As investigation into the allegations of the Global Witness report, ‘The Deceivers’, continues, one of the main questions lingering remains whether or not the PPCC Law of 2010 was illegally altered as claimed by Global Witness. From the looks of the ‘current’ version posted on the Executive Mansion website, and as explained by PPCC Chairman Willie Belleh in his responses to Global Witness and the Special Presidential Task Force led by Cllr. Fonati Koffa, there appears to be no harm done. However, former Grand Cape Mount County Senator Abel Massaley is urging investigators to dig deeper, as the version of the Act, as passed by the Legislature, differs acutely with version signed into law by the Executive.
Massaley, former chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in the 53rd Legislature, made startling revelations on Tuesday, June 21, accusing the Executive Branch of government of falsifying the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) Act of 2010.
The Executive is yet to comment on Mr. Massaley’s allegation.
“Permit me to enlighten you further that the PPCC Act of 2010 is a falsified Act printed and produced by the Executive for its motives against the interest of the vast majority of the Liberian masses,” former Grand Cape Mount County Senator Abel Momolu Massaley and former co-chair on the Senate Judiciary Committee told journalists at a press conference on Capitol Hill. Massaley was ousted by Unity Party Chairman, Senator Varney G. Sherman, who is one of the principal accused in the controversial Global Witness report, ‘The Deceivers’.
Basing his accusation on a 24-page research, the former outspoken lawmaker noted that a further analysis of the PPCC Act of 2010 would even be more devastating and damaging, as such analysis “would bring about more disgraceful disclosures of self-made laws, which render the PPCC Act of 2010 a legislation theft and scandal. So we challenge the Legislature to conduct a public hearing into the PPCC Act of 2010, looking at provisions in this one and provisions of the PPCC Act of 2005. “
Massaley also challenged international transparency and accountability reforms institutions, international corruption investigation partners to underwrite the cost of a full and comprehensive review and comparison between the two Acts of the PPCC of 2005 and 2010 to dig more surprises that will warrant and necessitate the re-doing of the PPCC Act of 2010.
Massaley served in the 51st, 52nd and 53rd Legislature prior to his defeat in 2011. He was also House Majority leader of the 51st Legislature under which period the PPCC Act was crafted.
According to him, the PPC Commission itself, contrary to law, crafted, and adopted Regulation No. 002 and inserted same into the 2010 restated and amended Act of 2005 without any Legislative approbation; “which is indeed a violation that must be investigated by the Legislature so as to bring the perpetrators of this act to book.”
PPCC Regulation No. 002, Section II deals with procedure and steps used in the issuance of exploration licenses which should be based on the first-come first-served principle (in the case of competitive application, offers or un-solicited) which is accepted worldwide in the mineral exploration industry.
In reference to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s letter to the Legislature, Massaley said the letter dated August 5, 2010, conveying a request to the Legislature for review of the PPC Act of 2005, did not in any way state and clarify specific provisions of the 2005 Act to be reviewed and amended, “but instead, suggested the removal of rationalized threshold in the 2005 Act and placing them in regulations since, according to the President, the law may be subject to change periodically.”
In fact, according to him, the President’s letter indicated that the PPC Act of 2010 was already amended and restated, which was not really done prior, by the Legislature before the submission of the President’s letter of August 5, 2010.
“So the question remains that, who did, how did and when were the amendment and restatement done before this time? And who should have done this other than the Legislature? “
Massaley further argued that the current PPCC laws can no longer be trusted until they are thoroughly reviewed to ensure that they are as they were enacted originally.
“This forces us to call on the Legislature to immediately conduct major public hearings on the 2005 and 2010 PPCC Acts and the PPCC Regulations No. 002 so as to authenticate, verify, harmonize and consolidate the laws on the awarding of concessions and contracts as these twisted and manipulated laws definitely serve as foundation of corruption and breeding grounds of such.”
On the issue of the Global Witness Report that some present and past officials of government were bribed by Sable Mining to change the PPCC Act in its favor as a way of obtaining concession right for Wologisi, “from our critical analysis, the report presents more questions and doubts than answers.”
Massaley, now a lawyer by occupation, refused to be drawn the details of what is obtaining now since the issue is before the courts.