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Lee Group officials trade allegations

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Two officials of the Lee Group of Enterprises Inc. in Nyanforla in Salala District, Bong County are trading accusations. The Administrative Manager of the company, Sekou L. Donzo and Chief of Security, Michael G. Fortune are accusing each other of financial ma-practices and forgery at the company, which is involved in the business of buying, processing and shipping rubber out of Liberia.

Speaking to reporters recently at the newly constructed Weala Public School in the Cinta Township, District Five of Margibi County,  the company’s Chief of Security alleged that Mr. Donzo transferred more than Three Thousand United States Dollars (US$3000.00) intended to train security personnel of Lee Group  into his personal use.
According to Col. Fortune, at a particular time, the Ministry of Justice issued him a guideline requiring that before the employment of any security personnel, such individual must be trained by any other institution recognized by the Ministry, adding that he wrote the management upon receipt of the guideline on the issue.
He said following the communication, he was instructed by the management to ensure all necessary documents relating to the training, noting that such instruction was executed, but there’s been no information regarding the training.
Col. Fortune also claimed that the management presented more than US$3,000.00 to Mr. Donzo for the training, but he (Donzo) diverted the amount into his personal use. According to him, when the Administrative Manager of Lee Group was requested to give an account of the money, he told the management that the money had already been given to Col. Jackson Morlu – a personnel of the Ministry of Justice.
But later, it was discovered that Col. Morlu did not receive a cent from Mr. Donzo – the Administrative Manager. Col. Fortune also accused him of signing under a different name – Sheku Fofanah, in Sierra Leone in a deal from which he benefited 25% against the company. He further accused Mr. Donzo of forging his credentials while applying to the company.
He then recommended the immediate suspension of Mr. Donzo, whose intention, he alleged, is to break down the Company. Meanwhile, the Company has, with immediate effect, suspended Col. Michael G. Fortune for what it referred to as Payroll Padding – an allegation he has since denied.
The suspension letter, dated September 1st 2015 under the signature of the General Manager of Lee Group, C. W. Cheung, also accused Col. Fortune of allegedly failing to submit himself to an investigation panel.
But Col. Fortune has accused Mr. Donzo of being the brain behind his suspension. The document is also requested Col. Fortune to remove his belongings and turn over the Company’s keys, while the management seeks the intervention of the Liberia National Police.
 At the same time, Mr. Donzo has denied being behind the suspension of Mr. Fortune, adding that he was suspended based on his alleged involvement in payroll padding following a screening exercise that revealed some abnormalities with the sign-in roster and time card usually submitted by Col. Fortune for payroll.
He also indicated that there were absentees and suspended employees also marked on the time cad. When the management invited him for clarifications, he refused to submit  to the inquiry – something that led to his suspension.
Donzo also resisted any attempt to make him respond to the issue of financial mal-practices and forgery as alleged by Col. Fortune, but dwelled only on Fortune’s suspension.

By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr. from Margibi County – Edited by George Barpeen

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