Despite the drastic reduction of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease here, Montserrado County Electoral District #8 Representative Acarous Gray has been accused of “eating the money” intended to combat the virus.
A group of residents of his district, under the banner ‘The Concerned Movement of District #8,’ incorporating 22 authorized communities claimed that L$537,440.00 was collected for the district Ebola taskforce, but the amount was personally used by Lawmaker Gray of the Congress for Democratic Change or CDC.
On September 25, 2014, according to the group, residents of the district and Rep. Gray launched the district #8 Ebola contact-tracing taskforce at the G. W. Gibson High School campus in Monrovia at which time several government and international partners graced the occasion.
During the ceremony, they said, Montserrado County Superintendent Florence Brandy contributed L$300,000 from the County Development Funds and other anti-Ebola materials to aid the fight against the disease- an occasion which reportedly raised L$237,440.00, totaling L$537,440.00.
According to a statement to which a ‘Letter of Authorization’ was attached, following the program, the lawmaker called for a meeting at a local entrainment center where he smartly introduced his alleged ‘criminal tactics, supported by a Five-Man Council to turn over all funds to him (Rep. Gray) for safe-keeping.
According to the statement issued in Monrovia last week, the money was presented to the Representative with the intent that he would deposit said amount in his personal account for withdrawal by the Ebola Taskforce when necessary and needed.
The statement quoted Representative Gray as saying the the amount would have been available through cheque.
According to the statement, the following day, Rep. Gray issued the taskforce three separate cheques were issued to the Rock Spring Valley and Saye Town Communities and the Champion Design Printing Press.
The group further claimed that all cheques were reportedly ‘fake and were rejected by the Guarantee Trust Bank or GT Bank.
“With the issuance of the fake cheques by Rep. Gray, we decided to ask him about the Ebola money; after six days, Rep. Grey immediately dissolved the entire District #8 Ebola Taskforce without reports. Since then, we have been calling on Grey to give us a comprehensive financial report on the Ebola funds, but to no unveil. We got serious intelligence that Rep. Gray has used the funds to support his alcoholic and narcotic habits,” said the district residents, for noting “We are calling on Rep. Gray to make available the Ebola money report in one week or else, we will sue him to account for the Ebola fund.”
However, Rep. Gray has denied the corruption claims, suggesting that the money was used for education and the fight against the virus.
Meanwhile, a pro-Acarous Gray group, in a statement, the district remains grateful to its lawmaker for the tremendous sacrifices invested in the lives of its struggling masses- efforts that translated into the realization of over L$ 500,000.00 from the CELLCOM Communications Corporation upon the intervention of Rep. Gray.
It further noted the impact of the government- generated US$10,000 county development fund properly managed in the different communities of district # 8 as a result of the selfless oversight of the lawmaker.
Despite the critical challenges accentuated by the prevalence of the Ebola virus disease, Mr. Gray’s leadership became appreciatively instrumental in inspiring financial donations from different stakeholders and ensured that every penny raised was reinvested to expel the deadly virus.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor