Foreign Affairs’ Financial Improprieties Attempt to Damage Reputation

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The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Elias B. Shoniyin has termed recent media report of improprieties at the ministry as a distortion of facts and shifting of blame, and a blatant and deliberate attempt to damage and besmear his reputation.
Making the disclosure last Thursday to newsmen at the Foreign Ministry, Mr. Shoniyin said there are certain individuals at the ministry who, for their own ulterior motives, have resorted to misinformation, disinformation and twisted facts to politicize the developments purposely to damage his reputation.
Minister Shoniyin was responding to a publication of “financial improprieties” at the Foreign Affairs, particularly within the position he previous held before his ascendency as Deputy Minister.
Local media early this month published stories of financial improprieties with a little over US$400,000 provided by the Government of Japan for institutional capacity building among others.
“It interests me that an official will submit a secret report to the Foreign Minister on July 31 for Presidential submission, and few days later on August 10 a verbatim of that same report in popular daily under the guise of investigative reporting. This raises question of integrity and professionalism of that official who lacks the audacity to openly assert his values through a press,” Minister Shoniyin said.
He explained further that this despicable situation has now subjected the conservative solitude for which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has turned into a arena of disrepute, describing it as “unfortunate saga that has now turned into a campaign of smear.”
He said by the kind gesture of the Government of Japan, the Department of International Economic Cooperation and Integration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was provided a grant of US$731,412 on April 22, 2014, to implement a project, “Institutional and Human Resource Support for Efficient Operation of the Department.”
A document in possession of the Daily Observer shows that Minister Thomas Kaydor, Deputy Minister for International Cooperation and Integration, has been receiving traveling allowances from the Government of Liberia, Foreign Affairs particularly, as well as from the Japanese project.
Minister Shoniyin said upon ascendency to his present position, he wrote the Afriland First Bank’s Manager transferring signatory powers to Mr. Kaydor as Signatory ‘A’, Madam Wede Elliot Brownell, Deputy Minister as signatory ‘B’, and Augustine Nyanplu, Project Manager as signatory ‘C’, effectively.
He explained that following several months in his new portfolio, an audit under his period of the project, revealed that not a single integrity issue but concerns on internal controls weakness and oversights and the copy was served to his successor for his actions to address those system concerns.
“These exchanges were happening in late July while checks on the account of the project started bouncing in early June. Deputy Minister Thomas Kaydor left inactive, and it took the action of Minister Ngafuan instructing with immediacy that Mr. Kaydor write that bank requesting full disclosure on the account of the project, that he then acted,” Minister Shoniyin said.
He said the ministry became more alarmed when it was discovered that two checks drawn on the same account had bounced.

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