LACC Completes Speaker’s US$25,000 Case

By Timothy T. Seaklon

The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) has disclosed that investigations into allegations of overpayment to the late Cllr. Michael Allison for a petroleum consultancy contract by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex Tyler has been finalized. Under the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) Act no government official is allowed to pre-pay for any transaction especially that which exceeds the threshold of US$10,000.

LACC’s Executive Chairperson, Cllr. James Verdier told journalists in Monrovia yesterday that the investigation after being finalized was submitted to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution since January of 2015.

Recently, the overpayment of a Petroleum lawyer, the late Cllr. Michael Allison, who provided consultancy for the drafting of new Petroleum Law by the House Speaker, drew the attention of the LACC when Cllr. Allison called in the LACC to probe into the matter.

The late Allison who was pre-paid the amount of US$12,000.00 by Speaker Tyler only expected a balance payment of US$12, 000, 00.

Instead he was given a check of US$25,000.00 a situation which prompted him to call in the LACC to join him at a local bank where he had gone to cash the check.

At the bank, the late Allison was followed by Representative Adolph Lawrence allegedly upon the orders of Speaker Tyler to collect the balance US$13,000.00, a proposition the late Allison refused to obey and called in the LACC.

While the matter was being investigated by the LACC, Cllr. Allison was mysteriously found dead on a beach, a death which an autopsy report attributed to drowning.

In a related development the LACC said it is still investigating the US$1.2m Oil Consultation Saga at the House of Representatives.

The Executive Chairperson of the LACC, Cllr. James Verdier said the allegation of misapplication of US$1.2m involving the Deputy Speaker, four other members and the comptroller of the House on the “National Consultation” relative to the passage of a ‘new petroleum law for Liberia’ is being investigated.

Cllr. Verdier said the LACC has also commenced investigation into the General Auditing Commission (GAC) report of the Ministry of Public Works as well as the GAC report on River Gee, Grand Cape, and Bomi Counties.

Speaking at the Ministry of Information on Thursday press briefing yesterday, Cllr. Verdier said the LACC is also investigating the Land Rental Fees of District number one in Grand Bassa County involving Deputy House Speaker Hans Barchue. The LACC Boss also said investigation into compliant from citizens from District 17, Montserrado County are alleging misapplication of County Development Fund.

He said allegation of corruption involving SPARC TECHNOLOGIES INCORPORATED and former Auditor General (AG) Robert Kilby is also being investigated by the LACC.

He also noted that investigation into allegation of corruption at the National Port Authority (NPA) regarding wreck removal and ISPs Consultancy was finalized and submitted to the Ministry of Justice in April 2015.

The LACC Boss also said the Republic of Liberia by and through the LACC obtained an “indictment” from the Grand Jury of Montserrado County for the crime of Economic Sabotage misapplication of entrusted property and criminal conspiracy against Jusufu Morris Keita and Mr. David Kortie.

The LACC Boss also extended its gratitude to the Minister of Public Works for supporting the action and noted that Mr. Keita and Kortie are accused of allegedly converting US$12,600.00 for their use from a consultancy contract that was not fully performed.

The LACC also said the Republic of Liberia by and through the LACC also obtained an “indictment” from the Grand Jury of Montserrado County for the crime of Economic Sabotage, misapplication of entrusted property, criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation against Albert Nah Bropleh, Madison Turkpah and Goderich Construction company by and through its general manager Joseph Dortu.

Cllr. Verdier said the accused allegedly converted US$19,676.25 to their use and benefited from a contract valued US$21,862.50 to install CCTV at the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) office on 12th Street, Sinkor.

The LACC Boss also told newsmen that a writ of mandamus filed by the LACC compels the trial Judge to grant its appeal on the motion to rescind judgment granted by the Supreme Court. He also said the guilty verdict of the trial juror that was set aside by the Trial Judge was ordered reinstated by the Supreme Court into the case titled Republic of Liberia by and through LACC versus Beatrice Munah Sieh, Brown Harris Mannah, Prince A. O. Akinramin, Keyman N. Zeon and Nebo Garlo.