Deneah Martin Flomo, the man at the center of a controversial National Port Authority (NPA) contract yesterday told Criminal Court ‘C’ that he signed the contract documents to remove wreck and provide security consultancy without the chance to read and understand them.
Flomo, whose charges government dropped in exchange for his testimony, alleged that the signing ceremony took place in the office of former NPA Managing Director Matilda Parker.
Testifying on the direct as prosecution’s second witness, Flomo said prior to signing the document he was introduced to defendant Paelay by one of his friends, identified as Lawrence Dahn, who was then assigned to the office of the NPA comptroller.
“It was Paelay who later introduced me to Madam Parker,” the second state witness added.
The witness further alleged that when he and Paelay appeared before defendant Parker, he saw several documents in Parker’s hands and she asked him to sign them.
Flomo quoted Madam Parker as telling him, “Just sign them and you would get to know them later.”
“She did not allow me to read them,” the sate witness alleged. “Madam Parker asked for my photo to be taken and she also pointed her finger to the area where my name was typed and again asked me to sign there and I did.
“From that time I did not see defendant Parker, only her comptroller and myself were communicating.”
When asked on the direct by state lawyer, Cllr. Daku Mulbah, whether he attended any engineering school, Flomo responded” “No,” and also answered in the negative when he was asked whether he was wreck engineer.
When he was again asked the purpose for which he was introduced to defendant Paelay, Flomo answered “for me to supply the NPA with stationery because I was doing stationery business.”
He said Madam Paelay asked to pre-finance the first batch of stationery in the amount of US$2,000, which he did.
Two days after he supplied the stationery, he said he received a call from Dahn to meet him at the NPA.
“Surprisingly, when I got there I saw an invoice and a check of US$250,000 with Dahn, written in my name and he asked me to sign it and I did,” Flomo further alleged and he went along with Paelay to cash the check at the Ecobank in Via Town.
“But, before I could encash the check, the teller at the bank phoned Madam Paelay who was outside of the bank and afterward the teller gave me the cash,” he said.
“Later we drove back to Madam Paelay’s office and she gave me US$3,000 and informed me that wherever she needed me she would contact me,” Flomo explained.
Asked by Cllr. Daku if he performed any services before the money was given to him, Flomo responded “I did not perform any services since I supplied them with the stationery.”
He said, after cashing two checks, he allegedly received several other checks in the amounts of US$39,950, US$36,000 and US$15,000 written in his name which he cashed and presented to Madam Paelay.
Asked to explain how he appeared before the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, Flomo said when the news broke out about the corruption at the NPA, he was informed by Madam Paeley, asking him to leave Monrovia.
“I never went into hiding, instead, she asked me to change my telephone number because the LACC investigator could use the number to get to me, which I did,” Flomo further alleged.
Flomo said as the issue intensified, Madam Paelay gave him US$500 to register the Denmar Enterprise, which he did, although he had his own company, Deneah Martin Flomo Petroleum.
He, together with Parker and her comptroller Christiana Kpabar Paelay are accused of collecting over US$800,000 from the NPA to remove wreck from the Green Port in Sinoe County and to provide security consultancy to port security, for which the government is prosecuting them for non performance.
The case continues.