Written by Socrates Smythe Saywon
Monrovia – Smart News Liberia has reliably learnt through a source from Washington DC that the Coordinator of the Special Presidential Projects at the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs, Makenneh L. Keita allegedly demanded US$5 million from two South African investors who are in the country to invest in agriculture, mining and petroleum sectors.
According to the source, Mr Mike Anthony Brummer and Gerhard Jacob Dirksen both of Imperial Investment LTD are two South African investors, whose arrival into Liberia was made possible by Dr Lawrence J. Saydee, founder of Canon Group of Companies in Liberia and a letter of invitation from the office of Madam Keita.’
The investors arrived in the country on August 9, according to the source held a meeting with Dr Saydee and Keita at Dr Saydee’s office in Sinkor. In the meeting, Madam Keita demanded US$5 million; a demand the source said two senior govt officials and close confidants of President George Weah are in the know of.
According to the narratives from the source, upon the investors’ arrival, Madam Keita reportedly made a demand of US$5 million before the South African investors could be granted full access into Liberia’s business sector.
The President’s two close confidants whose names will be disclosed in a subsequent publication were contacted several times via mobile phone but declined to answer Smart News Liberia’s enquiry on the issue, despite their connections in the bogus deal.
Further, the source narrated that the investors agreed to pay the amount demanded, but under a legal agreement or a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), an agreement the investors insisted will have legal backing and it will also have their partners believe in the agreement – and will transfer the money to Liberia, but Madam Keita refused to agree to any legal arrangement insisting if the South Africans can not wire the US$5 million through an account at the Central Bank of Liberia they should leave Liberia immediately.
The investors’ failure to deposit the $5 million in an account at the Central Bank of Liberia, according to our source, got Madam Keita irritated, she then immediately called the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) ordered the investors’ passports to be seized on the ground she did not sign any letter of invitation for the two South African investors to enter Liberia.
The source told Smart News Liberia that the two investors are presently at the Boulevard Palace Hotel in Sinkor, Monrovia.
The source further indicated that Madam Keita and her two collaborators [ the two confidants of Mr Weah] reportedly ordered the Liberia National Police (LNP) to arrest Dr Saydee and two others on grounds that they are fraudsters and imposters — Madam Keita and collaborators self-imposed crimes had Dr Saydee and his colleagues placed behind bars at the headquarters of the Liberia National Police for days.
When the Coordinator of the Special Presidential Projects Madam Keita was contacted on Monday via mobile phone on the alleged issue, she promised to call back to speak on the issue, she, up to now didn’t honour her promise…
When Smart News Liberia visited the headquarters of the Liberia National Police to ascertain the facts about the arrest of Dr Saydee and two others, it was confirmed by the police that Dr Saydee and his colleagues were detained and are under investigation, but they have been released to a lawyer… Investigation continues.