Jerome Korkoya NECOp-ed 

George Weah, Ousmane Bamba, The Russians, And How 2017 Elections Were Rigged – Episode 1 

 

By Martin K. N. Kollie

The second Liberian Republic has had a lot of ups and downs. Between 1980 and 2017, no presidential candidate has ever won a landslide in any given election as compared to NPP flagbearer Charles G. Taylor. 13 political parties participated in the 1997 presidential election. Taylor won all of them at once with 75.33% (468,443 votes). There was no second round or run-off. 

This was indeed a landslide victory. There were also 13 counties at that time but Taylor still could not win 12 out of 13. Even Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who won two successive democratic elections in 2005 and 2011 respectively, could not win 14 out of 15 counties at any given electoral interval. How come did George Weah win 14 out of 15 counties in the 2017 presidential election. Imagine for a moment, a man who could not even win 39% in round one. CDC George Weah only got 38.37% (596,037 votes) while UP Joseph Boakai got 28.76% (446,716 votes). The margin was as minimum as 9.61%. This was Weah’s real political strength even when NPP and LPDP were added to CDC in 2017. 

So, George Weah was never a popular candidate as his followers claimed in 2017. Scientifically and logically, his real or actual popularity accounted for only 38.37% as opposed to Taylor’s 75.33%. Practically, he was rejected by 61.63% of the voting population. So, GMW was not that popular. Still in round one, VP Boakai alone comfortably led Sen. Weah in 4 counties. So, how could Sen. Weah even win 14 out of 15 counties all of a sudden? This must have been a mystery. 

The election was actually rigged and this is a fact. The late founding father of the Liberty Party, Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine, was indeed right about his “rigging claim” against the National Elections Commission (NEC). But please do not panic. Get a glass of wine because I am about to expose a lot. I will run you through 2 different episodes on this very important national issue. As always, my very credible sources are international and I respect our mutual partnership to ensure or guarantee confidentiality at all times. Let’s begin. 

 

  • George Weah, Ousmane Bamba, and the Europeans:

As the 2017 general and presidential elections drew closer, Senator George Weah did not have any funding commitment for his campaign. He was desperate to win after losing the 2005 and 2011 presidential elections. But Weah was completely broke to fund his own campaign. So, he heavily relied on his criminal Ivorian advisor Ousmane Bamba. 

In June 2017, Bamba organized and funded a special international trip to the European Union Parliament. This trip intended to convince the Europeans to fund Weah’s campaign. Who were those on this trip? Senator George Weah, Trokon Kpui, Gbehzohngar Milton Findley, Ousmane Bamba, and Liberian businessman Sheikh Ibrahim K. Sackor. Weah and his team met with the former President of the European Union Parliament (Antonio Tajani – an Italian politician who served as President of the European Union Parliament from 2017 to 2019). 

This meeting was held at Espace Léopold, Brussels, Belgium, Western Europe. I have attached a photo for your viewing. Weah submitted a campaign budget of $6 million. The Europeans turned down Mr. Weah’s request but promised to work with his government if elected as President of Liberia. 

2017 elections, Weah, and the Russians
  1. George Weah, Ousmane Bamba, and the Russians: 

After the Europeans turned him down, Sen. George Weah ran to the Russians for rescue. This was the beginning of his trouble with the United States of America because the Russian Federation and the USA are global archrivals. Liberian businessman Sheikh Sackor managed to have linked Sen. Weah to a team of Russians. The first meeting was planned, organized, and held on August 17, 2017, at Hotel Le Meridien Etoile, 81 Boulevard Gouvion Saint-Cyr 75848 Cedex 17, 75017 Paris, France (tel: +33 1 40 68 34 34 and Fax: +33 1 40 68 31 31). 

Who represented the Russians in this meeting? Mr. Nikolai Sarkisov, Mr. Andrei Bokarev, and Mr. Jean Louise. Who are they? Mr. Sarkisov, who is the younger brother of Russian billionaire Sergei Sarkisov, currently oversees the largest clients at Sergei’s Insurance Company, RESO-Garantiya, Moscow, Russia. Mr. Andrei Bokarev runs Transmash Holding, Russia’s biggest producer of rolling stock for railways and subway systems. Mr. Jean Louise is a French business partner to both Sarkisov and Bokarev. So, Liberian businessman Sheikh Sackor linked Sen. Weah to his business partner Jean Louise and Jean Louise later linked them to both Nikolai Sarkisov and Andrei Bokarev. At this meeting in Paris, Sen. Weah only took Ousmane Bamba and Trokon Kpui while Sheikh Sackor played a middleman role. 

What was Weah’s proposal to Nikolai Sarkisov, Andrei Bokarev, and Jean Louise? He asked to borrow $6 million for his campaign in 2017. The Russians could not approve this request for one major reason. They ran a query on Ousmane Bamba and finally got to know that he was an international criminal after counterchecking and verifying his record. So, they became skeptical. Hence, they made a credit proposal of $2 million to CDC Political Leader Weah instead of approving his $6 million requests. GMW had no choice but to accept because he was desperate. Here is a summary of key action points arising from this meeting: 

  • The Russians to give $2 million to fund Weah’s campaign;
  • The Russians to make available a six-seater private jet;
  • The Russians to also provide two helicopters;
  • Because UP Political Leader Joseph Boakai had a better Public Relations (PR) Team, the Russians also promised to fund a special International Public Relations (IPR) Team for Sen. GMW which they did;
  • And in return, Sen. Weah agreed to create business opportunities for the Russians if they helped him to win. 

 

The deal was finally sealed. Candidate George Weah did not disclose such financial transactions to the National Elections Commission (NEC) which is required by the Law on Campaign Finance Reporting. He violated this law. 

The $2 million, 1 private jet, 2 helicopters, and the IPR: 

The Russians lived up to their promise. Of course, they were simply transacting a business deal with GMAW. Senator Weah actually requested the $2 million in cash but they refused because they wanted to have a trace of every transaction. So, what happened? A quasi-mining company was quickly established to channel this $2 million through. The name of this company is Southern Mining Investment Group. The company was used as a collateral with Liberian businessman Sackor serving as a guarantor. So, a $2 million loan agreement was entered into on August 27, 2017. This 12-page loan agreement is currently in my possession.

2017 elections, Weah, and the Russians

The $2 million was directly wired into these two (2) separate bank accounts in Liberia:

  • International Bank (Liberia) Limited 

Branch: (005) Sinkor 

Account Number: 00521970719020102

Amount Deposited: $60,236.99 USD 

  • Ecobank Liberia Limited 

Branch: Lara Building, 4th Floor, Randall Street

Account Number: 0011014723227201

Amount Deposited: $1,909,907.34 USD 

In Episode 2 of this series, I will upload bank statements and explain in detail how this money was withdrawn from various bank accounts and expended. The NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya along with his accomplices, including NEC Data Center Coordinator (DCC) Floyd Sayor and NEC Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jawah Gray, got $500,000 plus other rewards. 

The deal was for Korkoya, Gray, and Floyd to give the Russians full access to the NEC Database. The Russian International Public Relations (IRP) Team finally got full access to NEC Database and manipulated it in Weah’s favor. Names, Codes, Center Numbers, IDs, Addresses, Biodata, Voter Cards, etc. were manipulated and replicated. As part of this deal, both Gray and Floyd also got a Black Honda Pilot jeep each. They drove similar jeep during the 2017 election. 

An IT System was quickly set up to bridge (network) NEC Database. Where was this special operation done? It was carried out at a 3-bedroom apartment in a private compound on 2nd Street in Sinkor (Beachside). The apartment was initially rented for 2 months (September – October 2017). The CDC Cyber Team led by Gerald Smith and one Burkinabe IT expert whose name is Ishmael collaborated with the Russians on this operation. This operation was being rolled out after Weah officially launched his campaign on August 19, 2017. When Weah won, Gerald F. Smith was rewarded with the position of Deputy Director for Administration of the National Security Agency (NSA). 

2017 elections, Weah, and the Russians

As promised, a white helicopter with CDC labels was sent to Liberia through Ivory Coast on August 18, 2017. The intent was to boost the CDC campaign. The very next day, August 19, 2017, Candidate George Weah officially launched his campaign in Monrovia. Most of you are only aware of the blue helicopter. But a 6-seater private jet and another white helicopter were also sent and funded by the Russians to boost Weah’s campaign. I have attached photos of these aircraft as well. 

The last meeting with the Russians before October 10, 2017 election: 

The campaign team of CDC Political Leader George Weah was not as sophisticated as UP Political Leader Joseph Boakai’s campaign team. The Russians were quick to identify this gap. So, they became concerned about marketing and branding CDC and Candidate George Weah inside Liberia and outside Liberia. What did they do?

A final meeting with the Russians was held on September 1, 2017, at Hotel François Premier in Champs-Elysees, 7 Rue Magellan, 75008 Paris, France. At this meeting, an International Public Relations (IPR) Team was formed and hired. Journalists from Journal Afrique, France 24, and other media outlets were present. 

weah and the russians
2017 elections Weah and the Russians

Accompanying Sen. Weah to this meeting were Ousmane Bamba and Trokon Kpui. Madam Clar Marie Weah later flew in from the United States of America. On September 3, 2017, candidate Weah and the IPR Team finally flew back to Liberia as the campaign continued. The 5-man Russian IPR Team or PRO Team was initially lodged at the Palm Spring Hotel in Congo Town and this team was led by Pascale Perez. After Weah “won” the run-off on December 26, 2017, the IPR team was transferred to the Boulevard Palace Hotel until after his inauguration. I will upload proof of hotel receipts/invoices in episode 2 of this series. But I have also attached a photo of team leader Pascale Perez and her delegation when they arrived in Liberia. 

Who should we blame for the rigging of the 2017 elections? Chairman Korkoya, DCC Sayor, CFO Gray, Weah’s advisor Ousmane Bamba, NSA DDA Gerald Smith, Burkinabe IT expert Ismael, and Pres. George Weah. They facilitated this grave fraud against our democracy. They murdered our democracy and deprived our people of their right to decide their own future. The sitting President EJS also manipulated the 2017 process. The NSA under EJS was actively used to fertilize and legitimize this egregious fraud. These people deserve to be investigated and prosecuted. 

  2017 elections Weah and the Russians

I really want to say more. I got too much to remain silent. I have not even started releasing anything yet about how the 2017 general and presidential elections were rigged. Boakai and other Presidential Candidates were denied and purged by the 2017 SCAM of an election. Yes, those elections, especially the presidential election, were rigged. 

Can we establish an independent Board of Inquiry to investigate this grave matter? We want to even prove this in an independent Court. You guys go ahead and open an independent Court. We want to come back home and prove these hard facts if we can be assured of 100% security. We also have dozens of e-mail exchanges. We want to testify. Your establish the Court or an Independent Board of Inquiry. 

We have our facts that are far more than this point. We have authentic documents, contracts, receipts, invoices, photos, videos, chats, testimonials, links, and circumstantial evidence to prove our case beyond every shadow of a doubt. Can we establish an independent Board of Inquiry? The 2017 elections were actually rigged. Let this bad precedent not be repeated in 2023. That’s why we are exposing everything ahead of time. The voter’s roll is yet to be properly cleaned. The Opposition Political Parties need to demand that the 2017 voter’s roll be completely annulled or canceled. The opposition is doomed if they continue to use that voter’s roll. I am here to EXPOSE everything. 

We are fast losing Liberia’s soul. We have to fight for it. We are making this sacrifice for our people. Watch out for more details in Episode 2. 

About The Author: Martin K. N. Kollie is an exiled Liberian activist and a global columnist. His foremost desire is to guarantee social justice, competitive democracy, and equality. He can be reached via martinkerkula1989@yahoo.com

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The opinions expressed in this published work are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Liberian Listener or its Editors, photos provided by the author

Main Photo: Jerome Korkoya NEC

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