The erstwhile Executive Director (ED) of the LACC, Mr. Mohammed Fahnbulleh falsely claims that:
- “I have unlawfully benefited from salary payments from the LACC while working for the UNDP”
My Response: This is FALSE. I was appointed by H.E. Dr. George Weah on October 18, 2019. I tendered my letter of resignation to the UNDP on November 11, 2019. Upon visiting the commission, the erstwhile ED of the LACC advised me to furnish him bank account details to which cash was paid for 3 months under the argument that the government of Liberia (GOL) was experiencing a cash/salary crunch which would affect timely delivery of my future salaries; thus the need to PROGRAM payments early. I obliged KNOWING FULLY well that such action did not constitute any wrongdoing as there was no guarantee that the cash would be paid within the stipulated timeframe and even if it was paid, the intent was never to secretly defraud the government of Liberia. Over that 3 month period, salaries were paid erratically which upon MY OWN INSISTENCE (not the ED or anyone else) were returned to the government of Liberia to ensure our records were up to date. Any other documents to the contrary are manufactured between the ED and his fiancee whom he seeks to make Comptroller of the LACC by strongarming Cllr. Nwabudike.
- “I received DSA, scratch cards, fuel etc. for a trip I did not attend”
My response: I have NEVER received ANY DSA, scratch cards, fuel etc. for which I have not PERFORMED. Matter of fact, the LACC owes me outstanding amounts on fuel and DSA for services I performed for which no cash was available. I did not attend the meeting in Zwedru because the erstwhile ED of the LACC disrespectfully procured a defective vehicle and expected me to drive hundreds of miles outside Monrovia without AC. When I confronted him about this, he claimed that better vehicles were more expensive and harder to secure. Of course I refused to endanger my health (I’m asthmatic) by traveling under such conditions. To compensate, I attended both consultative meetings in Gbarnga and Buchanan with my personal vehicle at no extra DSA, fuel or communication cost to the Commission with the allocated cash properly expensed.
- “I received 500usd intended for a press briefing at MICAT that remains unaccounted for”
My Response: The 500usd was received by my assistant and turned over to the relevant authorities at the Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism (MICAT). When contacted, I advised the ED’s fiancee who doubles as Chief Accountant on more than one occasion to contact the specific person at the MICAT to collect the receipt. Apparently she has refused to do so or is simply feigning ignorance to support this frivolous campaign of her fiance.
- “Purchasing of GOL depreciated property”
My Response: The purchasing of depreciated GOL property is not left at the descretion of any ED or Chairperson but rather to GOL policy. The car I drive has eclipsed the current GOL buy back policy thereby making me the primary user eligible to seek to purchase it. How does this equate to corruption?
So what are the real issues that has pushed the erstwhile ED of the LACC to bring frivolous allegations of “corruption” in February 2021 which he claimed to have observed in January 2020? More than a year ago?
- The ED’s contract expired in August of 2020. Consistent with the LACC’s Act, Commissioners agreed to comprehensively evaluate the performance of the ED and on that basis either extend or cancel his contract. Our collective evaluations revealed the ED to be severely incompetent in the discharge of his professional functions. Further evaluations conducted with ordinary LACC staff members revealed even worse results. The documentations are housed with HR for reference. Despite his manifest deficiencies, we grudgingly agreed to renew his contract based solely on the plea of Executive Chair Nwabudike that a) “he would improve” b)“we shouldn’t take bread from someone’s pa mouth” and c) specific professional milestones/conditions would be inserted into his new contract which if unrealized will lead to automatic cancellation after a specified period.
Despite our earlier agreement, I have now written Chair Nwabudike with copy to the erstwhile ED canceling my earlier promise to renew the ED’s contract because the guarantee given by Cllr. Nwabudike to ensure performance is no longer valid as Cllr. Nwabudike exits the LACC in 2 weeks.
- The ED also managed to armtwist Cllr. Nwabudike into proposing his fiancee as Comptroller of the LACC despite the fact that she has not served more than a year in her current position as Chief Accountant, a position she has occupied for less than a year after being summarily elevated from her post of Finance Assistant. And if she has served for more than a year, no performance evaluation has been done to ascertain whether she has performed adequately. Given the lack of an effective evaluation, the very delicate nature of the position, coupled with new developments from the office of the Comptroller General regarding competencies and roles of Comptrollers, I advised that it was only proper that whomever we select to serve as Comptroller comes through a merit-based, intensive recruitment process so that the LACC does not face compliance issues in the future. These decisions were communicated last week.
If this erstwhile, so-called “professional” ED really did believe I committed acts of corruption for which I should be duly held accountable, I wonder why over the last 3 months he has visited and entreated Cllr. Abraham Sillah (colleague of my wife), Sekou Kalasco Damarro and even Finda Bundo asking them to beg me for the renewal of his contract?
And just so we clear the record: there is absolutely no pending investigation against me as we speak. The erstwhile ED possesses no authority to instruct any staff lest to mention an investigator to commence action against any person accused of corruption. That power lies solely with the Board of Commissioners.
Finally, let me advise the ED that collecting salaries without a valid contract equates to corruption. I am hereby advising the LACC HR and other relevant LACC actors to take judicial notice of this fact or be held complicit in the future.