President Weah Signs Book of Condolence for Late IAA Boss

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President Weah sympathizes with colleagues of the late IAA Director-General, E. Barten Nyeswa

The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, on Thursday, November 12, 2020, signed the Book of Condolence for fallen Internal Audit Agency (IAA) Director-General, Mr. Emmanuel Barthen Nyeswa. The President described the late Nyeswa’s passing as a sad moment for the government and the country.

Speaking to reporters after signing the Book of Condolence, President Weah said the deceased IAA boss was a true patriot who devoted his time and energy to national duty for the good of the country and would be missed for his professionalism and commitment.

Mr. Nyeswa, who previously served as Deputy Executive Director for Audit before being appointed by President Weah in 2018 to the helm of the IAA, died mysteriously at his home, located along the SKD Boulevard on October 10, 2020. An initial narrative alleged that he fell from the top floor of his home at 3 a.m.

Nyeswa was the fourth financial professional found mysteriously dead within a period of eight days. The other three were George Fahnboto, who suffered a head injury while he was driving, had an accident and died moments later; and Albert Peters and Gifty Asmah Lama, who were both found in the back seat of Peters’ vehicle, early on Friday, October 5, near the Sacred Heart Cathedral on Broad Street. With the exception of Mrs. Lama, the three men were all internal auditors. Fahnboto, Peters and Asmah worked for the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA). Lamah was the LRA’s manager of the Tax Payer Services Division.

Up to present, investigators have yet to reveal who or what killed the four persons.

Currently, friends who were with Nyeswa on the night he died, including his female consort and a male housemate, are undergoing interrogation by the Liberia National Police. The eight security cameras positioned around the house, including one pointing directly to the point from which he allegedly fell, were all allegedly out of order.

Meanwhile, Presidnet Weah has requested assistance from the United States government to investigate the suspicious deaths.

Memorial banner for the late E. Barten Nyeswa, Director-General, Liberia Internal Audit Agency

The suspicious deaths have also caught the attention of The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), a U.S.-based organization representing public- and private-sector auditors in Liberia and nearly 200 countries and territories aroudn the world. The IIA have called on the U.S. government to support Liberia President George Weah’s request for help in investigating the incidents.

In a formal letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, dated October 16, 2020, IIA President and CEO Richard F. Chambers stated, “While evidence of any wrongdoing in the recent deaths of the four auditors so far appears inconclusive, the United States and Liberia have a special relationship dating back more than 160 years and supporting this notable ally would be an important gesture of our countries’ commitment to each other’s security.”

Asked about how he felt losing four public servants in sequence, President Weah asserted that the passing of Mr. Nyeswa and others was of paramount concern to all Liberians, including him.

He called on all Liberians to be conscious about their security by helping national security institutions and other law enforcers to ensure that criminals and other evil-minded characters do not have their way.

“We don’t know what happened and that is why we are checking,” the President said, adding that it is the responsibility of every citizen to be concerned and conscious about what’s happening around them so as to deter criminal acts against them.”

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