The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, opened an investigation involving Bomi County Superintendent Adama B. Robinson and local authorities on the alleged sale of a US$68,000 motor grader that was intended to construct feeder roads in the area.
Making the disclosure via mobile phone to the Daily Observer yesterday, the LACC’s vice chair Cllr. Augustine Toe did not give further information about the investigation but said: “Yes, there are issues about a missing motor grader from Bomi County, and we are currently investigating the matter.”
Though Cllr. Toe also did not say when the LACC would complete the investigation, citizens in the county, who spoke also via mobile phone to the Daily Observer, have threatened to stage what they consider a “citizens’ protest.”
Superintendent Robinson, who is at the center of the LACC’s investigation, is also suspected of being involved in the over US$2 million attempted sale of the alleged ‘scrap metal’ equipment, with the case currently before Criminal Court “C” in Monrovia.
The US$2 million ‘scrap metal’ equipment is believed to be owned by British investor Mr. Hans Armstrong, who had complained to Cllr. Karnley that Superintendent Robinson, without his knowledge, took away his property in his concession area in Sackie Town, Bomi County.
Boima Q. Sando, coordinator of the Civil Society Council of the county, claimed that the citizens’ planned protest is against the LACC’s delay with the outcome of the investigation, which could probably lead to the prosecution of those involved in the sale of the equipment.
Sando claimed that the matter was reported to the LACC through the office of the County Attorney and lead prosecutor Cllr. Juma P. Karnley, in early January this year. But Cllr. Toe has claimed that the matter — up to present — is still being investigated.
“We are going to ensure that we are serious about the sale of the equipment that was intended to help with the construction of feeder roads in the county,” Sando said. “Why would the LACC take so long, without saying anything, about the sale of the county’s equipment?”
Sando said that the matter went to the LACC after they complained to Cllr. Karnley. “Karnley assured us that the matter was not going to stay too long in order to prosecute people that would be suspected of selling the grader; we need the urgent trial of the matter,” Sando indicated.
Bomi County Chief prosecutor Karnley confirmed to the Daily Observer via mobile phone that he forwarded the county’s local authorities to the LACC and the matter is being investigated.
“The Ministry of Justice has always been respectful of the institutions of justice, and they will pay attention to the course of the investigation,” Karnley said. He added that the office expects objectivity in the investigation.
“If anyone is named in the investigation, we are going to prosecute them. I don’t care anything about big men, because the law would take its course,” Karnley said.
Before the appointment of Superintendent Robinson in 2018, then Superintendent Mohammed A. Massaley, under whose administration the motor grader was purchased, was accused of carrying on practices which contravened the Act establishing the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission. Massaley was later replaced.
The purchase of the motor grader resulted from a resolution during the county sitting in 2010.