“Bill Twehway Was Falsely Accused”
-Suspended Employees over ‘Corruption Saga’ at Buchanan Port Opens Up
MONROVIA-Three suspended employees of the National Port Authority (NPA) who were suspended for their alleged involvement into stolen money from the Port of Buchanan, have for the first time spoken out, rubbishing accusing fingers from Former Port Manager, Charles Dee Gull that the Managing Director of the NPA was an accomplice in the stealing of US$300,000, even though the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) later exonerated him from any wrongdoing following investigation.
At a news conference in Monrovia during the weekend, Solomon Krangar Jeffery, Suspended Auditor, Emmanuel Z. Davies, Suspended Port Facility Security Officer and Tiabor Karteh, Suspended Pier Superintendent, said it was preposterous for those who defrauded the Liberian government in revenue chose not to account for their wrongdoing, but would decide to drag the reputation of Managing December into the matter.
“It is surprising to note that those actors will not accept their wrong doing but rather link other members of the NPA Team including Hon. Bill Twehway. This diversionary tactic, or whatever maneuvering that is, is an unwholesome reckless design to erode the factual account in these matters. But the facts, as they are, cannot change and remain evidentially that Mr. Charles D. Gull and Mr. Amara Kamara did open a bogus account contrary to the Corporation law, i.e. without Board Resolution and furthered their agenda therein”.
According to the three men, the allegation linking the managing director to the corruption was misleading, a move by Mr. Gull to besmear the character of Mr. Twehway.
“Member of the press, as it is being circulated on social media and print media that Mr. Bill Twehway has link with those pieces of information published, we want to say that it is false and misleading. It’s a mere smear campaign against his characters and we think it is unfair to him. However, those involved need to halt degenerating his high earned reputation”.
When quizzed by journalists on why they didn’t inform the public on the innocence of Managing Director Twehway, the suspended port employees said their silence was on the basis of lawyers’ advice during the investigation process by the LACC, as anything said could be used against them in court.
“We were silent because of the then ongoing investigation and needed to maintain the sanctity of our Miranda Rights enshrined in Article 21 (c) of the Liberia Constitution now in force. We therefore think it is ripe and necessary to speak out in some of these wild allegations cascaded on social media and the print media at large for the purpose of clinically dispelling fictions from facts. It is necessary because the public in general needs facts and verifiable information that will lead to reasonable evidentiary conclusions”.
Because the investigation by the anti-graft institution vindicated the trio of any involvement into the corruption act at the port of Buchanan, they said it was now timely to speak out.
“On August 28, 2021, the National Port Authority (NPA) referenced us to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) for investigation to determine or establish our link and extent of culpability in the notorious and infamous incidence involving the alleged theft of US$300,000 from the bogus “Buchanan Port Operations Account”.
Following the investigation by a team of investigators at the LACC, it was established that we, Mr. Solomon K. Jeffery, Emmanuel Z. Davies, and Tiabor Karteh did not meet the threshold of “culpable intent” to be charged for any infamous crimes in the scandal. The investigation showed and established that we were recipients of “Christmas Bonus” from Mr. Charles D. Gull via an account titled “Buchanan Port Operations Account” which, as at the time of public reporting and outcome of these investigations, was not known to us. The investigation also fundamentally determined that we had no knowledge and certainly did not participate as accomplices in the establishment of this bogus “Buchanan Port Operations Account”.
They applauded the NPA, the Government and the public in general for supporting their right to “innocence until guilt is proved” and for also affording them the right to free, fair and transparent investigation.
Charles Gull along with his Chief Statistician, Amara Kamara was suspended on Friday, July 16, 2021, by the National Port Authority for alleged involvement in diverting monies intended for the government of Liberia into their personal accounts.
The US$300,000 Gull and Kamara took was remittances paid by Arcelor Mittal and Equatorial Palm Oil for the exportation of iron ore and palm oil out of Liberia through the Port of Buchanan.