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Protesters, Senate Secretary differ

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Protesters including a leased land owner and 11 persons claiming to be employees of MHM Eko, a mining company owned by Senate Secretary Mr. Nanborlor F. Singbehbesieged the Capitol Building on Tuesday demanding their salaries and lease payments.But Mr. Singbeh insist that the allegations against him are false and are being masterminded by his rivals.During the protest Tuesday, 3 September outside the Senate, the protesters accused Mr. Singbeh of closing down MHM Eko without paying them their salaries and benefits.Also among the protesters, Madam GarteePassaweeLorwoe, a widow of the late James Lorwoealso accused Mr. Singbehof failing to live up to a lease obligation entered into with her late five years ago for the operation of his company, but only pay for one year in the tune of US$5,000.

But in a follow up with Mr. Singbeh at his office on Tuesday, he told journalists that these accusations against him by the protesters are being allegedly masterminded by Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean and his client, one Hans Armstrong.Earlier in an interview outside the Senate, the spokesman of the protesters Mr. Francis Kerkulah alleges that Mr. Singbeh, through the company, owes them salaries and benefits which he has refused to pay.According to him, they took the case to the Civil Law Court but Mr. Singbeh’s lawyer only filed excuses and the accused doesn’t appear.

Kerkulah claims that they were employed by MHM Eko in 2013, but Mr. Singbeh shut down the company in 2017 without paying them off.Further, he says Mr. Singbeh gave employment letters to four of their colleagues, but 11 of them were not given employment letters.“We go to the court and Nanbolor don’t appear, the lawyer only comes and file his excuse,” Mr. Kerkulah narrated, describing Mr. Singbeh as a

wicked fellow who doesn’t want to help anybody.For her part, GarteePassaweeLorwoe said Mr. Singbeh leased land from her late husband James Lorwoe for five years, but only paid one year lease money.“I am here because NanbotlorSingbeh leased land from my late husband and then he paid us one year money,” she says.

According to Gartee, Mr. Singbeh paid US$5,000 for one year, alleging that he still owes US$20,000.“But since then he has refused to pay this money; we tried getting to him, we can’t get him,” she explained.According to her, she has written Senate Pro Tempore Albert Chie and Margibi County Sen. Oscar Cooper, complaining Mr. Singbeh, but she hasn’t heard from them.

“I have five children, grandchildren, we’re suffering,” she says, adding that school has opened again and she has not been able to address her
kids’ school issue this academic year.In response, Mr. Singbeh says all the allegations against him have been masterminded by detractors that are seeking to destroy his character.He claimed that the masterminds are Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean and his client, one Hans Armstrong who Singbeh observes to have a

Dutch name but claims to be a British national.He alleged that Cllr. Dean has been making attempts to hijack his (Singbeh’s) company, and mocks the protesters as hungry guys unable to personally fund the computerized printing of giant – sized banners that they are carrying with his photos on them.According to Mr. Sinbeh, besides the US$5,000 payment referenced by Gartee, her husband Lorwoe additionally took advance payment in March 2016

of US$3,000 to attend to his health issue, but the deceased allegedly failed to produce the land deed that would have enabled him to collect
the remaining US$2,000.According to Mr. Singbeh, the protesters including Mr. Kerkulah were never employees of MHM Eko, but daily hires.
“They are not employees; they were never employees. That’s their own pay slip, they attached it to the document to the court. And I’m happy

that they were able to attach this document to the court,” Mr. Singbeh notes.He said due to confusion between him and his partners leading to the company’s closure, it was decided that employees be given three months in lieu of notice, while daily hires received their March 2017 pay plus another pay for the month of April 2017 “for humanitarian sake.”He insisted that there is no record to show that the protesters have ever been employees of MHM Eko.He explained that the daughter of GarteeLorwoe, NaneeLorwoe also signed as witness to the payment of the daily hires.By Winston W. Parley

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