The owner of K-Delta female team, Abraham Samukai, as far as I have known him, does not make allegations without facts and that was why when he raised the issue of ‘deception by the ministry of Youth and Sports’ in the handling of the leadership crisis that has engulfed the Liberia Basketball Association and the MYS reacted, claiming it was not so, I knew much more would be coming.
The Ministry suspended basketball activities when the leadership crisis intensified and began its own mediation efforts with Minister Eugene Nagbe and Deputy Minister for Sports Henry Yonton involved. The suspension was still in force and there is no record to indicate that the MYS lifted the suspension since the crisis is yet to be resolved.
Basketball presidents and owners who have been unhappy with the administration of Rufus Anderson are those described as ‘aggrieved stakeholders’ and it was this group that the MYS managed to get to a meeting of compromise and a way forward on June 10, with Anderson’s group.
But this is where the problem of ‘deceit’ comes in, for on May 27, while the MYS has still not lifted sanctions on basketball activities because of the leadership crisis, it went ahead and released U$11,500 and Ld3.8m (both totalling U$56,000) to Anderson’s administration.
Why? And the only reason is that the current fiscal year was ending on June 30, and since the money was still sitting there, and the leadership of the Liberia Basketball Association was yet to resolve its crisis, the money could not be disbursed after that date. Therefore it became necessary that MYS found a way to get rid of the money which it did with only the Anderson administration without the involvement of those whom have been crying for Anderson’s head.
“And so while we were discussing the future leadership of basketball, the Ministry of Youth & Sports was already dealing with an administration that the ministry had suspended, finding a way to help resolve the cause of its suspension. Now without informing the other party about it the Ministry released funds to the administration,” Abraham Samukai told the Daily Observer.
Available records indicate that Anderson’s administration began withdrawing from the money on June 6, four days before the meeting was held at the Ministry of Youth & Sports to plead for compromise. And how does one call that action?
And it is worth repeating, though the Ministry of Youth & Sports is not talking about it, Anderson’s administration is yet to account for U$15,000 which it did not report in the last financial statement issued out of the U$85,000 released by the Liberian government for the West Africa Zone basketball tournament in Monrovia in which administration reported on U$70,000. Where did the U$15,000 go? Why did the ministry not insist on financial probity in the U$85,000 released to Anderson’s leadership that has become one of the most contentious issues before releasing the recent funds to Anderson’s administration?
Another point is the ministry’s position that elections for the LBA leadership are on August 8. “How does the ministry know that?” asked Samukai.
Because, LBA Congress will determine elections and so if proper financial accountability is not prepared properly and the body raises questions about substantive issues during its congress, elections may be naturally delayed as a result.