The Chairman of the Nimba Project Management Committee, Clinton Layweh was on Monday, July 7, 2014 expelled from office by the authority of the county headed by Superintendent Fong Zuagele.
According to Mr. Layweh he was forced by the Liberia National Police to return all documents and materials belonging to the PMC, including a car and a laptop.
Clinton Layweh and Superintendent Zuagele have been in disagreement since Zuagele took over as Superintendent of Nimba in March this year.
The argument ensued over the management of the PMC, which subsequently led to Layweh’s indefinite suspension.
In late May this year, he was suspended from office upon the instruction of the County Superintendent which took effect on 1 June 2014.
Mr. Layweh, accordingly to report from Monrovia where he met with the Nimba Legislative Caucus, was told to return and resume work.
He said upon returning to Nimba, he went to his office on Monday and he met the door shut with another lock.
Mr. Layweh said while inquiring about the locking of his office, he saw police officers inviting him to the station.
He narrated that he managed to convince the first batch of officers and they left.
“After a few minutes, I saw a batch of officers of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU). They could not listen to anyone including Senator Thomas Grupee, and they took me to the station where I was asked to turn over the car and laptop,” he said.
He also told this reporter, “I asked for a receipt from the police, but they could not provide.”
On a local radio in Nimba, Superintendent Zuagele defended that the car was seized from Clinton because he is under suspension and does not have any right to be in possession of the county’s property.
He added that the PMC Chairman has not been able to give an account of funds he used prior to his (Zuagele) ascendancy as superintendent of Nimba; something Mr. Layweh denied.
The PMC was elected last year by the Nimba County Council for a three- year term. The Nimba Legislative Caucus in response to the decision told the superintendent that he cannot unilaterally suspend the PMC Chairman.
The PMC comprises three officers, the chairman, the treasurer and the comptroller. This is not the first time for Project Management Committee (PMC) to have problem with County Administration since Arcelor Mittal’s Social Development Funds began flowing into the county’s account.
In 2009 when Edith Gongloe Weh took over as Superintendent, there was similar wrangling between the PMC headed by Michael Wiles and her, which subsequently led to the removal of Mr. Wiles and his team.
The County authority took over the PMC, and millions of United States Dollars was spent on procurement of yellow machines and thousands on hosting the 2010 Independence Day Celebration.
Though purchasing 22 pieces of road building equipment, generators and undertaking public toilets were huge initiatives at the time, there was report that the Public Procurement and Concession Commission Law was not followed during the transaction.
The toilet project undertaken in Sanniquellie for the 2010 celebration is yet to open to the public. The one in Ganta was recently opened since 2010.
When Teeko Yorlay took over as Assistant Superintendent for Development, he objected to the payment of US$ 265, 000 for renovation of the County’s Stadium in Sanniquellie.
The project was pre-financed by popular businessman Floyd Tomah.
Up to present, amount owed Mr. Tomah is yet to be paid.