NOCAL Responds to Bribery Allegations
The National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) has denied holding a secret meeting on oil deals with some members of the House of Representatives.
Dr. Randolph McClain, NOCAL Boss
A release authorized by NOCAL Public Relations Manager Jonathan B. Sogbie said the issue of inter-party politics in the House of Representatives was of no concern to the company.
“Our concern is reforming the oil sector so that it benefits the Liberian people,” NOCAL said in its release issued in Monrovia.
The company, however, confirmed holding a meeting on April 12, 2012 with oil expert Dr. Thorne and some members of the House, but did not say where the meeting was held.
At that meeting, NOCAL Public Relations Manager said, Dr. Thorne briefed the representatives about the international oil sector.
The release noted that as part of Dr. Thorne's week- long visit to Liberia to brief the Cabinet, Legislators, Judiciary and other stakeholders, her visit was publicly announced by NOCAL on April 11, 2012.
The NOCAL release is in response to recent claims linking it to bribery involving some members of the House of Representatives at an alleged secret meeting last week at which time each lawmaker was given an envelope containing US$5,000.00.
Those allegedly involved included Representatives Acarous Gray, Thomas Fallah, Saah Joseph, and Julius Berrian.
The allegation led to the subsequent suspension of the four CDC lawmakers by the party’s executive committee, while the matter was still being investigated.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives is expected to constitute an internal panel to probe the four accused representative.
“The Lower House issued a statement placing an embargo (stay-order) on its activities with the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) until further notice. For a greedy few to have broken that, it is a disgraced,” sources close to the House told the New Dawn-Liberia.
However, our sources did not give a dateline on the investigation, but expressed the belief that it is inevitable.
“Whatever agreed upon as lawmakers in plenary as a body must be respected. Furthermore, every representative in the Lower House is well paid in terms of salary, allowances and benefits,” our sources continued.
“If they are off-the-hook by their party (CDC), it will not be the same within the House of Representatives. Because it is not a place for jokers, but real and serious people,” said our sources.