The Ministry of Health &Social Welfare has with immediate effect, suspended the services of Mr. Beyan Johnson, Managing Director of the National Drugs Service (NDS).
A communication to Mr. Johnson dated October1, 2015 and signed by Health Minister, Dr. Bernice Dahn, a copy of which was obtained by this paper, the Ministry of Health, parent institution of the National Drugs Service (NDS) suspended the employment services of Mr. Johnson with the NDS/MOH with immediate effect pending the outcome of ongoing investigations into disappearances of drugs and other alleged improprieties at the NDS.
The communication noted, “The Ministry has over the past weeks received several complaints from institutions including partners alleging disappearances of essential drugs donated or procured and placed under your care at the NDS. As you are aware, donors (partners) of those drugs and the Ministry are deeply concerned about these negative developments at the NDS. Accordingly, the Ministry has commissioned an inventory of all items at the NDS’s warehouses and is also working with the Liberia National Police to establish culpability for drugs confiscated on a truck allegedly headed for Guinea.”
The letter furthered, “The Ministry is exerting every effort to establish culpabilities for the aforesaid loss of government properties under the watchful eye of your management team at the NDS and, therefore, look forward to your fullest cooperation with the above-mentioned ongoing investigations which is expected to last for about one Month.”
At the same time, the Ministry of Health has required that Mr. Johnson provides all necessary support needed by the teams to facilitate speedy closure of the abovementioned investigations. The communication concluded, “Your employment services with the NDS/MOH may be resumed if cleared by the investigation teams.”
On September 1, 2015 the Director for LMHRA received a report of a truck arrested while allegedly carrying a consignment of essential drugs and supplies; the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) requested the LMHTA to dispatch a team of inspectors to the site in the Dullla Area, the NDS Managing Director was notified by the LMHRA of the confiscated stock of drugs and supplies.
The MD informed the LMHRA director that he had no knowledge of any drugs and supplies missing from NDS; on September 3rd 2015, the Director of the LMHRA informed the Ministry of Health about and attempted Theft incident of essential drugs and medical supplies that had occurred on September 1, 2015; following the report by the LMHRA, an emergency meeting was held to the MOH to discuss the issue at which a team was put together to follow-up the issue with the Drug Enforcement agency (DEA). The team was able to document the details of the commodities confiscated.
On September 3rd, an immediate press conference was called by MOH to inform the General Public about the incident; on September 4th, the DEA, NDS, LMHR and the MOH conducted a joint press conference at which time the Liberian National Police was invited to take over the investigation; the MOH informed the HSCCC and PFSC members about the Theft incident on September 4, 2015; Morrison O.G Sayon writes