Public Works PRO Hits Back At LACC’s Report

The Director for Communications and Documentation at the Ministry of Public Works has sharply reacted to recent accusation against him by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission.

Recently, the Executive Chairman of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), ClIr. James Verdier, while addressing the Ministry of Information regular press conference, among other things recommended the prosecution of Mr. Jesefu M. Keita for allegedly aiding Mr. David Kortie to receive money from the Ministry of Public Works without any corresponding task being performed.

But addressing a news conference on Monday, Mr. Keita described the allegation against him as false and misleading adding that the rationale behind such disclosure by the LACC against him remains totally ambiguous to him.

Keita clarified that he is neither a criminal nor an accomplice to any act of criminality saying that no frivolous attempt by the LACC or any other group will overnight transform him into one. “I am too conscious and have known for a long time the devastating effects corruption has had on our common patrimony and is 99.9% responsible for the current state of affairs that we find ourselves as a nation and people. Mr. Verdier and his commission cannot school me about the impact of corruption and what it has and continues to do to Liberia; and why no Liberian should get involved with the menace,” he said.

Providing details on the contract with Mr. Kotie, Keita noted that on August 29, 2009, Mr. David Kortie, Chief Executive Officer of the Flash Point Media Consultancy Firm communicated with the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) requesting for sponsorship for his program on ELBC and ELTV. In said letter, according to Mr. Keita, Mr. Kortie offered the Ministry opportunities for hosting officials on the show as well as airing and showing MPW-related information and activities for US$4,200. “He indicated that the total amount he needed to sponsor his show on ELBC was US$12,600.00.”

He further clarified that the communication written by Mr. Kortie predates his employment at the MPW. “Having been officially recruited through the Civil Service Agency (CSA) in February 2010, I formally commenced work at the Ministry in March 2010. What this means is that a relationship or contact already existed between the MPW and Flashpoint prior to my arrival there. Hence, the impression being created by the LACC that I initiated media consultancy contract between the MPW and Flash Point is dead wrong and a further show of its lazy incompetence,” Keita said.

Commenting on his role and responsibility at the Ministry of Public Works as Director of Communications and Documentation, he disclosed that his tasks and responsibilities had to perform on behalf of the Ministry of Public Works, contracting for goods and services or making payments on contracts is certainly not one of them.

He said for the LACC to be suggesting that he allowed Mr. Kortie and others to defraud the Government of Liberia is completely unfortunate adding, “CIlr. Verdier’s utterance is not only disingenuous, but borders on laziness as just a cursory review of the available facts would have gotten him and his team of excessively paid lawyers and investigators to realize that I have no case to answer in this matter.