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Editorial

Please Investigate “Broad-Day Robbery” At LNP, Madam President

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Amid continuous allegations of corruption and professional mal-practices, the Liberia National Police or LNP has again been caught up in a “web” that may need the attention of the Executive Mansion. This latest news of administrative mal-practices involving the police administration, days following the unfortunate situation with the US$20,000.00 provided by the government for the “July 26th operations” in Western Liberia, especially in and around Tubmanburg, Bomi County involving the police administration at which time each officer received US$10.00 for the 7-day special operation.

As if that and the saga occasioning the current prosecution of former Police Director Mona Sieh-Brown were not enough to guide against, the hierarchy of the LNP is entangled in another “uniform mess”. Characterizing this “uniform mess” is what many see as a “broad-day robbery” perpetrated against a Liberian businessman, who had won a bid in August 2011 to supply uniforms and accessories to the Liberia National Police.

Documents with the New dawn-Liberia place the Deputy Director for Administration of the LNP, Col. Rose Striker at the core of this mess .Without the knowledge of the Procurement  office of the Liberia national Police, Deputy Director Striker, immediately upon her return from the United States, in a communication on October 6, 2011  nullified the contract awarded to Liberian businessman Edward Gbor of the Monrovia Merchandize Mart or MMM, in favor of a Lebanese businessman, only I identified as to as Bassam to whom she awarded the same contract.

After participating in the competitive bidding process with other companies for the supply of uniforms, shoes, robes, and badges, the LNP, through Col. Striker as Deputy Director for Administration, formerly wrote him a letter on August 26, 2011 under her signature, declaring him winner of the bid, following which he immediately traveled to the United States of America and began the process of procuring, storing and shipment into the country over two thousand pieces of uniforms and accessories for the Liberian police at the cost of US$200,000.00. The intervention of the Public Procurement and Concession Commission or PPCC, which investigated and found the Deputy Police Director guilty for illegally cancelling the contract, is yet to take effect, even though Director Chris Massaquoi and the Justice Ministry continue to be aware of this “mess”.

A PPCC ruling- a copy of which is in the possession of the New Dawn-Liberia noted that “After reviewing and analyzing documents submitted by the complainant and the respondent entity, and referencing the applicable provision of the PPCC Act and its regulations, the panel is of the opinion that Madam Rose Striker, Deputy Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP) acted illegally when she nullified complainant’s award as winner of the police uniforms bid proceedings.”

“The panel further ruled that the action taken by Madam Striker is not only in violation of the PPCC Act of 2010, as she had no authority under the said act to nullify a procurement proceedings or decision reached by the procurement committee of the LNP, but also an attempt to usurp the exclusive authority of the complainants, appeal and review panel conferred by the act,” revealed the PPCC ruling, further disclosing that:

“there being no evidence of corruption, fraud, coercion, collusion or violation of the PPCC act by either the procurement committee of the LNP, or the Monrovia Merchandise Mart, the panel herby upholds the complainant’s contention that the action taken by Madam Strike is contrary to the PPCC Act of 2010 and violation thereof, and also uphold the decision of the procurement committee of the LNP, declaring the Monrovia Merchandise Mart as belonging to the Liberian businessman, Edward Gbor, winner of the police uniforms bid proceeding as being consistent with law”.

The PPCC, therefore, instructed the Liberia National Police to proceed to award the police uniforms procurement contract to the Monrovia Merchandise Mart, as that was the stage at which the proceeding was when it was wrongfully and illegally interrupted and stopped- something the hierarchy of the Liberia National Police, including Rose Striker, continues to defy.

Perhaps the defiant posture being exhibited by the LMP and Striker in adhering to the PPCC ruling should also attract the attention of the President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The call for President Sirleaf’s attention is because of the gross disrespect shown by Rose Striker and Chris Massaquoi against not only a Liberian-owned company, but the authorities of the Liberian Legislature and President of Liberia, which gave rise to the Public Procurement and Concession commission. The action by the Deputy Director for Administration of the LNP to criminalize the process of procurement must not only be condemned, but allowed to undergo thorough investigation under the auspices of the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission or LACC.

Moreover, for Rose Striker to have even favored a Lebanese Merchant over her own Liberian compatriot, who had legitimate won a bid, is a complete show of lack of patriotism, thus, undermining the growth and development of Liberian-owned businesses- something Rose and her likes must not be allowed to go unpunished.

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