‘I Received Money from the WFP Contract,’ Says ‘Bishop’ Conto

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'Bishop' Manasseh Conto

‘Bishop’ Manasseh Conto, who is being tried along with Stephen Kettor for allegedly duping a Korean businessman of US$134,000 from a vehicle rental contract with the World Food Program (WFP), has told Criminal Court ‘C’ that he actually received an unspecified amount from the arrangement.

Conto claimed that he received his share of the US$134,000 from co-defendant Stephen Kettor, based on a tripartite agreement involving his company, SACS Group, the WFP, and Korea Trading Corporation that was managed by ‘Pastor’ Kettor.

The two men are members of the International Mission for Today Church located in New Kru Town, Monrovia.

Hungchi Choi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Korea Trading Corporation (KTC), during his testimony, alleged that the defendants through his then general manager, Henry Smith – who has been at large since the indictment – entered into a vehicle rental contract with the WFP valued at US$18,445 monthly for five months, from October 2014 to January 12, and up to March 2015, in the name of a fictitious company identified as SACS Group.

Choi also claimed that a payment of US$92,225 was made for the five months, out of which the UN agency’s employees demanded US$12,500 as kickback, but that KTC did not receive a dime because he was absent when the contract was signed and approved.

The contract was to supply vehicles to the WFP to facilitate the delivery of food and other items to victims during the Ebola outbreak.

During his testimony, Conto said though Choi was out of the country, he and Kettor entered into the contract with the WFP.

According to Conto, the Combi bus that his company used for the signing of the tripartite agreement was purchased from KTC, with an outstanding balance of US$5,000 yet to be paid.

Defendant Conto also claimed that he wrote a promissory note assuring Choi that he was actually going to pay the US$5,000.

“Before signing the WFP contract I told Kettor that I still owed the company US$5,000 and since Choi was not in the country at that time, it was impossible for me to provide the vehicle to the UN agency,” Conto claimed.

“Kettor assured me that if I were to agree for him to use the vehicle as part of the contract, he would deduct the US$5,000 I owed, and afterward he was going to give the balance of US$7,500, which are yet to be collected up to the present.”

Conto in his testimony did not say if he has paid the US$5,000, but insisted that the money was still in KTC’s Ecobank account, from which he is not authorized to withdraw money.

When Choi testified, he claimed that although the defendants used the SACS name for the contract and received payment through KTC’s Ecobank account, however, they could not account for the US$92,225 meant as contract fees for the five months the WFP paid for.

The case continues.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Bishop Conto has been badly misled by satan. As a consequence of his hypocrisy, God decided to expose him early on before it got too far.
    The are two important things that are often overlooked:
    1. God calls people to His ministry and
    2. Some people call themselves to the ministry of God.

    In the New Testament, a man named Saul was called to God’s ministry. Saul was religious. Although he believed in the existence of God, Saul despised Jesus Christ. During Saul’s time, Christianity was known as “The way”. So, Saul sought and got permission from the Jerusalem authorities to go Damascus, Syria. On the road to Damascus, Saul met his match and got changed for good. From that experience, Saul became a defender of “The Way” he had vowed to destroy beyond measure. He labored fearlessly for Christ until he got beheaded in Rome, Italy. (In Hebrew….Saul) (In English…..Paul) Without a shred of doubt, the Apostle Paul was called to the ministry of God.
    Back in Liberia:
    A lot of people have been called to God’s ministry also. Those who have been called to the ministry of God experience church growth, miraculous signs, no news of theft (as it is in Bishop Conto’s situation) and of course a situation where hanky-panky does not exist. Mother Dukuly was a classic example of a person who was called to God’s ministry, forget her piccadillos before the call.

    Now what’s about those who call themselves to God’s ministry?
    Well, in the northern California bay area, a Catholic priest became infected with the HIV virus. The “ungentleman” had never been transfused with blood, neither did he work with HIV victims. When he got confronted by church authorities, the priest confessed that he had gone incognito with his gay lifestyle activity because he was afraid to get exposed to public disgrace and condemnation. Guess what? God exposed him! The priest called himself to God’s ministry, pure and simple!

    Also in the Midwest region, a Jehovah Witness guy who was a higher up in his denomination, engaged in a sex activity with his study group females. As time went on, the ungentleman got exposed. When his colleagues of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ faith asked how this sex business could have been done by him, he said the women with whom he had studied, seduced him. Yeah, women are capable of doing that, but please let’s not blame any woman in this delicate situation. The guy was weak. Instead of asking for forgiveness, he blamed women for his infidelity. The said Jehovah’s Witness guy called himself to God’s ministry.
    In conclusion, God calls some people to the ministry and they slide in thick darkness. It’s usually jind of different when a slip occurs. What can be said is that the devil is always in the details. Was devil in the details with Bishop Conto? I will let the reader to decide.

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