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NHA boss denies bribery

Indicted National Housing Authority (NHA) Managing Director defendant DuannahSiryon has denied taking a bribe of US$80,000 from Emmanuel Tapsoba, the coordinator of Burkina Fasso – based company GELPAZ-IMMO in connection to the construction of thousands of housing units here.

The statement by Mr. Siryon, the third defense witness in the ongoing economic sabotage trial at Criminal Court “C” in Monrovia was in response to questions by Cllr. Jerry D.K. Garwolor during cross examination with the prosecution Tuesday, 29 October.

Mr. Siryon was NHA managing director, working along with co-defendants Tugbeh C. Tugbeh, NHA Deputy Director for Administration and Isaac Roberts, NHA Deputy Director for Technical Services when they were arrested, investigated and charged.They were arrested following some alleged transactions that also involved one Augustine Weah, an alleged chief executive officer of Guss Group of Companies and Emmanuel Tapsoba, a coordinator of Burkina Fasso – based company GELPAZ-IMMO.

The NHA officials are facing charges of alleged economic sabotage, theft of property, bribery, misapplication of entrusted property and criminal conspiracy, all of which they have since denied during trial.Their charges came amid a claim of alleged bribes in connection to the construction of thousands of housing units for which the Liberian government and GELPAZ-IMMO had reached agreement.
Ahead of Mr. Siryon’s testimony, prosecution’s first witness Mr. Rafael Wilson alleged that NHA boos allegedly acknowledged to be recorded while receiving money from one Augustine Weah.

“In one of the offices of the National Housing Authority, you could also hear in the audio, the defendants discussing the unfair distribution of the USD$80,000 which Siryon received ..,” witness Wilson alleged.But Mr. Siryong denies consenting to the audio, saying at no point in time did police police investigation present him an audio to confirm.

His response came when the prosecution queried him on Tuesday if it is not true that he allegedly confirmed to the police investigation that the voices heard on the recording were he and other deputies in respect to the unequal distribution of the USD$80,000.Mr. Siryon adds that he was in fact “under pressure to provide answer in the absence of my counsel at the police station,” stating further that it is why his counsel’s signature is not affixed on his statement.But the prosecution gives notice to the court that it will rebut Mr. Siryon’s answer.By Winston W. Parley

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