Deneah Martin Flomo, the alleged wreck engineer at the center of the controversial US$837,950 contract involving former National Port Authority (NPA) Managing Director Matilda Parker and her Comptroller, Christiana Kpabar Paelay, yesterday told Criminal Court ‘C’ that the defendants promised to give him US$50,000 if he agreed to leave the country.
Testifying during cross examination, Flomo, who is prosecution’s second witness, further claimed that his travel was based on advice from Madam Paelay, who told him that the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) was looking for him and so he needed to leave Monrovia immediately for another country.
He was responding to a question by the defense asking him to explain how many times he appeared before the LACC investigators.
“I appeared before the LACC on two occasions, April 7 and 8, 2015,” Flomo said in response.
But, before his appearance at the LACC, the state witness alleged that he was introduced to a lady he identified only as Fatu, who he said worked in the office of former Comptroller Paelay.
He further said that he was introduced to Fatu with the aim of helping him to prepare his traveling document (laissez passé) under a different name so that he would flee Liberia to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to escape being arrested by the LACC.
“Fatu got the document ready and told me that Madam Parker was going to make the US$50,000 available, and that she was going to introduce me to the owner of City Car Rental, whose name I don’t know but lived in Freetown, to host me,” the witness recounted a purported conversation he held with Fatu about his trip to Freetown.
He further alleged that the defendants assured him that he was going to stay with the City Car Rental for a while, and thereafter, the man was going to make way for him to travel to the United States.
“This traveling arrangement came about after my application for a visa was denied by the US Embassy near Monrovia,” he alleged.
“It was Madam Paelay who asked me to apply for a visa that was denied by the US Embassy.
“The records are there that I went to the embassy and was denied because Paelay made me to understand that it was the LACC that blocked my trip to the US. This is why they were interested for me to use the laissez passé to travel to Freetown.”
When the laissez passé was ready, according to Flomo, Fatu contacted him to get it and leave the country immediately, “but I told her that I was not going anywhere, and later Parley asked me to do anything I would like to do because they were not interested in dealing with me anymore,” the state witness said, quoting Paelay.
He said after the conversation ended between him and Paelay, he went to his lawyer, who advised him to surrender himself to the LACC investigators.
“I told the LACC that I was not a wreck engineer and I didn’t enter into any agreement with the NPA,” Flomo said.
Parker and Paelay are accused of awarding two contracts in the amount of US$837,950 for removing wreck from the Greenville Port in Sinoe County and to provide security consultancy to port security to Denmar Enterprise owned by Flomo.
Prosecution claimed that the money was paid and the work was never performed.