– President accused of Mismanagement and misappropriation of Gov’t Subsidy
A special investigation into an alleged corruption scandal at the Liberia Movie Union (LIMU) has revealed that the US$20, 000 given to the union last year as subsidy from the government was poorly mismanaged and misappropriated.
The investigation, led by Rev. G. Hamilton Karsor, accused the president of the union of administrative irregularities and procedural errors in the handling of the union’s funds, and the misappropriation of US$200, which she has been asked to restitute.
The report, a copy of which is in the possession of LIB Life, also noted that there were discrepancies in the distribution of funds to stakeholders, and that the president, Martha Akorsah, and her receptionist, on several occasions, played the roles of vice president for administration (VPA), Henry Johnson, and treasurer, Doris Acquoi.
The committee’s report further explained that during the year under review, there were unofficial receipts, or no vouchers, for some expenditure, like the payments made to Gideon and E. Owusu Dahnsaw.
The report added that out of the US$20,000, only US$321.98 now remains in the union’s account, excluding the US$200 that union president Akorsah must restitute.
However, the report falls short of revealing whether or not the US$19, 478 spent was actually used for the intended purpose, like building the capacity of local filmmakers through a series of training/workshops; working with government to create a better market system for the film industry; curbing piracy; and branding the image of the union.
Quoting article XVI of the union’s 2006 Constitution in the report, Rev. Karsor said “for offenses of financial embezzlement or misappropriation, the guilty officer shall restitute the amount in question, and also serve a three-month suspension.”
He said that the committee recommended that the president should restitute the money she misappropriated in the soonest possible time, and should also be served a warning letter against such administrative malpractices.
“Our investigation furthered observer that the texting of a corruption scandal within the union to the public was dangerous and unconstitutional. Against this backdrop, the VPA, Henry Johnson, violated article XII of the Constitution on decision-making procedures, which states that ‘all decisions within the union shall be made on a two-thirds majority basis of the National Executive Committee,’” he said.
Rev. Karsor explained that the VPA’s decision to disseminate damaging information about the union’s leadership without exhausting all efforts to get the involvement of the union’s Board and the NEC is “a clear gross misconduct; therefore, the committee is recommending that he be suspended for one month instead of an impeachment.”
Stating the reason for recommending a month’s suspension for the VPA, Rev Karsor added that elected union officers may be impeached for reasons such as conflict of interest, bribery, inept performance and acts of gross misconduct not consistent with objectives of the union.