A coup in the making
Just at the time, the National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairperson Davidetta Brown-Lansanah is still challenging the Liberia Anti-Corruptions Commission (LACC) investigative report in Court, sources have hinted this paper that two commissioners have begun battling for the top seat.
One of the two commissioners battling to take over from Madam Davidetta Brown-Lansanah should her dismissal request go through is Mr. Floyd O. Sayor, the Commissioner at the center of the US$2.8 million excess in the NEC budget memo.
Mr. Floyd Sayor has told the Frontpage Africa newspaper here that the memo was Davidetta Brown-Lansanah trying to bring him down with her instead of leaving as she has been asked to.
Commissioner Floyd Sayor oversees the NEC data Center and was very instrumental in the acquisition of the Thermometers which he negotiated with the Tuma Company before drawing in his boss who is now facing conflict of interest charges.
Sources within the corridors of NEC told this paper that the actual amount of US$182,000, was requested by Floyd Sayor as one with oversight over the NEC Data Center.
Floyd Sayor’s connection with Tuma was flagged in the initial report by the Daily Observer, although it was alleged that he owe the company, a claim he truthfully denied.
According to the paper, Floyd Sayor, declined to speak on the transaction and rather chose to exonerate himself.
“I am not here to speak to the details pertaining to the transaction on the modern facial recognition and temperature testing machines, but what I have to say is that I have no link in ownership to Tuma Enterprises,” Sayor was quoted by the Oberver as saying.
He narrated to the paper “that being an IT expert and with his wealth of knowledge and experience as well as his long-standing service at the NEC, dating as far back as 2004, he has lots of connections with IT professionals and businesses in the country.
“I know the law. Under no condition, I will do it. I don’t have any interest in owning an IT Company now. Maybe in the future, when I am no longer at NEC, I may own one because I have to live by my education.”
Sayor was head of the IT department at NEC when Jerome Kokoya was chairman of NEC and he spearheaded all data management activities all through 2017 and even before then.
During his tenure as head of the NEC data center, Floyd Sayor was accused by disputing political parties of manipulating the voters roll, which led to a Supreme Court ruling that it should be cleaned before the conduct of the run-off elections.
Last week in an attempt to hit at his embattled boss, Floyd Sayor hired a group of individuals with questionable character to put up his defense.
His hired guns, the Civil Society Network of Liberia reputed for writing press releases in defense of alleged corrupt government officials for hangouts did not only try to pull the NEC down further but also attempted to discredit the New Dawn.
The New Dawn newspaper on Tuesday December 28, 2021 published an article entitled “Revealed” in which the paper quoted a leaked internal memo from the NEC Chairperson Davidetta Browne-Lansanah to Commissioner Floyd not only accusing him of sexing up the Commission’s budget by US$2.8 million but also to an extend of ineptitude.
Although Floyd Sayor declined to speak to this paper following multiple calls and messages on both his mobile number and WhatsApp, on Wednesday December 29, 2021, the so-called civil society group which has little or no legal existence and business registration were allegedly hired to do for him a damage control and while at the same time defaming the paper and NEC.
Prior to Floyd’s US$2.8 Million allegation, NEC had been embroiled with a conflict of interest saga with its chair Madam Davidetta Browne-Lansanah at the center, as the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) bashes on the electorial body in what appears to be a selective corruption fight.
In their write up in defense of Floyd Sayor, the so-called hire civil society group describe the New Dawn publication as false and misleading but yet went ahead to admit the existence of the internal memo.
The group though lacks credible individuals claimed it conducted an investigation which cleared Floyd of any allegation level against him by the chairperson of the Elections Commission and therefore rendered the publication false and misleading.
What New Dawn wrote
The paper published that according to the memo from the embattled Chairman of NEC Madam Davidetta Browne-Lansanah, aout US$2. Million was allegedly placed in the NEC 2022-2023 election budget by Commissioner Floyd O. Sayor, Chairman of the 2023 Elections Steering Committee without prior discussion.
Commissioner Floyd O. Sayor is alleged to have manipulated the NEC’s 2022-2023 electorial budget inserting the said amount without actually saying exactly what the amount would be expended for.
“During the current and most recent (1-8 December 2021) Review of the 2022 budget for defense, it was observed an insertion of some 2,809,510.00 was made for live monitoring and tracking systems, for vehicles, bikes, casual laborers, canoes carrying Election materials with no reference to my office, let alone other sections, including operations and logistics, etc.” said Madam Browne-Lansanah.
“Besides,” she continued “there was no prior discussion or agreement / decision by the board to undertake such an extensive venture in 2022-23, which increased the budget by 2.8 million.”
Madam Browne-Lansanah argued that not having knowledge of such line item in the budget would have made her appear irresponsible before the budget committee had she been grilled on it.
“Not having knowledge about this 4 line item and going into defense of the 2022 budget would have been a disaster on my part as chair of the NEC. This would have been irresponsible on my part not having knowledge of this budget. Note that my office takes exception to this event,” the NEC boss added
Her memo also insinuates incompetence on the part of her co-commissioner.
Excerpts of the memorandum dated December 8, 2021 and addressed to Commissioner Floyd O. Sayor, below:
“I bring to your attention gaps in your handling of the administration of the 2023 Steering Committee.
- Apparent lack of or neglect of documentation from your committee meetings, including lack of minutes and attendance and reports to be briefed and to adequately inform the Board of Commissioners (OC) prior to the implementation of proposals which have come by way of the 2023 budget process.
- So far there has been no/ limited knowledge or information to my office on whether or not Task Force were constituted or not and what are their specific Terms of Reference (TOR) or tasks.
- Generally, a reporting mechanism is lacking with intermittent and ad hoc delivery of some documents on Biometric Voter Registration, etc.
- Generally, there is not a systematic call (agenda, date, and time) for meetings as none have reached my office.
- I am yet to see a fully researched and documented recruitment plan for temporary electoral workers (Temporary staff)
During the current and most recent (1-8 December 2021) Review of the 2022 budget for defense, it was observed an insertion of some 2,809,510.00 was made for live monitoring and tracking systems, for vehicles, bikes, casual laborers, canoes carrying Election materials with no reference to my office, let alone other sections, including operations and logistics, etc. Besides, there was no prior discussion or agreement / decision by the board to undertake such an extensive venture in 2022-23, which increased the budget by 2.8 million. Not having knowledge about this 4 line item and going into defense of the 2022 budget would have been a disaster on my part as chair of the NEC. This would have been irresponsible on my part not having knowledge of this budget. Note that my office takes exception to this event.
I believe you as Chairman of the 2023 Steering Committee will bring my office up to speed on the achievements and documentations as indicated going forward. https://thenewdawnliberia.com/nec-floyd-unleashes-dogs-pt1/-Writes Othello B. Garblah