18 Ordered to Pay Back ‘Benefits’ from Oil Block LB13 Deal

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(Clockwise from left): O. Natty B. Davis, II; Cllr. Christiana Tah; former Finance Minister Amara M. Konneh; former Deputy Finance Minister Dr. James Kollie; former Lands, Mines & Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo; and former NOCAL chairman Robert Sirleaf

The five-member Special Presidential Committee (SPC) constituted to examine the scandal allegations during the negotiation of the concession agreement between ExxonMobil and the Liberian Government over Oil Block LB13, has hooked 18 former officials from the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf administration.

The Committee was set up by President George Weah to examine the authenticity of the allegation contained in a report issued by Global Witness on Liberia in March 2018.

According to the 35-page report, the former and current government officials are to pay US$35,000 each, while some will pay US$15,000 and US$5,000 respectively to restitute about US$500,000.

Members of the SPC include Cllr. Pearl Brown-Bull, Cllr. C. Alexander Zoe, Cllr. A. Ndubuisi Nwabudike, Rev. Joseph Gardea Johnson, III and Mrs. Frances Reeves.

Those involved in the US$35,000 category are former Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC) O. Natty B. Davis; former Justice Minister Christiana Tah; former Finance Minister Amara Konneh, Robert Sirleaf; former Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo, former Deputy Finance Minister James Kollie, as well former NOCAL CEO Randolph A. K. W. McClain and Cllr. Seward Cooper.

Others who were hooked to pay back US$15,000 each are Susan Mapples, Idella Cooper Shannon, Kou Dorliae, Jeff Wood and Alpha Shah; while Anyaa Vohiri and Varbah Gayflor are those mentioned in the US$5,000 category.

The reports also said all members of the Board of Directors who were part of NOCAL on April 27, 2013, are also liable for restitution and they include Fred Bass Golokeh, Joseph Howe, and Madam Jacqueline Khoury.

Meanwhile, in yesterday’s session, a letter from President Weah on the recommendations from the Special Presidential Committee on the misapplication of funds at the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) was accepted by members of the House of Representatives and the House plenary also mandated the leadership to see that the recommendations are implemented by the President.

According to the President, the Special Presidential Committee has concluded its investigation and submitted its report to his office.

However, the President in his letter informed members of the House of Representatives that he will issue a formal position on the report after it is reviewed by the Cabinet.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Whatever became of Varney Sherman and his den of thieves who stole $950,000? (Mount wologizi bribery case).Plus the $700,000 that Ellen give to special prosection?will there be restitution? These kind of behavior will stop only if they start to disgrace and lock these people up.

    • That is the only reason for the setting up the Presidential appointed committee for the President or the powers that be to be seen as fighting corruption through Executive powers by appointing these kind of committee against the separation of powers where the judiciary has the authority to hear the case and sentenced as guilty . But again, the leadership of the court system which is the Supreme Court seems so weak to act on corruption cases that it takes three to five years to finish a case . Now the Executive Mansion has its own of hearing cases, and the villagers in the rural Liberia depending on sasawood, while the juduray is out of action . Imagine that a Presidential committee barring people for life from serving on any political position as recommended by the committee. Where and under what constitutional authority did they get such power ? The constitution speaks of juduray competence( hope it is the right used of that word ) and not Presidential appointed committee competence in cases where the fundamental rights and liberty of Liberians are concerned. These type of Presidential appointed committee has got to stop, they are too political.

  2. Thanks to President Weah, but he has to be more drastic and radical on those public enemies of progress in this nation. We also want to hear about the big boy 1 & 2 saga. Good action for the pro poor.

    • We hope that the government will reach to the bottom of this case and also investigate other corruption cases.

  3. 350,000???? Ur lor play toooo much. If the committee thinks Rob Sirleaf got 35,000 in bonus then ur na rehlay yay. Mattah of fact big brehlor Rob can pay dat whole 350,000 no shaking!!!

    Waste of time.

  4. Drastic Measures: Let those involved with the Oil Block LB 13 repayment issue surrender their passports and other travelling documents to the Ministry of Justice ASAP.
    The Government of Liberia should place lien on their properties until the money is paid
    On the Varney Sherman Wologiszi bribery case, I do not think that the government has forgotten, government will deal with those issues on a case by case.
    I am very much sure that the Weah administration will not let any stone unturned.

  5. Okay, I’d say good job for the panel of men and women who have found the sleazy wusses guilty of their crimes. Paying back the stolen money is good. But more needs to be done. The guilty men and women should do a jail time. I recommend 5 years!

  6. I’m just disappointed in Hearing the name Amara Konneh. I don’t know the former minister personally but always thought that he was one of the good guys.

  7. They must pay back the money. It does not make sense to receive $35,000.00 as bonus fee for reviewing a document that could just take two or three days to do(at most 5 days), when you make less than $2,000.00 a month as Minister. This so called “bonus fee” is a bribe intended to mortgage Liberia’s interest and allow the contracting oil company to get away with huge profits at the detriment of the country. Let these corrupt officials be made to restitute the money and those who fail to do so should forfeit their property or same be seized and put up for bidding to the highest bidder to help recover the $35,000.00 bribe that each received. It is a shame to be unpatriotic and corrupt.

  8. Thumbs up Mr. President, this signals that you are serious about what you mean when you speak about your pro poor agenda. But, this should only be the beginning and please keep focus to the end of your presidency because you have got so many wolfs who are amongst the sheep and will not rest if given the chance to destroy what you have set out to do for the benefit of our people and country. Please please go after them including that old witch who helped to destroy our country infrastructurally and economically, bring them all to paying back what they stole from the poor people. May God guide you and your government.

  9. Yes pay back the money and send them to serve jail term for using a disguised terminology(“bonus”) to steal from the people. The Justice Minister, in particular, who should be scrutinizing the contract so that Liberia benefits, elected to accept the so called “bonus”, thus putting her personal interest above our national interest. It should be noted that Liberia’s loss of valuable forests, agricultural land, and mineral resources in the past, as well as in the present, clearly suggests to us that in this day and age, our country needs competent negotiators, qualified and honest technicians to effectively represent Liberia’s interest at international negotiations. It is sad to say that lawyers entrusted to safeguard Liberia’s interests at negotiations, out of greed, join hands with foreigners to hurt us as a people. The pro-poor government should set example of these rascals to make them pay and then serve jail term of not less than 5 years to serve as a warning to would be thieves.

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