The Federation of Liberian Associations (FLAC) based in Canada facing a serious leadership crisis, with the organization’s lawyer threatening a lawsuit against Leo N. Johnson, one of the contending parties.
Theophilus Kiadii, who headed a committee that led FLAC to election early November, accuses Leo Johnson of impersonating himself as leader of the organization, allegation that the accused has denied but claims he is the “Legitimate” President of the organization.
In July 2018, FLAC was registered at the Federal level with the relevant Federal agency, Corporations Canada, as a not for profit community organization with the Board of Directors.
Following the registration, Mr. Francis Hinnah and Leo Johnson set out to obstruct the operation of the federation just because they were no longer in leadership.
The one year term of the interim leadership of which Francis Hinnah was interim president had long expired four years earlier without any accomplishment whatsoever other than photo opts and unauthorized solicitations, but Francis insisted on remaining in power against the will of the wider community.
He and his protégé Leo Johnson got busy devising ways and means by which they could regain power.
By this time a Transitional Team was set up to steer the affairs of the Federation including registration, the holding of National Election and other matters, had already been established.
The document further said; “this team then undertook to register the Federation to operate within legal parameters, which was the primary mandate the interim team failed to carry out.”
In April 2018, Francis Hinnah sent out a text message to the Liberian Community in Canada stating that the Government of Canada had conducted an investigation and found that the legitimate president of FLAC was Francis Hinnah and so the information on the registration documents had been transferred to him.
As a consequence, the members of the board of Directors were been changed to reflect those approved by Francis Hinnah.
Upon learning of the so-called government investigation, the Transitional Team contacted Corporations Canada immediately to ascertain the facts.
It was then learned that Francis Hinnah and others had presented themselves to Corporations Canada as members of the leadership of the Federation and that they were authorized to make changes to the Board of Directors listing.
The unsuspecting Corporations Canada staffer proceeded to accommodate the request for a change to the document. When it became clear that the changes were falsified, the agency restored the original signatories and Board of Directors.
Following the advice of Corporations Canada to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or local police, the Transitional Team then brought the matter to the attention of the Metropolitan Toronto Police.
The Fraud unit of this police department then contacted Francis Hinnah and Leo Johnson as they conducted an investigation into our complaint.
According to the police, Francis and Leo told them that it was Corporations Canada that granted them permission to change the information.
The Police then followed up with Corporations Canada only to find out that Francis and Leo misled the Corporations Canada into granting their request.
Subsequently, FLAC Corporation was restored with the original board members. Further proceeding into this Fraudulent is pending and will commence as FLAC leadership deems it necessary.
On November 30, 2019, the federation held its first National Convention in the city of Hamilton, Ontario during which, among other things, a national election for President, Vice President, Secretary-General and Treasurer.
As the leadership crisis deepens, a Canadian lawyer has thrown out a warning to Johnson to withdraw his claim as being the head of the organization and desist from impersonating as president.
A communication from the office of Canadian Counselor Anita Perera, who is the Lawyer for FLAC, informs Johnson of obstructing the operation of the group especially after its new leadership has taken office.
The letter dated December 7, 2019, demands Mr. Johnson to stop any activities using FLAC’s name and present position.
Cllr. Perera warned that there would be further legal actions if Johnson fails to desist from his “mischievous acts.”
“We will resort to taking further legal action if the above stated is not adhered to,” she said.
Despite warning issued Johnson in a letter dated December 7, 2019, he still operates as head of the organization and has held a series of programs under the named of FLAC.
Cllr. Perera added, “As per my client’s facts and information, your fraudulent and misleading activities at a point in time caused problems for the overall corporations of the association in Canada.”
Leo N. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Empowerment Squared based in Canada, is currently constructing a public library and business incubation center in Paynesville, outside Monrovia. He is accused of using finances belonging to FLAC for his organization’s projects.
The current president, Prof. Nancy Reeves, and the Board of Directors, also told Johnson that he has obstructed the operations of FLAC by his “illegal presidency.”
She also disclosed that Mr. Johnson’s “fraudulent activities” were being reported to the Canadian Police.
“Moreover, as per my client’s information, the association reported this matter to the police, which you are aware of,” the lawyer noted.
When contacted, Johnson said the group he now heads is no longer FLAC but Liberia Association in Canada (LAC).
FLAC is a Liberian-based Canadian not-for-profit corporation established by an Act on July 30, 2018, with the objective to unify Liberians across Canada under one umbrella organization with a quest to form a formidable, unified and progressive community that would foster peace, unity, economic, social and political development for Liberians in Canada, and Liberia.
He told the Daily Observer via WhatsApp that the LAC board took the decision three months ago to rebrand the organization, a decision he claims was supported unanimously by their members.
When asked about the status of FLAC, Johnson said, “I have no idea as we are now LAC.”
According to him, Canada is a country of laws where the courts are to protect everyone, “so if we ever got any notice from a court, our legal team will respond.”
Meanwhile, the newly elected president of FLAC, Prof. Nancy Reeves has called on Johnson to give an account of all funds that the organization got for other institutions and individuals.