Weah Fires One, Issues Blanket Suspension on Petrol Importers

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Bobby G. Brown, DMDO, LPRC

— Following results of probe of recent gas shortage 

President George M. Weah has fired the deputy managing director for operations of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), Bobby Garseyu Brown, for negligence and fraudulent activities in the recent acute gasoline shortage in the country. So far, according to a release from the Executive Mansion issued this morning, Brown is the President’s only casualty based on the findings of the Special Task Force commissioned to identify the cause of the recent petroleum shortage in Liberia as well as variances between importers stocks balances and the acute stock balances of the LPRC.

Mr. Bobby Brown is the junior brother to Liberia’s former Information Minister and Representative to the United Nations, Lewis G. Brown, who was also recalled by President George M. Weah in August of 2018.

This investigation, which was conducted by the Minister of State Without Portfolio, Trokon Kpui, presented the findings to President Weah on February 21, 2020, at his Foreign Ministry office in Monrovia.

“After a careful assessment of the findings and recommendations of the report, and discussions and consultations with other relevant officials and advisers, President Weah has decided to take the following actions with immediate effect,” the release issued by the office of the Presidential Press Secretary said.

“Bobby Brown, Deputy Managing Director for Operations of LPRC is hereby dismissed for gross negligence and fraudulent activities. He will be investigated by the appropriate authorities and if found guilty, will be prosecuted under the full weight of the law.”

According to the release, during this process, any other personnel found to be directly linked to illegality with regards to petroleum movements will face prompt administrative actions and will also face prosecution under the law.

“All petroleum importers who currently have payments for provisional lifting products still outstanding are hereby given 90 days to restitute the products either in cash or in kind; and petroleum importers that willfully transferred products stored at their facilities are also given 90 days to restitute the products, either in cash or in kind,” President Weah said.

President Weah further ordered the Ministry of Justice to place such importers in receivership until the products are recovered, stating that failure to replenish the products within the specified time will result in revocation of importers license and forfeiture of allocated storage facilities.

“All petroleum importers licenses are hereby suspended, and are to be individually subjected to a performance-based review covering the period January 2017 to January 2020. Re-activation of license will be done on a case-by-case basis and those that do not meet performance and capacity requirements satisfactory to the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company will be subject to revocation,” the release said.

Meanwhile, the Government of Liberia wishes to assure petroleum importers that all products accepted into the storage facilities of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company will be protected from fraudulent and illegal manipulation, going forward.

More details to follow.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Daily Observer,
    What is the relationship between Bobby Brown removal as Deputy managing Director of LPRC and the recalled of Lewis Brown, who served as Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations some time back????

  2. Political vendetta!
    Shame on Weah and the CDC!

    It can be gathered from this article that the LPRC is the defaulting entity for the suffering and economic sabotage of the Liberian people. Be bold to fire the LPRC Managing Director, Mr. President. How can you sack an executioner and let go of the boss?
    Very unfair Mr. President!

    • Mr. Dolo my fellow partisan of ANC, in most cases, whether it is out of ignorance or otherwise, you SEEM to deliberately conclude before thinking. So according to you when ”something” goes seriously wrong at a parastatal or ministry, the head of the parastatal or the ministry must be fired?

      Fellow partisan, a deputy managing director is not the secretary, nor the ”executioner” of the managing director. They are all respective or individual executioners of government’s directives or policies within their own particular term of reference or references!

      That is, a deputy managing director has his or her own, particular, and specific responsibility and province, and when ”something’ goes wrong within such specific province of the deputy managing director’s, he or she suffers his or her own irregularity, negligence or otherwise!

      So according to you when similar occurrence is at the Commerce Ministry, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Finance, NPA, FDA, LTA, LNP, etc. etc., the heads of those ministries or parastatals must be fired?

      My fellow supporter or partisan of ANC, one interested in the intellectual discussions regarding the burning issues of his or her society or polity does not engage issues as you seem to believe, Dolo!

      I watched you and Madam Kou Gontee exchanges quite recently. And I saw you jumping to conclusions simply because according to you, ”that is what the paper has published.”

      And as a result of such reasoning on your part, you had to return telling Madam Gontee ” I would really love to continue exchanging with you to learn a lot from you. I hope you will have the time and patience with me.”

      And this from you came after Madam Gontee proved you wrong. Fellow partisan Dolo, true, it is good to admit or concede, but equally, so, it is finer and more dignified to recollect something you wish you’d said than something you wish you hadn’t.

      You see, Mr. Dolo, I generally only read on this site. I am only commenting now, because you being an activist of our Party ANC cannot and should not continue displaying in this totally less impressive manner, amid your good intention. Such performance on your part, is both a risk and cost to the image of our ANC Party.

    • These positions that are by presidential appointments carry with them the expectation that they are held at the pleasure of the president. With regard to Mr Brown losing his job, the reference to him undergoing investigation, suggests there are/ may be fraudulent activities found to rest primarily with him. If the suggestion of further investigation actually goes forward, the disgraced defendant, with competent legal representation, may be afforded the opportunity to establish his innocence or guilt.

      Keep in mind, as an organization, the LPRC has a structure whereby particular responsibilities are given to deputies. The alleged fraudulent activities and sorry mess regarding the entirety of the LPRC as an organization, which brought Liberia’s economy to near collapse, are in part, found to be associated with Brown’s office. In such instance, the immediate and just action was to fire Brown like yesterday!

      Based on this allegation, what logical purpose could the firing of the head have served if Brown were retained?

      • If Brown were to be brought to justice and found guilty of any professional shortcomings or malpractices, he should be fired immediately and persecuted.
        However, the LPRC boss shouldn’t be spared either. It means she has not been efficient and effective in her duties as Managing Director. She must be fired for negligence of duty.
        Also, there should be inventory management software to know when at warning or critical point to ensure relevant entity or businesses have launched replenishment procedures. Consequently, the Minister of Commerce should also be asked out of his position. This old thing is from gross negligence of people who want position to use as leverage to corrupt or steal from the country. Set disciplinary examples if we must move forward!

        Don’t treat this case lightly. People died in hospitals, businesses were crumbled, people suffered, and country suffered great losses from this shortage.

        • Mr. Petarus Dolo, you reason as a toddler reasons. It is even a waste of time responding to any comment of yours. It is because of toddler mentalities as you, many intelligent people, unless actually necessary, stay away from commenting on this site.

  3. This is a very good question; I say this because the Liberian political landscape is often a fertile ground for vicious wars of vendettas, which are sometimes tribal based or at other times, partisanship related. If none of these reasons suffices as a reason for the dismissal of the two Browns, then their firinings might have been simply a case of being the weakest links in this complex network of the Weah’s ongoing corruption sagas.

    Now, here is a strange paradox. While one of the president’s greatest goals is to see members of his political base prosper through various corrupt means since that is the way he built his empire, he does not want to be seen like he is clandestinely encouraging such a behavior anyway.

    Weah does not care how much the officials of his base steal out of the country’s resources; however, they should just be very careful in covering their tracks. After all, Weah’s utmost endeavor now is how he can see himself being re-elected by 2023, and so to achieve this end, he needs people in his circle who are very ingenious and inventive.

    So, the perpetrators who want to continue hanging in there with Weah must be cautious, being mindful not to short-change him.

    As long as they can give his share from the loot, protect his already defiled reputation, and cover their tracks, everything is okay.

    • Right to be Anonymous, if Weah had an ”already defiled reputation” as you blindly think, neither the diplomatic community, supranational institutions both political and economic, or even multinational investors, would be giving him all the support having full confidence in his administration, to the extent of using the four principal dimensions of power … persuasion, award, punishment, and force, to defeat any silly or diabolical attempt on the part of the losers of the 2017 elections.

  4. Really Gbekugbeh? The poor Bassa man should be the fall guy for the incompetence of others? Total nonsense.

  5. Comrade Dolo,
    A fellow partisan of yours has given you a sound advice. My dear Marylander, Mr. Concerned Liberian is not only concerned about Liberia, but he is also concerned about your utterances. Mr. Concerned Liberian and I almost share the same view about you. You’re a patriot. It’s all good. However, if you don’t heed the sound advice of your ANC colleague, you could cause an irreparable damage. Of course, you know darn well that I am not in anyway affiliated with ANC, Liberia. During the turbulent days and years of Apartheid, I philosophically supported the ANC of South Africa. Sorry bro. The Liberian ANC is yours, not mine.

    Comrade Dolo, guess what? Are you a lone crusader of the ANC on this blog? It looks like you have no supporters or followers. You tried to recruit some people, but to no avail. The point is if you cannot recruit or form alliances on this blog what good is in it for you to continue bro.? There’s another pet peeve I have. Since you are a successful busines man and a patriot, why can’t you run for an elective office? Why go through the smoke every blessed day with a 2,000-lb bag of ANC’s sand? Come to yourself Dolo.

    I must add this to your resume. You sound like a believer. But you seem to have problems with Preachers. Isn’t that true? Weah made two prestigious Preacher appointments: one of them was sent to the university of Liberia and the other Preacher was sent to RIA. But you are unhappy with those appointments. Have you been attacked in the past by Preachers? Where’s your gravitas? If you were to argue on the basis of gender equality, your argument would sound to reason. Gender equality in this particular situation means ……….”Mr. Weah, will it be possible for you to hire female Preachers”? That’s a typical example of what I mean by gender equality!

    Have a great weekend. Enjoy the company of your family. Enjoy your fried plantains. But if you make the slightest mistake to respond to what I have written, Aaron and I will teach you an unforgettable lesson.

  6. Weah fired the non-partisan Brown and left his people at LPRC and Commerce in their positions. Did you expect anything less? Never!

  7. [But if you make the slightest mistake to respond to what I have written, Aaron and I will teach you an unforgettable lesson.]

    Hahahahahaha! My Uncle Hney. So, you are now fond of hiding behind Aaron to throw your blows? This is your second time implicitly calling him to your rescue in case you are caught in a crossfire. Are you depending on a guy who can’t even defend himself? I understand you, but first, let me reply to my fellow partisan. This is what we call democracy. We can all be members of ANC and have divergent views on some subjects but through intellectually and intensive arguments, we finally agree to disagree in unison. It was recently exemplified in the consequential effects of the Super Tuesday whereby Bloomberg ended up finally throwing in the towel to support Biden. Warren will follow suit, soon and very soon, just watch.

    Dear Concerned ANC Member,

    My first remark to you as a partisan of ANC is to be proud of your standard bearer and political leader, Alexander B. Cummings. Avoid using pseudonym; meet the challenge by unmasking yourself, i.e. be proud and bold to use your full name on any blog for ANC. Your leader is NOT a murderer, a rogue, s sycophant, a criminal of any kind.

    No, I don’t conclude before thinking. I speak from knowledge and experience. I NEVER comment on articles whereby my knowledge of such topic is cursory or dangling. I make supposition in the latter case when there is something fishy or intriguing about the story.

    A manager is a person responsible for controlling or administering an organization or group of staff. Everyone working in a ministry or an organization, in the present case, the LPRC, de facto falls under the authority of the Managing Director. The word “Director” means you give directives to all your subordinates and are answerable to their shortcomings and reward their merits. Like in a car, the Managing Director has a dashboard from whence s/he follows up on every activity within the confines of the company or organization.
    From investigation of the gasoline scandal, if it had been established that the defaulting entity was the LPRC, as a leader, you MUST go after the director of that entity and NOT the subordinates.
    In fact, in the western world, the director would not even wait to be dismissed. S/he would take full responsibility and bow out. It is unfortunate we are living in the part of the world where integrity is not a defining ethical and moral pride, virtue and value.
    Asian countries are developing because they uphold such ethics, values and virtues. If the Managing Director of LPRC was not only interested in the title and money, she should have been ashamed for plunging her country into such economic embarrassment. Even the Commerce Minister should have been FIRED! How can you be a Commerce Minister and don’t know that your country will be running out of a vital commodity in the entire nation? What is the pride and essence to go after little guys? Unfortunately, our clueless president resulted to political vendetta, so sad for that innocent guy with NO DECISION-MAKING POWER!

    Concerning your point made from my exchanges with Kou Gontee, sorry you missed the trends in our exchanges. I was not being humble or apologetic to learn per se. I was being ironical. I will not evoke some points on that case on this blog but know that I have broader knowledge on that topic. Kou is holding an innocent person responsible for the ills of the Liberian people. I am telling you from experience brother, if Maiden Sayeh was in anyway involved with malpractices during her tenure as Minister of Finance for Liberia, she would not be confirmed at the IMF. Let’s leave this story.

    Also, fellow partisan, know that our standard bearer came to Liberia to purposely work with Ellen. He decided otherwise because of the opaqueness, ambiguity, insincerity and selfishness of the system. I am with him because he saw them, he knows how to get by them, and he will know how to counter dodgy operators and cynical Liberian lovers.
    Learn to be keen to what he says or does and decode some messages. He’s purposely and intentionally sparing on words.
    I am NOT a politician and will NEVER become a politician, but we need to regain our human dignity through this crusade.
    Under his administration, we will live the real revolution hypocritically proposed in the past through beautiful speeches and vain words.

    Hope to meet you in our ANC Palava Hut to debate some burning issues together, fellow partisan.

    My Dear Uncle Hney,

    You are not ANC, leave our trouble with us. I guess you would be happy to witness dissensions among us, it happens even in our nuclear families. We will sit down and talk them through, don’t worry.

    I don’t have problems with preacher men at all, NEVER! I respect the anointed ONES of God. Liberia needs many of them at this time to heal the wounds of our people. With such huge task at hand, why should they abandon the pulpit to take up positions where they make little or no impact on our society? Have they forgotten God’s flock they call to lead in a prison cell?
    You went to school and have worked throughout your life in the USA, pray tell me Uncle Hney, can such mismatches ever happen in the USA? If the preacher man has an academic background in such field, fine. But look, the guy doesn’t even have good training in Theology. He was converted in prison and poooooooop, he becomes the Managing Director of our airport, Mon Dieu!
    It’s laughable! Stop making mockery of Liberia. Managing a church well doesn’t mean you can manage a technical and vital economic institution in a postwar country. We have technicians Uncle Hney.
    Let’s leave this topic. We will change this nonsense when we take over our country come 2023.

    Bon weekend Frangin!

    • My fellow ANC Member, as a result of your identity as an ANC’S ACTIVIST but one who is in the chronic habit of making judgments which a reasonable person would not make, I am constrained to ”using pseudonym.”.

      For example,

      (1) here you are expressing and implying that in a context where investigations have proven that a deputy managing director has committed an act of misrepresentation with the intent to deceive (fraud), amid his (Mr. Bobby Brown’s) failure to perform and or act as a reasonably prudent person would perform or act under the same or similar circumstance (negligence), YOU are

      (2) implying and expressing here that DESPITE THE NEGLIGENT TORT AND INTENTIONAL TORT ON THE PART OF THE DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR, the managing director should be dismissed, because according to you had it not been for the managing director, the deputy managing director could have in not committed his intentional tort (fraud) and negligence.

      If you continue in this disappointing manner, partisan Dolo,, as you did in the case of Ms. Antoinette Sayeh, who own words to the then auditor general that ”governments do not make financial statements”, then I am sorry, you have become to our party an embarrassment.

      • Concerned ANC Member,

        Well, let’s imagine we were in power and you were the Minister of Commerce or Managing Director of LPRC and the country underwent such dire socio-economic situation due to gross unprofessionalism, I would support your ouster for gross negligence, first and foremost even before investigations get underway.
        So, you better think twice before meeting me at the ANC Palava Hut. There will be no compromises and no hanky panky jokes or political vendetta. You better know who your political leader and standard bearer is if you are contemplating taking our ticket.

        For the situation of Maiden, I have told you to leave it alone. I doubt you have been there before to know what it takes. I have been there before and so I know what it takes to work for dubious bosses who expect you to cover their dirty deeds lest you lose your job or life.

        The ANC is opened to all. It is not a gathering of tribesmen or a club for friends. It is a national political party founded by a patriotic Liberian. Your affiliation to the political leader in anyway is not synonymous to adhering to the ideals, wake up from your slumber.
        Cummings could have relieved both the Minister of Commerce and the Managing Director from their positions.

  8. First step in the right direction (after over 20 years of missteps – the march forward will only now begin IF GoL meets its energy responsibility with transparency, accountability and honesty. Time will tell.

    And by the way, personally, I think even entertaining the thought of “reissuing licenses” to import finished products would be setting the stage for more of the same – which has not served the country well.

    Been there, seen that.

  9. Mr. Right.to. be. Anonymous,
    In your above post, you have made a lot of serious charges against Weah. One of those charges goes like this: “Weah does not care how much the officials of his base steal out of the country’s resources”.

    You have the God-given right to express yourself. I am not trying in any way or form to curtail your democratic right to express yourself. I would like you to answer my question if possible..

    How many “officials of Weah’s base” have stolen money from the country’s [meager] resources? Also, if you have enough time, could you please tell us (the readers) what concrete evidence do you have in order to make the above charges?

    Peace.

  10. Our president is afraid of Bill Teahway Who do you think ate the money to dredge the port? He got his people dancing like santa claus but cannot pay for fuel in hospitals. Liberian will suffer under this man. This bloated womanizer will destroy this country.

  11. Weah is complete idiot. So you fire the man but not the manager. Weah, you are Bill Teahway chamber boy. You are completely incompetent. You can dance and dance, the US rate will not come down. All your government toilet will not develop Liberia. You are an idiot.

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