By Rodney Sieh
MONROVIA—The embattled and suspended Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA), the subject of a major investigation and damning report by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) charging alleged fraud of more than US$800,000, has reportedly left Liberia for the United States of America, FrontPageAfrica has learned.
Parker was suspended in April by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf along with her Comptroller, Christiana K. Paelay based on what the Executive Mansion said at the time was findings of an investigation by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC). The report which unearthed the charges against Parker and her comptroller was reportedly submitted to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf which later ordered the Ministry of Justice move for indictment.
Said Sirleaf at the time: “Where it is established that Boards have assigned emoluments to chairpersons and members that are inconsistent with established policies of this administration, it will be my pleasing duty to reverse all such resolutions.” She vowed that she will not hesitate to direct additional remedies, should they be required, to cure such unacceptable actions, wherever they are found to be practiced.
The LACC [investigative report], obtained by FrontPageAfrica recommended that the NPA boss, along with Comptroller Christiana Kpabar Paelay, Dr. Nathaniel Barnes (Board Chairman who signed the RSO MOU and Morris Dukuly (Vice Chair of the Board who signed the Wreck Removal MOU) be held liable for violating several provisions of the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) Law, by their failure to publish a notification of intent to award a contract.”
A company called “Denmar Enterprise”, was charged under the contract with the responsibility to provide security consultancy services. “The award of the security consultancy contract gave credence to Denmar Enterprises and thereby presented it a Recognized Security Organization (RSO) and, as such, it was recommended to the International Ship & Ports Security (ISPS) Department to be responsible for making decisions regarding safety and security managements at the Seaports of Monrovia, Buchanan and Greenville, and also to conduct Port facility security assessment in consideration of the sum of US$300,000.00(Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars).
The suspended Managing Director of the National Port Authority, Ms. Matilda Wokie Parker told investigators of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission that concerns over the lack of readiness of the Port of Greenville to allow vessels to dock prompted by a letter from President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and others were driving forces behind the NPA management entering into what has now been concluded to be a bogus agreement with a makeshift company and a US$800,000(eight hundred thousand United States Dollars) corruption scheme unearthed by the LACC.
A senior administration official speaking to FrontPageAfrica on condition of anonymity Sunday said Parker had promised authorities that she would return to Liberia on June 19, 2015 but with the memories of the Corkrum conundrum still hanging over the government’s head, political observers fear that with the lack of political will and a Ministry of Justice moving at a snail pace, the saga at the NPA appears unlikely to see an indictment any time soon despite a strong order from the presidency.
Compounding the problem is the fact that Liberia is currently embroiled in a major extradition pursuit of Corkrum with very [no] results. Allowing Parker to leave leaves the government opens to further complications similar to Corkrum who has expressed repeatedly that Liberia is very corrupt and that she fears for a return as she will not get a fair trial.
Source; FPA [please see www.frontpageafrica.com for full report]