LIBERIA: Ellen To Give Another “Blood Money” To PUL? – Omecee Johnson Writes

A member of the Press Union of Liberia is calling on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, not to give a dime to the current leadership of the PUL until it can provide a comprehensive account of the US$ 100,000.00 which was donated by the President toward the construction of the PUL headquarters in Sinkor.

Mr W. Omecee Johnson call comes in the wake of recent pronouncement by PUL President Abdullah Kamara, at the just-ended annual congress that the union would lobby with international partners including the Government of Liberia to raise US$ 1.3 million  for a  so-called three-year strategic infrastructural project.

 Mr. Johnson said the current PUL President Abdullah Kamara, former President Peter Quaqua, Malcom Joseph, Alphonso Zeon, Geevon Smith and the late Zogar James, exhibited a high degree of ingratitude and gross disrespect to President Sirleaf in 2008, when they described the President’s donation as a “blood money”.

Mr. Johnson further said in a release issued Wednesday in Monrovia, that Mr. Peter Quaqua and his colleagues maintained that investigative journalist Norbert Zongo who was also the Editor of a weekly newspaper- The Independent in Burkina Faso, was killed by Mr. Francois Compoare the brother of Burkina Faso President Blaise Compoare. Journalist Zongo was investigating the death of David Ouedraogo, who was the driver of President Blaise Compoare’s brother Francois Compoare, when he was found in Sapouy in a car burnt beyond recognition alongside his  three relatives and the perpetrators  are yet to be arrested.

Mr. Johnson  pointed out that the former PUL President and his men drew an analogy that if President Sirleaf could say the money given to the PUL was from her friend Blaise Compoare, and that Blaise Compoare’s brother was linked to the murder of journalist Zongo, said money was  tainted with blood and sothe PUL could not accept it from President Sirleaf. “But out of  ignorance and the lack of matured leadership these  guys prosecuted President Sirleaf for nothing stating that under criminal procedural law crime is not transferrable”, Mr. Johnson added in a very frustrated mood.

 He said when the Arno Construction Company which won the bid among five construction companies began the construction of the PUL headquarters in keeping with the Contractual Agreement, these same group of journalist led by Peter Quaqua filed a petition before the Civil Law Court in December 2008, to place an injunction on the project even though they were advised by CounselorAugustine Toe who was then PUL’s  legal counsel that court action was not prudent.

According to Mr. Omecee Johnson since the Court stopped the construction in 2008, Peter Quaqua and his colleagues have failed to bring their lawsuit to a logical conclusion, noting that Mr. Kamara even failed to provide any information during the Union’s annual congress regardingthe status of the headquarters project as well as  the case before the Civil Law Court and the one hundred thousand dollars that was donated by President Sirleaf.

Meanwhile, Mr. Johnson has threatened to file a formal complaint against Mr. Peter Quaqua to the Board of the West Africa Journalists Association (WAJA), informing them about the harm Mr. Quaqua has created for majority members of the Liberian media by obstructing the construction of their headquarters and, at the same time putting the entire media into public disrepute regarding the one hundred thousand united states dollars which was donated by President Sirleaf.

He disclosed that he would scan all of the pertinent documentation including the joint press statement which was signed by  PeterQuaqua and PUL former President George Barpeen, Jr, on November  18, 2008 in the presence of Atty Phillip Wesseh and the lawsuit filed by Quaqua thereby obstructing the construction work of the PUL headquarters. “For Mr. Quaqua to ignore that M.O.U. which called for the continuation of the construction of the PUL headquarters and went ahead to file a lawsuit in December 2008, clearly   exposes Quaqua’s deceitful and selfish attitude disregarding the interest of majority members of the media. I will inform WAJA’s Board to disconnect the internet facilities in his office as well as the air conditioner because he denied us of our own”, Mr. Johnson concluded.

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