The Presidential Committee which investigated the Global Witness report on the misappropriation of funds from the National Oil Company of Liberia or NOCAL, linking several past officials recommends restitution of said funds into government coffers without delay.
According to a communication from President George Manneh Weah, which was read in plenary of the House of Representatives Tuesday, May 29, ex-officials hooked to restitute the money include; former National Investment Commission Chairman, Mr. Natty B. Davis US$35,000; former Justice Minister Christaina Tah US$35,000, former Finance Minister Amara Konneh US$35,000, former Board Chairman Robert Sirleaf US$35,000, former Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo US$35,000, and former President of NOCAL, Dr. Randolph McClain, US$35,000, respectively.
Others are former Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. James Kollie, US$35,000; Cllr. Seward Cooper, US$35,000; Madam Susan Mapples US$15,000, and Iddella Cooper Shannon US$15,000. Also held accountable are; Kou Dorliae US$15,000, Jeff Woods US$15,000, Alpha Shah US$15,000, Anyaa Vohiri US$5,000 and former Gender Minister Vabah Gayflor US$5,000. Total amount to be restituted in government coffers is US$365,000.
The special committee submitted its findings to President Weah recently, recommending restitution. Members include Cllr. Ndubuisi Nwabudike- Chairperson, Cllr. Pearl Brown Bull, Cllr. C. Alexander Zoe, Reverend Joseph Gardea Johnson, III, and Mrs. Frances Greaves.
They also recommend that board members who authorized payment of the half a million dollars as bonus or honorarium at the time, must, as a matter of law and public policy, restitute the money to the government and the people of Liberia within 30 days from the date the report is made a matter of public record, or be charged and prosecuted for ‘misuse of public money’ under subchapter ‘F” (economic sabotage) of the Liberian Penal Law.
the report mandates that chairman of the board and members should collectively restitute the amount of US$136, 560. 05 into government’s coffers without delays and those that supposed to pay the amount include former Chairman of the board of NOCAL Robert Sirleaf, Mr. Fred Bass Golkeh, Dr. Randolph McClain, Amara Konneh, Seward Cooper, Patrick Sendolo, Joseph Howe, Jacqueline Khoury and Iddellla Cooper Shannon.
The report further suggests in addition to restituting the amount, all members of the board of directors of NOCAL during the period should be barred from ever serving on the board of any public corporation here. According to the Cllr. Nwabudike’s report, immediate forensic audit of the NOCAL be commissioned and executed before a new leadership is appointed to the corporation.
It adds that each member who received bonus or honorarium after the ExxonMobil agreement was signed and payment made to the government, must restitute the said amount to the government and receipt of such payment published in a recognized daily within 15 calendar days from the date that the report is made a matter f public record.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne