President George Manneh Weah might be contemplating his next course of action against former officials indicted by Global Witness, including Robert Sirleaf and others for misappropriating funds from the National Oil Company or NOCAL.
Mr. Sirleaf, son of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, served as board chair for NOCAL on a pro bono basic during his mother’s presidency. A special presidential committee appointed by Weah to probe the damning GW report on the handling of funds from NOCAL concluded its findings recently and submitted same to the President along with recommendation for restitution of money received by former officials, totaling US$365,000.00.
The committee also recommends that board members who authorized payment of the half a million dollars as bonus or honorarium at the time, must, as a matter of law and public policy, restitute the amount in 30 days or be charged and prosecuted for ‘misuse of public money’ under subchapter ‘F” (economic sabotage) of the Liberian Penal Law.
From all indications, those indicted among them cabinet ministers from the regime of ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf would not voluntarily come out to restitute funds received as recommended, which could eventually leave the President with no alternative, but to use the law.
Weah has promised to get to the bottom of this matter, which is his first test to his professed commitment to fight corruption and depart from business as usual.
Ex-officials hooked to restitute money include; former National Investment Commission Chairman, Mr. Natty B. Davis, US$35,000; former Justice Minister Christaina Tah, US$35,000; former Finance Minister, Amara Konneh, US$35,000; former Board Chairman Robert Sirleaf, US$35,000; former Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo, US$35,000; and former President of NOCAL, Dr. Randolph McClain, US$35,000, respectively.
Others are former Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. James Kollie, US$35,000; Cllr. Seward Cooper, US$35,000; Madam Susan Mapples US$15,000, and Iddella Cooper Shannon US$15,000. Also held accountable are; Kou Dorliae US$15,000, Jeff Woods US$15,000, Alpha Shah US$15,000, Anyaa Vohiri US$5,000 and former Gender Minister Vabah Gayflor US$5,000. Total amount to be restituted in government coffers is US$365,000.