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Liberia: President Powerful Son Told To Pay US$247k Seized From Koreans

By P. Oxford Brown

MONROVIA—The Special Presidential Committee mandated to investigate accusations of money laundering, counterfeiting, illegal arrest and conspiracy to defraud some foreign investors have presented its report to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The Committee headed by the Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia, Cllr. David A. B. Jallah, recommended to President Sirleaf that the Liberian Government needed to refund the US$247,500 seized from the Korean nationals recently.

According to the report, the five operatives of the National Security Agency [NSA] who were directly involved in the arrest of the Koreans, Sierra Leoneans and their two co-conspirators [who do not work with the NSA], should be handed over to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution to clear the name and image of the NSA.

Observers say, Liberians are waiting to see what action President Sirleaf will take in the wake of the Jallah’s report, since in fact President Sirleaf son, Fumba Sirleaf who is also the NSA boss has been accused by Korean businessmen of defrauding them, a claim which now seems to be supported by the just released presidential commission document.

On July 8, 2014, US$247, 500 was withdrawn by Korean nationals from the International Bank of Liberia (IBLL). They then proceeded to the City King Hotel and immediately thereafter were arrested upon their arrival at the hotel by NSA boss Fumba Sirleaf.

An Executive Mansion release said President Sirleaf, who have received the report, have since forwarded it to the Ministry of Justice for review to ensure that appropriate actions, including all of the recommendations contained in the report are implemented consistent with Liberian laws.

The release added that the President has also forwarded a copy of the report to the NSA to ensure that the Agency works with the Ministry of Justice to ensure the speedy implementation of the recommendations contained therein.

Sources say it is likely nothing will come out of the recommendations emanating from the presidential commission headed by Cllr. David Jallah, since the accused is the son of President Sirleaf. The Executive Mansion has been suspect repeatedly for not acting on recommendations that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf commissioned.

Former Justice Minister, Christina Tah resigned recently saying, “I cannot be the minister of Justice and not supervise the operations of the security agencies under the Minister of Justice to independently investigate allegations of fraud against the National Security Agency.” Continued Tah, “What is the rule of law if a duly appointed Minister of Justice with oversight has grave concerns about what her violational resignation will mean for her own personal security and freedom as a Liberian citizen,” at which time she laid blame directly at the feet of the President of the republic for protecting the NSA against her oversight responsibilities and especially the NSA which is headed by her son.

President Sirleaf and Son Fombah pic.

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