Update: The Culture Of Impunity: As Tony Lawal, Turncoats Slice $8.9M Taxpayers’ Money

The deplorable condition of one of the Brewerville/Bopolu road

Latest information gathered by our reporter from investigation has revealed that the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission efforts to arrest the Chief Executive Officer of the Praise Glory Lawal Construction Company or PGL, Mr. Tony Lawal, and two Victor Smith and the current Minister Public Works, Gyude Moore for their alleged link to the ‘unlawful’ disbursement of millions of United States Dollars seems to be thwarting as big hands are said to be playing games for this case not be actualized.

According to a credible source that confirmed in our reporter, those at the center of this deal at currently pondering over their fate for their alleged link to this situation that has robbed Liberia out of millions of United States dollars of taxpayers money for their own selfish reason has been exposed dating back when Attorney Samuel Kofi Woods served as Minister of Public Works.

According to the result from our preliminary investigation the above mentioned Company has allegedly received One Million Nine Hundred Thousand United States Dollars for the rehabilitation of the Brewerville / Bopolu road project without submission of a bill of quantity (BOQ) to the Ministry of Public Works,” the LACC communication to the than Minister of Finance & Development Planning noted.

L/R: Tony Lawal being certificated by President Ellen Johnson Sirkeaf

The entire scenario started when Minister Samuel Kofi Woods resigned in 2016 leaving Victor Smith as acting minister it was during this period that Smith called on Tony Lawal to establish another company called Praise Glory Lawal Construction Company apart from his previous Pealat Construction Company.

According to our investigation, a source hinted this paper that it was the idea of Janet Bernard and the late Edward McClain to award Tony Lawal the Brewerville/Bopolu contract with no bid put out as required by the PPCC law, a situation which has pondered many Liberians.

Our source said it was at this point that the amount from 3.5 million United States Dollars to 5.5 million United States Dollars, this action, according to our source drew the attention of Madam Antoinette Weeks who took over in 2013 after realizing this situation turned over the matter to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC).

Our source said it was at that time that President Sirleaf dismissed Minister Weeks and appointed Gyude Moore, “This was when the LACC wrote the than Minister of Finance, Development & Planning, Amara Konneh and a ‘CC’ copy was sent to Minister Moore. Minister Konneh refused to pay on the contract until Minister Boakai Kamara took over as Minister in 2016 he was instructed to make payment on the road,” our source explained.

Another scene of the deplorable road condition

Our source said Minister Moore allegedly changed the contract from 5.5 million to 8.9 million United States Dollars, out of this amount (8.9 million) 5.7 million was allegedly paid to Tony Lawal for the road project despite of warning from the LAAC.

Our source further revealed that while the investigation was ongoing at the LAAC, upon the return of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from the United Nations in the United States, she allegedly called the Chairman of the LACC, Cllr. Jerome Verdier to her residence for a meeting.

After this alleged meeting with the LACC, our source said the following day LACC  agents who were on the case and were about to arrest Tony Lawal, Victor Smith and Minister Gyude Moore were ordered suspended by authority at the LACC with their vehicles impounded.

Now eyebrows have been raised in Liberia as to the magnitude behind the suspension of those LACC agents who were prepared to perform their statutory duties by bringing to justice those who have been accused of plundering into the wealth of the Liberian people.

“Now that Aunt Janet Bernard is back in the country, we are hearing information that the balance is payment about to be paid to Lawal,” our source hinted our reporter.

Investigation continues

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About Cholo Brooks 12191 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.