Maritime Commissioner’s ‘Summons’ Clarified

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Criminal Court ‘C’ has clarified that prosecution did not request Judge Blamo Dixon to summon the Commissioner of Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA), Binyah Kesselly, to testify over his signature in the ongoing US$837,950 theft case involving former National Port Authority (LMA) Managing Director, Madam Matilda Parker.

The request by the prosecution, according to the court, was for Judge Dixon to demand the NPA management to produce the original copy of a letter dated March 2009, which Commissioner Kesselly wrote and signed to the then Chairman of the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) Keith Jubah, now deceased.

In the letter, Kesselly and the PPCC agreed for a special emergency waiver for the port security project, which would allow Kesselly to sole source, meaning that Kesselly can contract any entity or individual of his choice to award the security consultancy arrangement and the procurement of necessary training materials on behalf of the NPA.

That document, which the prosecution’s first witness, Blamo Koffa testified to, is the original copy Judge Blamo asked the NPA to submit on January 5, 2016.

The contract was intended to have Liberia meet the US Coast Guard’s requirement so that the country’s port can be removed from the US blacklist. The state witness quoted Commissioner Kesselly when he appeared before the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC).

He did not explain in detail about the lifting of US blacklisting of Liberia’s ports.

Koffa, who is the chief investigator at the LACC, alleged that Parker presented a photocopy of that letter during her investigation.

Koffa said the letter presented by Madam Parker alleged, “This communication between Kesselly and the PPCC was what I relied on to award the wreck removal and security consultancy contracts to Denmar Enterprise in 2012.”

Koffa further quoted Kesselly and said, “By that time the US Coast Guard’s visit had already been made and report had been submitted, before Madam Parker was appointed to head the NPA.”
The case continues.

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