Eric Story of Betrayal and Blackmail: When Helping Others Becomes Painful!

Eric Willise Wowoh smiles broadly when he got back home. 

By Eric Willise Wowoh

This article attempts to delve into the happenings of past activities of Eric Willise Wowoh when he came back to Liberia after years of being away due to the Liberian Civil War, which lasted for a decade and a half. 

Eric, like thousands of Liberians, had fled the conflict and lived refugee lives outside Liberia for 12 years. He didn’t really grow up in Liberia as he was probably 10 or 11 years when he sought refuge in the subregion. So, Eric didn’t really know fully the “Liberian man’s mentality” until hell broke loose against him in September of 2021, when his own personal assistant, whom he had so trusted in many ways, led a campaign to basically dethrone him from everything that he had built, in the event that this assistant — Daniel Dennis — may, along with some backers, takeover what Eric had built from scratch, beginning in exile.

So, this article, is about Daniel Dennis and other young Liberian men, who were boys then, that Eric took and literally spent his last 15 to 20 years investing into and how sometimes helping can come back to hurt or become painful.

Daniel Dennis

Daniel Dennis was a student in one of Eric’s schools — Heart of Grace in Lower Johnsonville, Monrovia — back in 2010. He was probably in Grade 9 or 10 of that year. And then there was a program that came to Liberia called the ‘Global Leadership Summit.’ The Leadership Summit was something that Eric believed in.

“My passion is leadership for young people because I believe that without them, we don’t have a future. So, the Global Leadership Summit was brought to Liberia that year. It was held at the Executive Pavilion in Central Monrovia, and I was invited as one of the Liberian Speakers at that event. Because it was a leadership event, I thought it wise to bring some of my students alongside to attend this great Leadership Summit,” Eric said.

Eventually, he was able to bring 150 students from Heart of Grace School to attend that Global Leadership Summit and another 150 from the Alexander A. Andrews Academy (Triple A) School in Gbarnga, Bong County. A total of 300 students attended the event, which was not free. Eric had to pay US$10 per student. Among the students who came from Heart of Grace School specifically was Daniel Dennis.

Eric was one of the speakers at the Summit. Other speakers that night included former US Secretaries of State General Colin Powell and Ms. Condoleezza Rice.

Birth of Students Against Corruption

Eric narrated that few days after they had attended the Summit, Daniel Dennis came to him and said: “Eric, I didn’t know about your story and how impactful it is and the work that you are doing. Also just hearing the stories of other world leaders like Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, I was totally inspired. Thanks for the opportunity for taking us to attend the Global Leadership Summit. I am really moved, and I want to get involved with social change and civil society works.” Eric told the young man that he could start early; and he asked Daniel, who was yet to become his personal assistant, what was it that he was thinking about doing?

A few weeks later Daniel told him, “Well, I have thought about it, and I want to start an organization called ‘Students Against Corruption’ (SAC) in the school— Heart of Grace School.” Eric bought his idea and asked what would SAC be about? Daniel explained that there was not a  student-led anti-corruption group in the country, so he wanted to start one; adding: “I think it’s a good thing if we young people can get involved.” Eric gave him the go-ahead to start.

However, Daniel asked him for his permission to start in Heart of Grace School. “I said go ahead and start I will speak with the principal. I later introduced him to the principal of the school. I asked the principal to give him the go-ahead to start this anti-corruption group. That’s how Students Against Corruption started. Daniel started going from class to class at Heart of Grace School recruiting students, and talking to them about his ideas and his vision for the students. He was very proactive, as he is today on Facebook. He used to post different things about different social issues on Facebook,” Eric stated.

One day, Daniel’s effort paid off. He told Eric that folks from the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) had gotten hold of him through one of his posts. Eventually, it would lead him and his SAC team into a meeting with former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

“So, when I got back to Liberia, after being away, he told me, ‘Eric, we have a scheduled meeting with the President. They have just invited us to go because we have been posting and talking about what we want to do, and I think it got to the President’s attention and we have been invited to the Executive Mansion to go and meet with her.’ I told him good luck. I have never met any President in Liberia’s history before, and I have never had the opportunity to meet any big person to support my work, but you are really blessed to have that opportunity so go for it.”

“When the day came, he left with members of his team and went out to meet with President Sirleaf. I was told that it was former Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmek Piah, who had chaired the meeting. After the meeting, they took pictures and came back to the school. From what he told me, the President had told him, ‘This is a very good idea but why are you people starting in my final year in office? However, because I am passionate about this, I think we can only succeed in the fight against corruption when young people like you get involved. As a way for me to support you, I will recommend that you people take your messages on the air. So, I am going to recommend to ELBC to give you two hours every Saturday to talk about your programs.’”

The 2-hour slot was given, and the program SAC used to air on ELBC at the time was called ‘Integrity Hour’. It used to be on every Saturday morning on ELBC.

“One day he came back to me and said, ‘Eric, the President also recommended us to the UN for some grant money to get from the UN to support our work, because we need funding. But as you know we don’t have any paper works, we have no bank account, we have no office, we have nothing and the UN is supposed to come and see where we work, our office first before they can release the money.’ I helped them open the bank account. I shared some of my legal documents with him also established an office space for him at Heart of Grace School, the very school that he’s attacking today. In the office I established for him, I put in chairs, a computer and everything.

The UN representative came to the place. I was there and was part of the meeting briefly. I showed them around the school, and they were very impressed with the setup. During the meeting, Daniel Dennis did his little presentation in our conference room and after that, the UN representative left and US$20,000 was issued to Daniel Dennis and the Students Against Corruption to fund their programs specifically in Montserrado, Grand Cape Mount, and Margibi Counties. I never saw a penny of that money; I never saw the actual money; all I heard from Daniel was that the money was deposited in the organization’s account. It was supposed to be used for the intended purpose, which I was ok with. I was told that they were supposed to receive additional grant money to take the message to several other counties after they shall have submitted their report. They started working actively. The money came and it was expended, I never saw anything: no result whatsoever out of it.”

Daniel Introduced to Eric’s Guest(s)

Meanwhile, because of what Daniel was able to achieve over the years, through his working with Eric, every time he (Eric) had a guest(s) from the United States, he would introduce him to the guest(s) as one of his success stories in Liberia of mentoring and supporting young people. So, that was how he got to meet most of Eric’s international partners, including Dr. Stefania Forte. He's maligning Dr. Forte’s character today because she wrote a report that didn’t go his way.

Dr. Forte came to Liberia in early 2015 after Ebola and Eric introduced Daniel to her. Dr. Forte wanted to start her own non-profit called the ‘Stefania Forte Educational Foundation.’ She needed help with the startup of that organization. Eric told her about these young people that he was mentoring and would love for them to work with her because they are young, and had a lot of free time with fewer responsibilities.

“So, after I had introduced Daniel to her, he was hired by Dr. Forte to work for her in helping to set up her non-profit called the ‘Stefania Forte Educational Foundation’. Then I also introduced him to MaKabeh Sando-Acquah, who is the founder of Eve’s Grace Scholastics Innovation, a non-profit group, and another Liberian lady that I brought to Liberia also, around the same time. Daniel became the Country Representative for that non-profit. Every time I came with my international partners, including whites, I would introduce Daniel Dennis to them. So, that was how Daniel got into my personal space.”

Eric further narrated that each of the two ladies, along with him, paid Daniel’s college fees unbeknownst to each of them. “Dr. Forte was paying his school fees; MaKebeh was paying; I was also paying part of it. He would call multiple people and just tell them, ‘I need money for this, money for that and we would all give it to him. We didn’t know what was happening at that time was that he was taking money from everyone under the pretense that he’s in school.”

Boys Living With Eric Including Isaac Supu; No Girl

Eric stated that because of his heart for young people, he had 10 boys living with him at the Heart of Grace School in Jacob’s Town, City View Community, Rehab Community. “There was no girl. There had never been a time any girl had lived with us. Ten boys lived with us at Heart of Grace School, and we were responsible for their feeding, their education, and everything. In Gbarnga, I had about 15 of them in Gbarnga, Bong County at the Triple A School. We hired a lady who used to cook for them. We provided them food and a place to sleep, uniform money, and clothing money. Just everything, we were fully responsible for these boys. The goal was to train them so that in the future when some of us retire from the work that we do they can be able to take over the leadership of the organization.

“So, among those people in Gbarnga was Isaac Supu. Isaac is in Kigali, Rwanda, today. He’s at the Lay Adventist University in Kigali, Rwanda. He is the one who posted that thing on Youth Action Magazine about Dr. Forte, but they are using a different name — the same Students Against Corruption. We sent him to Kigali about two or three years ago. Isaac and his brother Na John Supu lived with me in Gbarnga, at the Triple A School for years. I helped him to complete his high school in Gbarnga. He served as student council government president of that school — Triple A. I think it was from 2017 to 2018, he was the president of the school. He graduated from the school in 2019.

Daniel Dennis Introduced to Triple A School

So, when Daniel started this work in Monrovia, "I told Daniel, I love what you are doing so in every school that I build in the country, I will bring you alongside so you can introduce your programs to each of the schools. So, that was how Daniel was introduced to the school in Gbarnga, at the Triple A. I took him there, at that time Isaac Supu was the president of the student council government. So, I introduced Supu to Dennis. They became good friends. Daniel had several friends but most of them left him; the only person who has stayed with him to the very end is Isaac. So, when Isaac graduated in 2019, Daniel invited him to Monrovia. Isaac came to Monrovia and lived with Daniel in his house until he got an opportunity to travel to Kigali to attend a university there."

Eric Helped Supu Get to Kigali

But Isaac couldn’t go to Kigali by himself, he needed a recommendation from an NGO or a company for sponsorship. So, he came to me, and I said it was a good idea. We wrote a letter to the university. We made Isaac sign a document with us that we are going to spend the money on him to go and that after his study he would repay that money to us or come and serve the institution. We have a copy of his passport on file at our office and he left for Kigali. Since he has been in Kigali, we have spent thousands of US Dollars on Isaac’s education in Kigali.”

Police, Dr. Forte Reports, Youth Action Magazine

According to Eric, things went further haywire when Daniel, Isaac and others started communicating directly with his partners overseas.

“When this whole saga came up, and the Liberian National Police released their reports and that of Dr. Forte’s report, Daniel Dennis can no longer post directly in Liberia about any of us, about me, about Dr. Forte, so they created that fake page called the ‘Youth Action Magazine’ in East Africa. So, how did I know it was them behind it, the day the first post was made about Dr. Forte, she shared it with me. So, I decided to call the number on the Facebook page. I had never spoken with Isaac Supu since he went to Kigali, on phone, so he didn’t know my US number. When I called the number, surprisingly he answered the phone, the contact number that was on Youth Action Magazine’s Facebook Page. So, when he answered, I said Isaac, he said ‘Yes,’ then I said you are the one trying to destroy me and Dr. Forte by putting those posts on that Youth Action Magazine page? He said ‘No, no, no. That page is for the Youth Action Magazine.’ Then I said but your number is on the page as the contact person. I asked if this was your number, and he said, ‘Yes, this is my other number.’ I then told him, you guys have to be careful: You should not bite the hands that feed you. This woman and all of us invested a lot into you people. Why are you posting this thing in disguise? Why don’t you come out live and post your personal comments on Facebook?’ I said we are going to come after you people and I encourage you to take down that post, that’s character’s assassination. Isaac currently serves as Vice President for International Affairs for Students Against Corruption.”

Further Details on SAC

“As I said from the beginning, Students Against Corruption was birthed in my hands. I supported it from the very beginning when it started; I believed in its cause from the very beginning when it started, and I wanted to see it grow and strive. So, I supported it. It was the Change Agent Network’s legal papers I used to set it up. Daniel used them as samples to do the legal paper works of SAC — Students Against Corruption. For example, our Articles of Incorporation, our bylaws, our board job descriptions, just everything. I just used photocopies of those papers to give them to Daniel and then he changed the names and put them in the language he wanted them and presented them to the government to get his organization registered. That’s how deep the relationship was.”

Eric Hires Daniel as Personal Assistant

Daniel was hired by Eric as his Special Assistant at CAN Head Office at the Heart of Grace School in Monrovia. He (Eric) had six (6) other staff working in the building, but he was his personal assistant. So, the CAN CEO used to give him his laptop, his Macbook Pro, and his telephone whenever he was in Liberia.

“He oversaw the processing of some of our documents. For example, when we needed to review our legal papers in Liberia, accreditation renewals, and others, he was the one going to the Ministry of Education to get the permit. He was going to Finance Ministry and all the other ministries that he had to go to get the paper works done. So, he knew a lot. And then, when we had money in the bank, and I needed to withdraw money from the bank, he was the one that I sent to the bank, to go to Western Union, Money Gram to withdraw money for me. And most time, I would leave my laptop with him, to do some work for us. He had the password to my laptop. He was the only person that knew how to use my Apple Laptop in the office because I thought him how to use Apple Macbook Pro. So, in the process, I urged him to create a special Facebook page for Opportunity Network Liberia; and that Facebook page he created, he is the administrator of it, up to now that is the page that he is using to harass and to scandalize my name. I have no control to get it back because he was the one who set it up using my company’s name. I don’t have the password; I don’t know how to get in it.”

“Could you believe that Daniel Dennis worked for me up to November of the last year 2021 until he resigned? He didn’t give me his letter of resignation instead, he resigned on Facebook where he posted that he was no longer working for me. Imagine he’s working for me as my personal assistant and at the same time launched an investigation in one of my schools without my knowledge, or permission. He was working for me; that’s a conflict of interests. And then he’s there having sexual relationships with the female students in the schools. When the UN gave him money to carry out his programs, I took him with me to Gbarnga so that he could extend his program there, too. The students there really respected him. I put him in touch with Dr. Forte, who sponsored the building construction where Daniel Dennis and SAC had their office. At my recommendation, he was hired by Dr. Forte to help her get all the papers for her Stefania Forte Educational Foundation. She also introduced him to Henry Costa, Tony Faissal, Mayor Jefferson Koijee, Joy Onos from the MCC Youth Affairs Unit as well as members of Teach for Liberia. Even back then, he made attempts of gossip and slandering against some of those people and Dr. Forte defended him when complaints came to her. I also put him in touch with MaKebeh and he became the Country Director for Eve’s Grace Scholastics Innovation Organization. He was being paid by all these people salaries at the same time stealing crazy money from us. He went to Blue Crest University where we were spending more than US$1,000 per semester on his education. We didn’t know that this was the game he was playing with us: collecting money from me and all my partners at the same time.

Here is my issue: the Students Against Corruption is not an investigative organization, it’s a student-led organization. What is surprising is that they are serving as whistleblowers, serving investigators and prosecutors in these allegations. They seem to be like they are the alleged victims. But the bottom line for me is that this thing comes down to envy, jealousy, animosity, and absolute wickedness; and this is where I feel that sometimes helping people can hurt and when you help too much you might hurt yourself in the process. I believe that Daniel Dennis used his Students Against Corruption thinking that he could use this as a big story to gain relevance in Liberia as the only organization that has discovered and exposed the biggest sex scandal in Liberia's history and used that as a platform to promote himself; use it also to seek opportunities to travel to America as an activist. Could you believe that about a year ago, when he was graduating from university, my personal car was given to him for a week to use?

“About a year ago, he told me that he had applied for a certain program in America to go to school for about six months or so but that he needed my support to help process his documents, including medical documents and he also needed a place to stay and money for a stipend. Once again, I and my partners raised money and sent it to him to process his documents. I don’t know the reason why he hasn’t traveled yet. Maybe Covid stopped the whole thing. Again, because we believe in what he was doing, so we supported him.”

According to Eric, one of his partners, MaKebeh Sando, bought a car and gave it to Daniel Dennis for him to use as a taxi to sustain her programs in Liberia. He allegedly abused the car so badly that it broke down and was eventually taken away from him. “Not a single dollar was generated from that car in profit. Whatever little revenue that came in was diverted to personal use. The car was purchased at a cheaper cost than the actual amount Daniel put on the official receipt and pocketed the rest of the money. The car was involved in several accidents because of his recklessness, and he had to go back to MaKebeh and requested for more money. He used the car as his private car to go to Gbarnga almost every other week to chase girls and go clubbing. The information I gathered from my security guards is that every time Daniel went to Gbarnga, he and his guys used to turn our guesthouse in Gbarnga into hotel rooms sleeping with multiple female students including those girls whose names were mentioned in the reports from the Liberia National Police and the CAN-US Board President Dr. Forte. They would come home in the middle of the night very drunk and sleep in the guest house. Using company car that was purchased for business use only.”

SAC Leadership

Touching on the role the SAC leadership played, he stated, “After I had discovered all these things in December 2021, I decided to speak with SAC leadership because I know they have a board and I had realized that Daniel was acting all by himself. So, I sent them an email, one Layee Fofana, Vice President for National Affairs; Blamo N. Toe, National Secretary of SAC. I called the leadership and told them that you people are young people I need to see you all. They told me that they never had money to meet with me, however, if I could provide transportation they would come and meet with me. They picked D’Calabash for the meeting. I went to the meeting. Nobody told me that they were recording me. There were three young men who showed up for the meeting: Layee, Blamo and a gentleman from Grand Gedeh County. I was told that he was the head of SAC in that county. I told them that we don’t want to destroy you people. What Daniel is doing are you people in approval of them? Did you people see Daniel’s report regarding these allegations that you signed unto? Did you people see any pieces of evidence before you started going on social media? They all said, ‘We have not seen anything.

Daniel has presented nothing to us.’ So, I gave them copies of the Police reports and urged them to investigate Daniel properly and that Daniel is a criminal and because we don’t want to come after you people as an organization. They told me to do them a favor, they needed money to meet as a team because Daniel is the only one who keeps the organization’s money and the whole organization was operating from his house in his personal room. They asked me to give them some money for them to act. So, I told them to send me a budget for me to look at it. They said they needed money for transportation to go back home. I didn’t know that throughout the conversation they were recording me. I went home and called one of my friends to send them some money so that they could pay their transportation fare. They later sent me a budget of almost US$3,000 for them to do what they wanted to do as an organization. I have all the communication as evidence in my possession. Unfortunately, the next thing I heard was that Eric called SAC leadership to bribe them so that they could get rid of their leader Daniel Dennis. This entire organization is a very corrupt group of desperate young people; I don’t know why they called themselves Students Against Corruption. I think their real name should be ‘Students For Corruption’. Blama N. Toe was the one who sent me the budget. I think he’s the national secretary for Students Against Corruption.”

Hope Novak

Hope Novak, who is one those backing the evil actions of Daniel and others, was invited to Liberia by Eric. “She came to Liberia and stayed for a week. Because of her love to help girls, Daniel Dennis and his cohorts took advantage of her innocence and milked her out of thousands of dollars. She didn’t know that she was being used and exploited by Daniel and his SAC organization. He and others had programed some female students and other girls to come out and say that were being molested, harassed, abused and rape by teachers and staff including myself in schools and Daniel would package those recordings and send them to Hope in the US. In that vein, they (Daniel and others) would ask for hundreds of dollars from her that those alleged victims on the recording had to be relocated to a ‘safe house’ and that their school fees, food money, medical bills, legal fees, and other basic needs had to be paid for. They would rob her of several thousands of dollars. I think Hope, too, felt that by doing what she was doing, she would have established her own NGO and get some international support, gained relevance nationally in Liberia and possibly take over CAN. Unfortunately for her, Daniel and his SAC organization played and used her. Hope’s dream, expectations and aspirations have been dashed.”

Daniel Dennis and SAC may not get the hundreds of dollars that they used to getting from Hope as she is now locked in a divorce case with her husband. Even though she is the one who filed for divorce, she is being accused by her husband’s family of diverting thousands of dollars from his account to fund Daniel and SAC.

Daniel Backs Up Eric’s Sensitive Info on Computer

According to Eric, the last trip he made to Liberia in 2021 before the allegations came up, he brought two cell phones as one of his phones had crashed. “It wasn’t functioning well. So, I gave Daniel the phones to go to Central Monrovia and extract all the information from the damaged phone and place them in my new phone and bring them back to me. Unfortunately for me, Daniel Dennis backed up my entire information from my phone onto his personal laptop. I wanted to give the old phone to someone, so I needed it completely wiped off. He cleared the whole thing and the information — very sensitive pieces, some of my partners, donor information, business information, personal information. Everything, he placed on his personal laptop. So, that was how he got some sensitive pieces of information, but he didn’t understand what pieces of information he had gotten. I have witnesses. I have people who can attest to this. They all know that he was the only person who had direct access to my very personal things.”

“While I was in Liberia, I realized that my phone, most of my accounts in the US got hacked. I couldn’t get into my accounts, I couldn’t send money because they said people tried to penetrate my accounts, and I believe the information came from Daniel Dennis criminally trying to get into my accounts and use the information from my phone to blackmail me and other people, like text messages and financial documents from the US. He had access to those documents, which were on my laptop and phone. Some of those documents, he never understood, what they were. He fabricated his own materials to use against me. So, those are the places he got information from to accuse me of financial mismanagement and sexual abuse. But he didn’t know what kind of information he was reading on my laptop. So, when he keeps talking about financial mismanagement, I believe it was the financial documents from the US and Liberia that were on my personal laptop that I used to give him to work on that was how he got access to them. He used those pieces of information to sell them to criminals and then contacted my partners in the US. When Daniel started to work with me, because of what he was doing, He was always right there with me. So, he saw this as a weakness on my part and he could use this to destroy me, probably take over the organization that I had built over the last 20 years. So, that information from my laptop was what he sent to my partners in the US telling them that I was mismanaging donor’s money in Liberia and being my personal assistant, he got pieces of evidence to proof that no one can doubt and dispute because he works for me directly. So, this guy is a complete criminal, who carries himself as an anti-corruption activist. He is a young person who knows how to blackmail and manipulate people. What happened is that he abused my kindness, my openness, my love, he took advantage of my simplicity and humility as a sign of weakness and thought he could get rid of me and take over my business by fabricating these stories of sexual abuse and financial mismanagement and conspiring with other young people who lived with me to take me down with these ridiculous allegations and charges.”

Eric’s Grateful that Allegations Came Up

Eric thinks Daniel is not working alone but has involved Isaac and others in his evil schemes.

Eric, who is the CEO of Change Agent Network (CAN), is, however, grateful that Daniel and others brought out all those frivolous charges against him.

“This thing has really helped me to sit down and think not to be vulnerable anymore to Liberians, not allowing them to come very close into my personal space by giving my phone(s) away, not paying keen attention to my phones and my laptop, bringing them too close and not thinking otherwise. I also hope that this serves a warning to other businesspeople both Liberians and foreigners who are operating in the country to be very careful and don’t make these kinds of serious mistakes that I made in my business; easily trusting and exposing myself to hungry and desperate young people. To other private, mission or independent schools’ proprietors in Liberia, I urge you not to allow this corrupt enterprise SAC headed by Daniel Dennis in your schools.

No Girls Lived with Eric

“As I said earlier, I had 10 boys living with me in Monrovia; 18 in Gbarnga and 10 in Lofa. I was responsible for all of them, about 40 boys. No girl. No girl had ever lived with me before. I put these boys in training so that in the future they could be ready for a possible takeover of the organization. And the goal for doing that is that we realized that any life that one lives without substitute at the end of it, it won’t be pretty. It’s always good to have an exit strategy. So, that was my successive plan to train these group of young people. But I didn’t know that our society was so bad and corrupt maybe because of the poverty level, and because of the hopelessness people have become very desperate and they do desperate things.”

Isaac was one of those boys who lived with Eric. There was no girl. Eric wonders how it went from taking care of all boys surrounding him that they are now talking about sexual abuse of girls in the schools.

Eric’s Plan for His Inner Cycle

“Like I have said, from all these things now, I am going to learn that we must avoid people coming into our personal space. We must avoid a lot of things. I am going to restructure everything and never again make myself vulnerable or easily available to people by sitting with them, eating, and drinking together like every one of us are on the same page and are equals.”

Eric Wants SAC, Daniel Dennis Investigated

“I call on the LACC and LNP to fully investigate SAC and Daniel Dennis. I believe they are a complete and total disgrace and disappointment to the young people of Liberia. Otherwise, they will continue to undermine the credibility and reputation of the LACC.

“I didn’t grow up in Liberia to have come to fully understand the psyche of Liberians. So, I opened myself to people. But I have now come to understand why many privileged Liberians living abroad don’t want to look back and help because sometimes, helping others becomes painful!”

“Oh, it’s just God! In spite of all these allegations and challenges. We remain committed to God’s mission in Liberia. What doesn’t kill me, will only make me better and stronger. These have been life’s lessons and character-building time for me that will reshape my mindset, change my leadership style, process, and overall operations. My objective in Liberia remains the same. God is good and faithful!