-For failure to submit to police investigation, but Robert Neal describes Solicitor General as a “liar”
The Solicitor General of the Republic of Liberia, Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus has announced the government’s preparedness to arrest and prosecute Robert Neal, Deputy Director-General for Audit at the Internal Audit Agency, should he fail to submit to a police investigation at the close of Friday, March 27, 2020.
According to Cllr. Cephus, Mr. Neal risks prosecution for criminal malevolence if he fails to turn himself in for police investigation into claims of corruption and abuse of public resources which he earlier made against the Internal Audit Agency and its Director-General, Emmanuel B. Nyeswa.
It can be recalled that the IAA’s Deputy Director-General for Audit, Robert Neal has been consistently using the traditional and social media to spread allegations ranging from payroll paddling, non-compliance to PPCC regulations, conflict of interest, among others against the Internal Audit Agency and its Director-General, Emmanuel B. Nyeswa.
But speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, the Liberia’s Chief Prosecutor informed the public that since Mr. Neal complained to his office about a month ago, the complainant, Mr. Neal has reneged on availing himself for police investigation; something which Cllr. Cephus described as unfortunate.
Cllr. Cephus told newsmen that as a result of Neal’s refusal to comply with the investigation, he was constrained to issue an ultimatum, which expires on Friday of this week for the complainant’s submission to the investigation.
He noted that prosecution begins with a police investigation, and as such, when one alleges that a crime has been or is being committed, such a person is under a legal obligation to cooperate with the police to gather the needed evidence that will inform an indictment.
On the contrary, Cllr. Cephus indicated that Neal, rather than providing the pieces of evidence to enable the state to review said pieces of evidence to determine whether or not to proceed with an indictment, Neal has chosen to avoid the police which further undermines the entire investigation.
The prosecutor is further cautioning the IAA’s Deputy for Audit to do the honorable thing by submitting to the police to support his claims with the necessary evidence, citing that free lies will not be misconstrued for free speech under the presidency of George M. Weah.
In response to the demand, Mr. Neal said Liberia has countless lawyers and has followed a couple of them for some period and has created a passion for their lawyering. He named some as Cllr. Varney Sherman, Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe, Cllr. Syrenius Cephus, Cllr. T. Negbalee Werner, among others but unfortunately, he has not had the time to get closer to most of them, except for Cllr. Gongloe.
He said, fortunately, “The IAA corruption issue provided me the opportunity to personally interact with Cllr. Cephus, Liberia’s current Solicitor General. My brief interaction with him showed a different picture about the person I have respected over the years.”
“Cllr. Cephus, like some government officials, does not mean well for Liberia. And let us remember that our cover-ups on corruption and related cases, like the way it is being done, is killing the country. Mr. Neal said Cllr. Cephus, “I urge you to put Liberia first and stop your attempt to cover up Mr. Nyeswa in the ongoing case about the IAA,” said Neal.
“Clearly, you have taken sides. Mr. Nyeswa is a thief. Covering him up in this way serves as an incentive for him and others to do more. Corruption truly exists at the IAA and all of you know that it is true. Liberia is bleeding and we need to be patriotic. Your press conference, loaded with lies, is disappointing! Liberia should regret having you as its Solicitor General,” Mr. Neal said.
He added, “Cllr. Cephus mentioned that I walked into his office at one time, introduced myself as an employee of the IAA and alleged that my boss, Barten Nyeswa was making US$40,000 monthly, stating that “this is a lie!”
Mr. Neal, who posted a detailed response on his Facebook page, said the fact is Cllr. Cephus phoned him (Neal) one afternoon and said that the Government of Liberia was “interested in the US$40,000 payroll fraud allegation at the IAA that I had raised and wanted him (Neal) to provide details.”
“And I asked him on the phone the following two questions: ‘Mr. Solicitor General, I flagged more than 10 corruption and breaches of integrity and transparency issues at the IAA. Why is the Government only interested in the US$40,000 issue?'” Mr. Neal said.
“Another question that I asked him was this: ‘Mr. Solicitor General, I wrote the Ministry of Justice, specifically your office about the issues at the IAA on October 2, 2019. Why are you now only concerned the last week of February, 2020?'” Neal added. “However, I decided to attend to his call.”