  to  begin, complete and submit findings within a 30-days statutory period as laid down within the framework of the bylaws and constitution of the  CDC.”

The statement continues: “In conclusion, the National Executive Committee of the CDC makes it clear that it will not countenance counter-progressive and rebellious activities within the ranks of the CDC and promises to relentlessly pursue and dismantle sleeper cells of gangs and culprits of chaos and disorder, irrespective of the depth or width of their influence.”  

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce has also distanced itself from the utterances attributed to one of its Deputy Ministers, relative to the Loan program reportedly attributed to the Deputy Minister for Small Business Administration.

The Commerce Ministry said its Small Business Loan Program is managed by licensed financial institutions, with the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) serving as the lead manager.

All loan processing, from application to disbursement are done by these financial institutions based on an agreement and standard operating procedures reached by the parties.

A Commerce Ministry release says the Deputy Minister’s action to use MOCI premises for activities outside the Ministry’s official protocol without top management’s knowledge and approval is most unfortunate and improper.

In the release, the Commerce Ministry called on the public not to draw it into anything said or attributed to the Deputy Minister outside the established rules and regulations governing the Commerce Ministry.

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