AMINATA & Sons damns LACC
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of AMINATA and Sons, importer of petroleum products here, has described the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission as a corrupt institution headed by people who lack public confidence.
Following ruling from the Criminal Court ‘A’ that AMINATA and Sons is not guilty of charges levied against the entity by the Government of Liberia through the LACC, Mr. SiakaToure at a news conference on Friday in Monrovia said the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission that is expected to be corruption freed, allegedly falsified documents in order to make his company guilty, but noted that it took the wisdom of the court and his lawyers to have his entity exonerated.
Mr. Toure in a happy mood pointed out that the charges which include; economic sabotage, misapplication of entrusted property, criminal facilitation, and criminal conspiracy, were brought against his company only because of envy from some higher-ups, who he did not name.
He was indicted for economic sabotage, misapplication of entrusted property, criminal facilitation, and criminal conspiracy for his handling of Japanese petroleum products donation to Liberia.
Ex-minister of commerce MiattaBeyslow was to first to be released by the court on grounds that the government failed to prove corruption charges pressed against her.
Former LPRC managing director Nelson Williams’ indictment was dismissed following the court ruling that the LACC did not bring in substantial evidence. The Government of Japan, during the period 2011-2012, donated a consignment of oil valued about US$13 million to the Government of Liberia as part of its bilateral assistance to assist the country in its reconstruction drive.
But the State said the oil products were reportedly mismanaged by the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company, leaving government at a loss of over US$5 million under the management of T. Nelson Williams.
Williams, former Managing Director of LPRC, former Deputy LPRC Managing Director for Operations, Aaron Wheigar, former Commerce Minister MiattaBeysolow, and Ministry of Commerce Director for Price Analysis, Steve FlahnPaye and the Managing Director of the Aminataand SonsSiakaToure were subsequently indicted in connection with the mismanagement of the grant.
The indictment alleged that defendant Toure and his cohorts wilfully and intentionally connived, conspired to deprive the people of Liberia of the amount US$ 5,764,110.84. According to the indictment, US$ 48,932.45 was criminally disbursed to Augusta Energy S.A. of which US$ 3,908,367.21 was converted by the defendants into their personal use and benefits for the non-reflection of their 21.19 percent in the pump price. An additional amount of US$1,806,811.14 was diverted to their own use and benefits.
Toureempathized that the LACC was brave enough, by reportedly falsifying documents especially, that are in the domain of government institutions; something he termed as ‘regrettable and unacceptable’.
According to him, he has lost confidence in that institution, though, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf meant well in the fight against corruption, but there are some individuals who are occupying top positions that have failed to do the right thing.
He noted that his company has lost a lot, lamenting that for the fact that AMINATA and Sons was mentioned in the indictment for multi charges, brought the hard earned image of the company to serious credibility crisis which may take years to repair.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor