LIBERIA: ‘The Concealed Agenda’ Against NPA Managing Director

Since the suspension of the Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA), Madam Matilda W. Parker, her Comptroller; Christina Pealay by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf respectively based on findings of an investigation by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), nothing much has been heard of the outcome of her status regarding the well publicized LACC investigation, which was said to be completed and forwarded to the Ministry of Justice.

Dozens of Liberians who spoke to this news outlet have expressed concern about the delay in releasing the official outcome of the organized LACC investigation on those being accused by that ‘Watchdog’ institution, wondering as to whether there are any hidden hands behind all of these.    

Information gathered by this news outlet has revealed that a few days ago, the Legal Counsel of NPA, Cllr Jeffrey George was invited into the offices of the LACC, proving that the so-called investigation is not completed.  We also learned that LACC falsely detained a resident of Paynesville on the same case, without an arrest warrant.  

Our source also revealed that all entitlements as Managing Director and Comptroller of the NPA including salary, vehicle and security  have all been withdrew reportedly upon the orders of the acting Managing Director who is a Deputy to the suspended Managing Director.  Was the MD not hired by the Board of the NPA?  Should they not be involved in actions against the Managing Director and Comptroller of the NPA?  Is this not the same Deputy who applied for the job of Managing Director in 2006 and 2011?  Why is Morris Dukuly, the other signature on the two contracts in question not suspended also?  If the investigation is still in process, then was the MD and Comptroller suspended on an incomplete investigation?

What pondered many Liberians; especially those who have noticed over the years the progress that Matilda W. Parker has made, making the NPA to be recognized internationally to investors including ship owners must be appreciated instead of bringing her to a public disgrace, “What a pity?”

Observers who have been following Madam Parker’s services to the Liberian people as Managing Director of the NPA are wondering as to whether her suspension is not linked to some disagreement between her and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on some administrative differences.

It has been discovered that a few years ago some disagreements reportedly developed between President Sirleaf and Madam Parker over the APM Terminals Agreement when the Managing Director voiced that this APM 25-year Concession lacked a review clause and controls to monitor APM's rate increases.  We also discovered through our sources that President Sirleaf emotionally wrote the NPA boss in 2011 expressing her displeasure over some issues.

In one of her emotional communications to the NPA boss dated on June 7, 2011, President Sirleaf instructed the Managing Director to "…….take actions as is necessary to expedite the removal of sunken vessels, also known as wrecks and dredging the Port of Greenville, including the termination of present arrangement, as necessary".  The letter continued, “……..These delays, apparently due to your lack of attention in such matter, are clearly undermining Government’s development agenda and can no longer be tolerated, “the President’s emotional letter to Madam Parker concluded.

With these emotional points expressed by the President, stating that such delay by the Parker’s administration will not “Be tolerated,” clearly indicates that the President was blaming the Parker’s administration for the delay in the opening of Greenville Port.  Was this letter not clear instructions to remove the sunken wreck in Greenville?  Why is the Government now calling the removal of the wreck a bogus contract?  Our reporters were sent to Greenville and have confirmed that the Port of Greenville was opened in 2012.

According to our Executive Mansion source, there has been no evidence indicating that Madam Parker was involved in any misapplication of funds or corruption, and there has been no indictment to date.  

Our investigation continues.

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