… Lack Of Evidence Cited
By: James K. Kadi, Jr.
The Special Presidential Taskforce has disclosed that it has no evidence to link Fombah Sirleaf, National Security Agency (NSA) Director, Montserrado County District #4 Rep. Henry Fahnbulleh and former Grand Kru Senator Cletus Wotorson to the Global Witness bribery scandal.
A Global witness report alleged that in 2010, Sable Mining, a British company allegedly gave US$950.000, to several past and current government officials as bribe in order to change Liberia’s procurement law in its favor.
The document further alleged that sable mining payment was in an effort to secure one of Liberia’s large mining assets, the Wologize Iron Ore concession in Lofa County.
The report claimed that Cllr. Varney Sherman, then lawyer of Sable Mining, told the company that in order to obtain the contract, it must first get Liberia’s concession law changed by bribing senior government officials.
The Global Witness report also claimed that US$200,000 payment from sable mining’s funds labeled ‘political contribution’ was given to Unity Party during the party’s convention on April, 22, 2010 in Ganta, Nimba County, less than three weeks before Cllr. Sherman was elected as Chairman of the party on white ballot.
The report also said during the convention, Representative Henry Fahnbulleh who was elected Secretary General of the party was reportedly given US$25,000, in order to resign his post, which he did the next day.
But during a press conference last year, Cllr. Sherman dismissed the allegation and clarified that he called for Fahnbulleh’s resignation because the two of them hailed from the same county, which was against the party’s constitution.
The Global Witness report further alleged that Fombah Sirleaf, son of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, financially benefitted from Sable Mining to grant the company’s favor.
The report alleged that in 2011, Sirleaf went on a US$7,598 hunting trip to South Africa paid for by Sable Mining, spending over US$1,000 in a gun shop alone.
But the taskforce said there is no evidence that Sirleaf provided sable mining with any favors, although he was clearly a useful person to know.
The taskforce, through its lead prosecutor Montserrado County Attorney, Cllr. Daku Mulbah, said it has declined to recommend charges against Wotorson, Fahnbulleh and Sirleaf due to what he calls “lack of sufficiency evidence.”
He noted that report detailing the initial probe conducted in the matter was among evidence submitted to Criminal Court “C” to prosecute those indicted by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County but there is no evidence to prosecute the three individuals.