…Over financial ‘mismanagement’
An advocacy group in Nimba County, under the banner, “Concerned Nimbaians” has called on the government to remove the county’s chief administrator, David Dorr Cooper, because the group believes the Superintendent and few of his lieutenants have “mismanaged the county’s finances over the years.”
Among other things, the Concerned Nimbaians accused Supt. Cooper of “misusing US$41,940 meant for scratch cards, and the US$126,343 allotted for gas coupons for operations.
But the superintendent rubbished the allegations, saying, “I don’t dignify those kind of allegations from people who have sold their legitimacy to their political masters.”
“Right now, our focus is to maintain law and order in the county to attract development partners, but not to listen and respond to people, whose allegations are made on sentiment. Our administration does not control the county’s finances, rather placed any money for the county’s development are in an escrow account,” Supt. Cooper told the Daily Observer on Thursday, March 21, 2019 via mobile phone.
The Concerned Nimbaians statement, released recently, a copy of which was emailed to the Daily Observer, was signed by two of its executives, Terron S. Dolo and Calvin Wandah, respectively.
In his reaction also, the county inspector, Reginald Mehn challenged members of the group to go to court, “if they feel, the Door Cooper administration mismanaged any money from the county’s coffer.”
“I think it will be good for them (members) to go to court with their case, if they have any legitimate claim against the county administration or against the office of the county inspector and the Superintendent. The court is the hope of every citizen,” Mr. Mehn said.
According to him, as the county inspector, “my office has nothing to do with buying and distributing scratch cards for the chiefs; maybe those making the claims are not aware of how the office superintendent conducts its affairs.”
The group claimed that, as a result of the perceived mismanagement, President George Weah should go ahead and remove the Superintendent from office, and constitute an investigation board to authenticate “our claim.”
The group said its investigations into the matter have established that those who were supposed to have received the benefits from the office of the superintendent were denied their due.
In their accusation, the group explained, “those meant to benefit from the scratch cards and gas coupons, including the statutory superintendents, commissioners, city mayors, paramount chiefs as well as township commissioners did not receive it at all.”
The Concerned Nimbaians in their explanation, said all the expected beneficiaries they spoke to denied ever receiving their benefits from the county administration as allotted in the County Council last Sitting.
The group further noted that the recent Nimba County Administration in their reports to the County Council Sitting, mentioned the opening of 23 streets in Karnplay, 27 streets in Saclepea and 17 streets in Ganta, including the Kahnla Bridge in Yarmen costing about US$120,832, but could not specifically give any detail about the kilometers, the amount spent in each of the cities.
“From our investigations, some of the roads mentioned in the county report did not exist. We are yet to know whether the Ganta-LPMC by-pass route and the UBA road projects were undertaken by FRAMP/USAID or the County Administration,” the group said in their statement.
“We observed that District #8 was left with the electoral district projects, and also discovered that the county leadership never procured the required engine oil for the county’s yellow machines as it was mentioned in their report, thereby causing the machines to encounter early mechanical faults,” the released said.
Other concerns, the group raised, include the poor status of the superintendent’s compound in Sanniquellie, the county political capital, and the delay of the committee set up to review the superintendent’s report to the County Sitting to come up with their findings.
Meanwhile, the group has called on the President to remove the superintendent for the “mismanagement of public funds, which they said constitutes a threat to government operations and the gross suffering of citizens.”