The Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC) says it takes due notice of the ongoing investigation by the Special Taskforce on the Global Witness allegations against some past and present officials of the Liberian government including its Chairman, Professor Willie Belleh.
The Special Taskforce has included Prof. Belleh in the second batch of persons indicted for their alleged roles in the Sable Mining saga. He is currently on post-surgery consultations in the United States and is expected back home soon, a PPCC release said yesterday.
In August 2016, Prof. Belleh offered to voluntarily and temporarily step aside as Chairman of PPCC’s Board of Commissioners to allow him to face the Taskforce to prove his innocence. At the time President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf requested him to stay on as Chairman of the PPCC.
On January 9, 2017, Prof. Belleh again offered to voluntarily and temporarily step aside. This time the President decided that on account of the short life span of her administration and the need “to conclude priorities that have been established under the Agenda for Transformation, which requires for all officials to be fully on board, and given that she does not know how long the legal process regarding his case will take,” she prefers to accept his resignation and has done so.
Prof. Belleh continues to insist that he is innocent and that the charges against him are fabrications. The Commission has called on the courts to expeditiously give Prof. Belleh due process so that he will have the opportunity to defend himself.
Prior to the Global Witness allegations and this indictment, Prof. Belleh served the Commission with distinction. Regrettably, given that the PPCC is an integrity institution, President Sirleaf has approved his resignation request to afford him the opportunity to respond to the allegations brought against him.
Meanwhile the vice chairperson of the Commission, Mrs. Esther Paegar, will handle the affairs of the Commission pending the appointment of another chairperson.
Meanwhile, the Commission assures all institutions and the public at large, that it will continue to effectively and efficiently discharge its mandate in the interest of the Liberian people.