‘Bishop Contoe Connived with Defendant to Dupe KTC of US$50K’

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Choi Hunchi, the chief executive officer of Korea Trading Company (KTC) yesterday told Criminal Court ‘C’ that Bishop Manasseh Contoe of the Mission for Today Church connived with defendant James Togbah to dupe his company of over US$50,000 out of the World Food Program (WFP) contract.

Choi, who testified as prosecutors’ rebuttal witness alleged that in 2014 his company entered into the agreement with WFP to transport employees of the UN entity.

The prosecution witness further alleged that after signing the contract he was compelled to leave Liberia due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus, leaving the contract in the care of Bishop Contoe and other employees, including defendant Togbah.

Disappointingly, he said, when he returned to the country the defendant and Bishop Contoe had allegedly misapplied money that the WFP paid to them for the use of his vehicles.

But, when Bishop Contoe testified as one of the defense witnesses he admitted receiving US$12,570 from defendant Togbah for services his own company, Seak Group of Companies, had rendered to Korea Trading Company.

“KTC had a contract with the WFP to transport their workers, but they did not have enough vehicles for the contract and as a result KTC hired my company’s services to help improve their capacity in executing the contract,” Bishop Contoe said, when he earlier testified.

Bishop Contoe was quick to point out that defendant Togbah paid him the money in the absence of Mr. Choi.

Bishop Contoe is not on trial, instead, it is defendant Togbah who is being tried for his involvement in the disappearance of over US$50,000, while he was serving as general manager of KTC.

But, while rebutting Bishop Contoe’s allegation yesterday, Choi claimed that before his departure he advised Togbah not to interfere with the WFP contract money.

“Togbah knew the fact that I told him not to withdraw any money from the WFP contract, so, why did he pay the money to Bishop Contoe?” Choi asked adding “They shared my money.”

“I don’t know Bishop Contoe to own Seak Group of Companies, while I was in Liberia, and I’m not aware about his company helping us with the WFP contract,” Choi said.

“How would Bishop Contoe say my company pays money to him when he did not have any agreement with me when I was in the country? They ate my money and defendant Togbah must be made to account for his wrong doing,” he said.

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