Gross Violations, Corruption, Nepotism, Etc.: CENTAL Releases Damning Report On Boakai’s First 100 Days In Office

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Another transparency group taking account of the activities of the Boakai administration has released a damning report on the government’s first one hundred days in office, cataloging gross violations of the law, nepotism, corruption, favoritism, etc.

   In May 2024, NAYMOTE-Partners for Democratic Development released its findings from comprehensive tracking and monitoring of the implementation of commitments and promises of the Boakai administration, with the government scoring a dismal 10% on projects it had promised to complete or tackle in the first 100 days.

   However, the government sharply reacted to the NAYMOTE report, putting its achievements at 74% for completed and in-progress achievements.

  But a month later, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) has followed with another disapproving report on the fight against corruption, respect for the rule of law and the protection of human rights.

   CENTAL is a civil society organization and national chapter of Transparency International (TI), the global coalition against corruption with chapters and networks in more than 120 countries worldwide.

   The report, released Thursday, June 20, 2024 at Cape Hotel, Mamba Point, revealed that President Boakai, prior to his inauguration and lacking any Constitutional power, requested from NASSCORP and did receive funding to finance the purchase of five Land Cruiser SUVs valued at US$117,000 each. The report further revealed that the President stands accused of bribing legislators in a bid to influence leadership at the Legislature.

   “There were reports that the President’s nephew and Officer-In-Charge of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), Jake Kabakole, disbursed US$600,000 to contractors under questionable circumstances; and Public Works Minister, Roland Giddings, admitted to violating the procurement law by awarding road maintenance contracts valued US$22.4 million without a competitive bidding process,” the report recounted.

   “According to reports, the 285 pieces of earth moving equipment were given to the Boakai government as part of a deal with the Guma Group for exploration of the Wologizi mountain. The government has, however, denied that such deal was finalized.” The report noted.

   The CENTAL report observed that President Boakai has failed to hold his officials accountable. “For instance, without release of investigative findings into circumstances around poor planning of the inauguration and allegations of mismanagement of the US$600,000 program budget, the President issued an official statement expressing utmost confidence in Madam Miatta Fahnbulleh, Chairperson the inaugural committee. The President also violated the Code of Conduct regarding declaration of his assets. Rather doing so prior, he declared 16 days into office,” the report noted.  

   Also, the report said, some appointees are returning to public service despite a checkered history in government. “For instance, the Chairman of the Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA), S. Tornorlah Varpilah, has been designated by the National Legislature to restitute public funds owing to a report of the GAC on his tenure as Minister of Transport; and Daniel Johnson, appointed as Secretary General of the Roberts Flight Information Region, is wanted by the United States government for defrauding the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) of approximately US$1.9 million. In November 2010, his co-conspirators Joe O. Bondo and Morris B. Fahnbulleh were convicted in the United States by a jury. Johnson was indicted on September 19, 2007 by a grand jury of the US District Court of Columbus for allegedly diverting US$240,000 of the IRC’s money into his personal account when he served as Project Accountant for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Monrovia from June 2004 to July 2007. Attempts to have Johnson extradited to the US has failed due to denial of the extradition request by the Civil Law Court. The appointment of Johnson has been shrouded in secrecy. It was not published on the Executive Mansion website, but the letter of appointment was reportedly directly given to him due to fears that the publication would have drawn the attention of the United States.

See Full CENTAL Report Below.

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