“Stop Shielding Tweah, Patray, Others from Prosecution,” ALJA Urges Pres. Weah

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Moses D. Sandy, ALJA National President.

…Calls for their immediate dismissal

The leadership of the Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) has called on President George Weah to stop shielding from prosecution Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah, Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Governor Nathaniel Patray, and members of the Technical Economic Management Team (TEMT), who reportedly played critical roles in the mishandling of the US$25 million mop-up exercise.

ALJA’s statement comes in the wake of audit and investigative reports released recently on the fraudulent manner in which the Liberian government’s US$25 million “mop-up exercise’ was conducted.

ALJA said based on the findings of separate probes conducted by the General Auditing Commission (GAC), the Presidential Investigative Team (PIT), and Kroll Associates, Inc, a US-based accounting firm, into how the mop-up exercise was managed and implemented by Minister Tweah, Governor Patray, and members of the TEMT, it is irrefutable to note that the accused have lost the trust and confidence of the international community, and Liberians at home and abroad.

In a press release issued on May 23, 2019, ALJA called for the immediate dismissal and trial of Minister Tweah, Governor Patray, and accused members of the TEMT for the commission of economic crimes against the state. Minister Tweah and Governor Patray are chair and co-chair the TEMT respectively.

ALJA said those associated with the so-called mop-exercise “brazenly engaged in acts that undermined the Liberian economy; and they should be held liable for the crimes committed.”

The Association called on President Weah to save the state by initiating and leading the campaign for the prosecution of the accused public officials.

ALJA believes that if Mr. Weah’s recent pronouncement on ridding the public sector of graft is to be taken seriously, then the burden is now on him and his administration to act swiftly act in the interest of the country.

ALJA said if the President refuses to act now or stalls the dismissal and trial of the accused, such action would equate to his administration’s indifference to the rule of law, which he vowed to uphold less than two years ago when he ascended the presidency.

“We are convinced that the accused are not more Liberian than the former officials of the Johnson-Sirleaf administration, who President Weah has vowed publicly to audit and prosecute for reported malfeasance,” the release said.

Beginning July to October 2018, Minister Tweah, as chairman of the TEMT in collaboration with the CBL authority, supervised the physical purchase of Liberian dollar banknotes from local businesses and foreign exchange bureaus in keeping with the government’s ostensible mop-up initiative, which it claimed focused on the rejuvenation of the economy through the elimination of excess Liberian dollars from the market.

However, ALJA quoting the GAC, PIT and the US-based Kroll Inc’s recently released special investigative and audit reports, maintained that Tweah and the CBL authority reportedly executed the US$25 million mop-exercise with widespread discrepancies.

ALJA further quoted the GAC’s special investigative report as saying that the CBL allegedly paid out nearly US$1.5 million to 15 entities for the purchase of excess Liberian dollars from the market, but when the GAC contacted the identified businesses for verification of the reported information, those businesses disputed a significant portion of the CBL’s claim regarding payments received.

ALJA said as part of the “pseudo mop-up exercise,” the CBL authority with the reported acquiescence of Governor Patray, documented the disbursement of more than US$700,000 to 27 unregistered businesses for the purchase of excess Liberian dollars from the market.

However, the GAC’s investigative report revealed that the reported information could not be verified due to the lack of public information on the cited businesses.

ALJA said the GAC’s report also revealed that the CBL reportedly paid over US$1 million to 52 businesses that participated in the so-called mop-up exercise. But again, the Commission was unable to authenticate those payments, “because the named beneficiaries refused to cooperate with the auditors by failing to acknowledge or respond to inquiries sent out to them during the special investigation.”

According to the GAC, the reported payments were also made for the purchase of surplus Liberian dollars from the market.

ALJA further quoted the GAC’s report that the CBL allegedly paid over US$163,000 to eight businesses for the purchase of surplus Liberian dollars from the market, but the Commission, during its special probe, determined that the reported businesses never existed.

“The cited reports are damaging, and they insinuate shameless robbery of the people’s money by Tweah, Patray and members of the TEMT that participated in the so-called mop-up exercise,” the release said.

Meanwhile, ALJA has informed President Weah that there is no need for arm-twisting with the sole objective of concealing the truth in this matter, “because Liberians want justice; and he must give them justice by not listening to or siding with public officials, who don’t mean well for the country.”

22 COMMENTS

  1. Look ALJA or whatever you good for nothing and LAZY KATO SEEKERS call yourselves, if you fools have nothing to contribute to nation building, you all should just shut up and stop pretending you are even recognize By the Liberian people. You are not!

    THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO CRIMINAL OFFENSE NOR VIOLATION IN AN INSTITUTION OR INDIVIDUAL FOLLOWING A PROCEDURE WHICH IT OR HE OR SHE DEEMS NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT A TASK! SO YOUR ARGUMENT IS SILLY!

    You semi literate rascals should realize that Minister Tweah, Governor Patray, and or the TEMT would have only been held individually or severally held for their individual or collective criminal accountability had there been missing money!

    BUT NEITHER THE USA, KROLL, NOR THE GAC, HAVE MENTIONED ANY CLAIM AGAINST MINISTER TWEAH, GOVERNOR PATRAY, NOR THE TEMPT INVESTIGATORS. RATHER THE KROLL, THE USA, AND GAC, HAVE MADE CLEAR OVER AND OVER IN THEIR REPORTS THAT THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO MONEY MISSING.

    • How do you make up payments of over US$163,000 to eight businesses that never existed, in the mop-up exercise? Is that not stealing? Why will we Liberians be our own enemies and destroyers? In a nutshell, we have a long way to go with these kinds of mindset. May God have mercy on you.

    • K.Z.Z; if the “Mop-Up” exercise was infact intended to Clean-Up excess Liberian Dollars, why then , did the Central Bank RE-INFUSE the mopped-up Liberian Dollars into the Liberian Economy, Within such a short time? Wasn’t The Central Bank infact DEFEATING the very purpose of “The Mop-Up Exercise”? I’m kind of confused. With your “SUPERIOR KNOWLEDGE”, please explain the[TRUTH] economic definition of “MOP-UP”. The inquiring MINDS want to KNOW.

    • You, Kandajaba-Zoebohn Zoedjallah, are one of the reasons we are having this misfits in power. Have you thoroughly read these reports with full comprehension? Tweah, the pathologically loquacious quack economist, is deeply implicated in the syndicate that swindled million of dollars under the code name operation–MOP-UP OPERATION. By the likes of you who are so purblind and head-bent on the truth.

  2. It is so disgusting to see and hear Liberians upholding criminals and evil doers possibly based on ignorance or tribalism; if this country will move to the next level, we have to renew our mindset, face justice and be rationale in discussing and contributing to issues of governance in its best interest. The whole action of the MOP-up process is criminal and demands justice for God’s sake !

    • @Shelton, you wouldn’t have said it better than this, well written. I wish this Kandajaba read this piece. We have to bring hygiene to this discussion because all those involved in the mop-up exercise should be held accountable and persecuted accordingly.

      • T.Kudah Jairus, you and whosoever bring absolutely no “hygiene” to this discussion. What you bring to this discussion is contamination as a result of your obvious gratuitous negative emotions reflected here. One who brings “hygiene” to a subject matter is SCIENTIFIC and guided by conventional WISDOM. We demanded government to bring in independent institutions to investigate and audit. These institutions conducted forensic investigations and audit. And you gratuitously want to disguise your contamination.

  3. There are quite a number of mob action organizations that operate in and out of Liberia. By their very nature, the mob action organizations are unquestionably unscrupulous. The internal mob action organizations emit fake news to their counterparts who live outside of the country. The mob action organizations that operate outside of Liberia, masquerade as good people. But in essence, the external mob action organizations are similar to the “gift bearing Greeks”.

    All kinds of imisleading statements are being made in and out of the country about Weah. Misleading because none of the accusatory statements can be factually verified.
    Take a listen…….
    “Weah is undemocratic. Weah has a yatch. Weah has a private jet plane. Weah shields crooks. Weah uses the country’s poor financial resources to build mansions for his family while everyone suffers. Weah is not doing this. Weah is incompetent. Weah is doing that. Weah sleeps with a pool of women. Weah has no morals”.

    It’s been almost 18 months since Weah became president. On a daily basis, incessant accusations pour in and out of the country.

    Goodness.

  4. F Hney , all you have said about so called “misleading statements being made in an out of the country about Weah is true. I just came from Liberia. The 45 mansions Weah built are all there for you to see around what used to call the Rehab on the Roberts field Highway. He is undemocratic because he does not like to be criticized and if you do, he brands you as his enemy as he did with Salensa Debbah. Moreover, he has built himself a monument in his first year in office. The sign of a dictator. He is very incompetent. He showed it when he served as Senator. He was dubbed by the people of Liberia as “The booboo(stupid and one who does not talk) Senator. Indeed he is “playboy.” One of his girlfriends is said to have slapped the first lady when the latter wanted to know why she was always around her husband? The answer for that question, was a terrible slap. Lastly, he has no morals when it comes to money and material things. He beg a Business man/friend to kindly allow him to borrow his private jet. Imagine the President of Liberia in a business man private jet shuttling around the sub region. This is high grade corruption. Moreover he smokes lots of “Ganja”(Marijuana).

  5. The Right Honorable Kpeyor1952,
    1. Who are the occupants of the 45 mansions that were constructed by Weah?

    2. Where does the monthly payment go? To Weah or the Liberian Treasury?

    3. Who is the side-squeeze (girlfriend) who smacked Weah’s wife?

    Yeah. It’d be shameful to borrow a friend’s jet in order to do the country’s official business.

    But, who is this particular friend or businessman? Where did Weah travel when he borrowed the private jet?

    It’s been said that Weah “owns a private jet”. This is the first time we’re being told that Weah “borrowed” a private jet plane in order to transact business. Which is to be believed? Both? None of the above?

    Kpeyor1952, I ask a lot of questions. Sometimes when I do, I land in a hotpan. There shouldn’t be a problem when one seeks verification? Am I wrong?

    I sincerely believe that it’s in our country’s best interest if we work cooperatively together. None of the organizations that spew venoms of negativity have emerged to help our sagging economy. People are unhappy with us. Do we hate ourselves? Does the ugly war continue to take its toll? What’s really wrong with us?
    I am kind of fed up.

    • Hney, you’re losing it brother! How can you say Weah is some good President when all this corruption is ongoing under his leadership, meantime he’s building up his real estate holdings in Liberia and elsewhere? Can you explain how Weah was broke few years ago and now he’s wealthy overnight? And please don’t make that ridiculous argument that he made millions of dollars as a professional athlete because everyone knows he lavished all that money before he even became Senator. I believe most Liberians back home have now realized Weah is not the man they thought he was. He’s corrupt and to make matters worse he has no clue how to govern a country. The Liberian people have lost confidence in Weah. That’s for sure. But let them suffer because they elected him.

  6. Comrades: F. Hney & Kpeyor5

    A public relations dysfunction had been in existence between the government and the public; the dysfunction goes as far back as the Ellen’s administration, and it has always led to some serious misconceptions about the president and his government’s activities.

    For instance: during the Ellen’s administration majority of the citizenry was under the impression that Liberia was digging and selling oil of a commercial grade. This was not true. The “royalties” that were paid to NOCAL were for experimental studies for the exploration of oil on Liberia’s hydro carbon shelves.

    Did EXXON discover oil? Yes. However, they revealed at the time, that it was not of a commercial grade, and that the cost of processing such low grade oil and selling it on the world market would certainly outweigh the benefits; therefore, they folded their operations in Liberia especially when they could find better and cheaper oil alternatives on the world market.

    Did it help to allay the public’s anxiety? No. It did not and for a good reason. The average Liberian out there has no knowledge about the intricacies of oil exploration and commercialization. And as they saw the oil rigs along certain blocs off the Liberian shores, they automatically concluded that the country was digging oil and generating large revenues from the “sales of petrol”.

    Even the responses from the late venerable and knowledgeable Harry Greaves which confirmed the findings of EXXON did not do much to calm the rumors. The rumors drown true voices.

    Wouldn’t it have helped if former President Sirleaf would have openly declared to the nation that the projects were exploratory only? Yes, with persistence, it would have helped to openly dispel these rumors. But instead, the president’s PR team did nothing to parry of the rumors and the vicious misconceptions continued.

    The same dysfunction is continuing under the Weah’s administration. His government is engulfed in a slew of rumors, half-truths, and innuendos. If the rumors are not true, why is he not addressing the public about their falsehood?

    It is a cardinal belief that whenever you hear and see people talking about one thing over and over, chances are, a concurrence of evidence does exist; and, therefore the accusations could very much be the truth.

    The accusations against President Weah are very grave and they seem not to dither. It behooves him to take action and make a case – and not only a case, but a “convincing case” to the Liberian people that those accusations are mere fabrications politically crafted to vilify him and his administration.

    Other than that, idiomatically speaking, those “hounding pit-bulls rumors” will persist on President Weah’s blood trail.

    • J.M; I like your style. You’ve put it in the right perspective. Weah does not come out to defend himself. “The ACCUSATIONS may very much be TRUTH”.

  7. Moses D. Sandy, ALJA National President needs to understand that taking a micro phone to talk with no evidence or taking a pen to write a story without the facts is not what you will carry at the court, that place is evidence based, therefore, ALJA must stop being naive and personal in their assertion about this $ 25 million investigation. GAC came out with the report and presented it the President and the Ministry of Justice reviewed the report and came out with its analysis and said no money missing, so who is shielding who, what evidence does ALJA have that she wants Minister Tweah and Gov. Patray prosecuted? This is what Cllr. Dean had to say:

    Frank Musah Dean, the Minister of Justice, has categorically defended the Minister of Finance and Development Planning and the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia that under their watches not a single penny of the US$25 million, which was intended to mop up excess Liberian dollar on the market ever went missing.

    “There is, therefore, no issue as to the L$2.6 billion, representing the value of US$17M, being brought to the vault of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL). It can safely be concluded that no money is missing in the US$25 million mop-up exercise,” the Justice Minister said in count six of his “Response to the Auditor General’s Report on Factual Findings on the US$25 Mop-up Exercise Conducted by the Central Bank of Liberia.”

    • LOL. Why would they say money is missing if it would implicate Weah? The cat is already out of the box and the Liberian people know better. Tweah stole the money and give most of it to his boss, Weah and that’s basically what happened. It was a scam to begin with because they thought no one would know.

    • Henry D. Johnson – You’re the guys defending egregious corruption because in some way you’re benefiting but it’s hurting the ordinary Liberian on the street who can barely buy food to eat. No one is surprised about the GAC report. The majority of Liberians have lost confidence in Weah because they’re catching hell while he’s stealing their money and getting rich. But that’s good for them for electing a dumb ass.

    • Henry D. Johnson, people like this Moses Sandy are a big disgrace to the Liberian intelligentsia at home and abroad. Can you imagine someone claiming to be at the apex of the leadership of a professional association, but yet the man Moses Sandy conducts himself unprofessionally, and listening rumour, even after authoritative findings have been established .

  8. These so called nationalist never seizes to amase others; when they arrive at conclusion when things don’t steer their direction

  9. Citizen,
    Did you say that “I am losing it”? The statement sounds like the kerfuffle between Trump and the Lower House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. But, thanks be to God our creator. I am hanging in there brother. I ain’t losing nothin.

    The truth must be told. Weah earned millions of dollars when he played professional soccer. I don’t know if every bit of his wealth has been squandered. I also do not know whether you or someone you know kept Weah’s bank account before he became a senator.

    Guess what? A few months ago, someone made the accusation that Weah owns a private jet plane as well as a yatch. Surprisingly today, I read that Weah borrowed his friend’s private plane in order to transact the nation’s business. Very confused. Does Weah own a private jet plane or did he borrow a friend’s private jet plane? With regard to the yatch, nothing new has been heard.

    What’s about the so-called Weah mansions? According to an eyewitness account, a grand total of 45 mansions have been constructed. I don’t know who the occupants are. Probably not my business.

    Citizen, I am concerned about the greater issues of Liberia, not the sidekicks! An issue such as fixing the economy in order to create jobs is one of paramount concern. Our schools need competent teachers. We need good up-to-date hospitals. We need good roads. We need a national dialogue on how our country can move forward. In a way, we’re stagnated. That’s not good.

    No one will fix Liberia if the citizens of Liberia do not act responsibly. It is obligatory for the opposition parties to cool their rhetoric. The opposition parties have a right to assemble, protest or make speeches 24/7. The opposition parties need a temporary pause.

    Let’s get together and feel alright!

  10. Although the GAC Report deserves a farsighted corresponding action from President Weah, ALJA has no standing to make accusations by innuendo. Point of fact, what has dragged Liberia to the precipice isn’t lack of transparency and accountability of a fifteen months old government, rather the continuous crusade of partisan media practitioners to undermine a CDC Coalition not of their choosing.

    After all, Henry Costa isn’t a credible agent of social change; just a motormouth heckler allegedly guided by agents of foreign covert aggression. And according to many observers, the usual suspects of destabilization in Liberia from April 14, Rice Riots till today. But what makes we Liberians unique in self-centeredness is that as long as things going well for us at home or abroad, to hell with public safety in Liberia for everyone.

    • one word for you is :”murderer” get off the internet man repent for your crimes in the 80s under doe when you were NSA director and bludgeoned poor people. remember the persecutions, kidnappings. and you have the nerve to talk about destabilization. MURDERER

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