Yesterday Blamo Koffa, the chief investigator of Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), told a crowded courtroom that the former National Port Authority (NPA) managing director, Matilda Parker, allegedly forged signatures on contract documents she submitted during investigations about the disappearance of over US$837,957 at the National Port Authority.
Mr. Koffa, who testified as the prosecution’s first witness at Criminal Court ‘C,’ further alleged that the act was uncovered during an investigation they held with people whose signatures appeared on documents, making reference to one Tom Kazulu, an employee of West Africa Dive Association (WADA).
Parker, together with her comptroller, Madam Christiana Kpabar Paelay, are accused of duping the NPA of US$837,957 by awarding two contracts, one to remove wrecks from the Greenville Port in Sinoe County, and the other was to provide security consultancy.
The prosecution claimed that the contract awarded to Mr. Deneah M. Flomo and his Demar Enterprise did not do the job.
The defendants have meanwhile denied the allegation of wrongdoing, arguing that the company performed the work for which it was paid the amount of US$837,957.
According to Kofa, the dismissed NPA manager allegedly presented a document which contained Kazulu’s signature, which claimed that, “Kazulu had completed his diving contract to verify whether or not Demar Enterprise actually took away ships or vessels left in the water at Greenville Port, in Sinoe County.”
“Surprisingly, when our investigating team contacted Mr. Kazulu, he told us that he has never been hired by defendant Parker to perform said contract, and it was not his signature on the diving reports,” Koffa quoted Kazulu.
“I never did any diving work at the Greenville Port to establish as to whether Demar Enterprise did the wrecking job for which it was contracted,” the LACC chief investigator quoted the investigation report allegedly held with Kazulu.
Koffa also quoted Kazulu as saying, ‘‘I’m not educated and so how could I write such volumes of report.”
Koffa said when his team also contacted the management of WADA, the institution allegedly said they have been working with the NPA for over 20 years, claiming that “all of our agreements have been done through the management, and not an individual, as the diving report showed.”
The LACC chief investigator testified that information “reached my office alleging that there was a massive corruption at the Free Port of Monrovia.”
He said after receiving the information they invited defendant Parker and her comptroller, Paelay, to submit contract documents bearing the signature of Tom Kazulu.
According to the state witness, during the investigation they also discovered that defendant Parker did not follow the bidding process of the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) and the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA) that is responsible to certificate companies involved in ship or vessel wrecking in the country.
“We contacted those institutions and they claimed that they do not have any knowledge about the NPA awarding contract to and the existence of Demar Enterprise,” he said.
The case continues.