Criminal Syndicate In Lofa?
Citizens of electoral district #2, Lofa County, have allegedly discovered a criminal syndicate of a false clinic placed within the national budget under the Ministry of Health.
Electoral district #2, Lofa County, is considered one of the most underdeveloped and remote districts of Lofa as it lacks adequate basic social services for its inhabitants, especially healthcare service-provision institutions.
The fake clinic, “Nyekehun Community Clinic, Nyekehun Town, Wahasa District”, has a whooping amount of US$25,000 (twenty-Five thousand United States dollars), with the budget line 253244, while the legally existing ones are without the necessary and adequate support (financial, human resource, material) to cater to the needs of the people.
The sector is already struggling and the citizens of district #2 say they cannot afford to see it become a criminal enterprise, stating that “we need an answer from our lawmaker”.
Meanwhile, the citizens of electoral district #2 are demanding that their Representative, Julie Fatorma Wiah, provides an explanation on how this clinic was placed in the national budget under her watch.
To make matter worse, an investigation has shown that no such town “Nyekehun”, as it placed in the fiscal year 2020/2021 approved national budget line 253244, exists in Wahasa.
However, a letter, dated February 17, 2021, and in the possession of the Hot Pepper was written to Dr. Willimena Jallah, Minister of Health, requesting the payment of the US$25,000 in the name of the fake “Nyekehun Community Clinic” as it is placed in the approved national budget for the fiscal year 2020/2021.
“What qualified a health institution for placement within the national budget, especially with such a whooping amount? Is the minister a beneficiary of this criminal enterprise? A lawmaker like Julie Fatorma Wiah has rather decided to steal from the suffering people—she should be considered a common criminal. Is this the change you promised us Madam Wiah? We can go to the clinic, but no medicine, not knowing that Julie has been stealing the money that was supposed to be used to buy medicine for us,” some citizens of the district, mostly youth, stated.
“We are demanding the national government and the international development partners to Liberia, including diplomatic missions, demand Honorable Julie Fatorma Wiah fully and immediately account for this money. We do not want to reach to a point of asking Honorable Wiah to drive with us to Nyekehun Town to see her clinic. But if the national government cannot hear our cry to immediately make Julie Fatorma Wiah account for this money we will erect a checkpoint that will deny her entry into the district,” the citizens asserted.
Electoral district #2 comprises three administrative districts: Vahun, Tengia, and Wahasa. “Across all these districts, the honorable has only been successful in stealing from the poor masses as evident by her creation of a fake Nyekehun Community Clinic,” a prominent son of district #2, who spoke on condition of anonymity, averred.
“But she will surely pay for this,” said a Town chief. “None of the Lofa County Health Team leadership can provide any evidence of the existence of this clinic, not even the District Health Officer, in whose district this Julie-made fake Nyekehun Community Clinic is said to be operating,” the prominent son of district #2 further averred.
The investigation has also uncovered that the former administrator of the Vahun Health Center, Sarah F. Conteh, is now the administrator of this fake clinic, and she allegedly affirmed that this clinic does not exist.
She, however, asserted that since the February 17, 2021 requisition letter from Representative Julie Fatorma Wiah’s fake Nyekehun Community Clinic came to the public she has received numerous calls on an anonymous number from a person who claims to be an authority from the Ministry of Health, cautioning her not to speak to the public about this Nyekehun Community Clinic.
“Julie is a game player and she knows how to play her game well,” a former employee from the office of Representative Wiah revealed.
This revelation brought to knowledge that Momo J. Dunor, who is the Finance/Administration Officer for the Nyekehun Clinic, is currently employed with Representative Julie’s Office as a receptionist.
The Ministry of Health and the Capitol Building seat of the National Legislature, through their respective public affairs departments, were to speak to the validity of the information; however, they failed to provide responses despite promises to do so.
Felicia Gbesior, Director of Press and Public Affairs, Ministry of Health, in particular requested a summary of the information to have it forwarded to Dr. Francis Kateh, Deputy Minister of Health and Chief Medical Officer, to respond to the issue, but no such response has been provided.
Also, at the Capitol Building, the Director of Press of the House of Representatives also promised to reach out to Lofa County electoral district #2 representative to speak to the information, but neglected calling back.