The Chairman of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), James Verdier has said that the series of reports published by the FrontPage Africa (FPA) newspaper alleging corruption at the National Port Authority (NPA) were not reports emanating from the LACC.
According to the Liberia News Agency (LINA), Cllr. Verdier asserted that the LACC has not released to the press or any media outlets reports on the NPA, but that President Sirleaf acted upon findings from the LACC something that led to the subsequent suspension of the Managing Director and Comptroller of the NPA.
“For prosecutorial purposes when we investigate matters at the LACC we do not publish our entire report we publish findings, the reports that were publish by FPA are not from the LACC, Verdier said Thursday at the Ministry of Information regular press conference in Monrovia.
According to Verdier the LACC is currently investigating as to how the FPA obtain and published a report which is not in line with the LACC own findings.
Recently President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf based on findings of an investigation conducted by the LACC suspended NPA’s Managing Director Mrs. Matilda W. Parker, and the Comptroller, Mrs. Christina K. Pealay for alleged acts of corruption.
This episode has since been followed by volumes of media reportage by the FPA with one of its publication amongst other things quoting an investigator of the LACC as saying that they (LACC) obtain information from a whistle blower who encased a check of US$ 250,000 on behalf of the NPA.
The FPA Publication further quotes the LACC investigator as saying that the allege whistle blower then turn over the $US 250,000 to NPA Managing Director, Parker (Now Suspended) who in return give him (The Whistle Blower) $US 3,000 for stationary supplies he previously give the NPA.
Meanwhile, Verdier has urged media practitioners to desist from acts of presuming an accused individual guilty of an offense until otherwise proven through due process of law; he also wants journalists to desist from negative publications which have the ability to hamper ongoing investigations.