On March 06, 2016, I published a piece titled “Conspiracy in Midday: Madam Matilda W. Parker will Triumph”. The cardinal purpose for this article was to adequately inform the public that the case involving Madam Matilda Wokie Parker is a midday conspiracy orchestrated by her adversaries to dent her good image. In this piece, I made it crystal clear that there are big-hands behind this case who have a preconceived mindset to bring Madam Parker on her knees for a crime she never committed.
For almost a year now since Madam Parker was suspended by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and subsequently indicted by the Ministry of Justice, the government of Liberia has continuously failed to prove her guilt in a court of competent jurisdiction. Every effort to defame her trustworthy legacy has fallen on an infertile soil. Even up to present, they are still in search of evidence to slander the gleaming reputation of the former Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA).
The plot by this government to magnify falsehood and fabrication against the former NPA Managing Director is extremely sad. Why should a patriotic citizen like Madam Parker, who has stood up for a genuine cause in the interest of ordinary people, be falsely maligned and humiliated in such a manner. It is too embarrassing for our nation and its people to suffocate in poverty and despair due to hatred and conspiracy. Until political maneuvering, manipulation and machination fade away, hopelessness and backwardness will continue to prevail in Liberia.
It is often said that truth crushed to the ground will rise again. This adage is so true and reflects the real nature of the ongoing legal battle between Madam Matilda Parker and the government of Liberia. No matter how long it takes, the innocence of the former NPA Managing Director will be proven. For some of us who are following this case from afar with unbiased lenses, we sturdily hold to the view that Madam Parker has done nothing wrong.
Considering the dossier of facts currently in our control and judging from ongoing legal proceedings, we have come to reasonably conclude that the government through the Ministry of Justice was even in error to have indicted the former MD of NPA. From our background investigation and assessment, we think that the indictment of former MD Parker was never based on well established facts and due diligence. Let us reveal some hard truths about the case involving Madam Parker.
- On April 23rd, 2015, Madam Matilda W. Parker was unduly suspended by the President of Liberia upon her arrival to the Netherlands on an official trip that was approved by the Ministry of States for Presidential Affairs. What was the motive of suspending Madam Parker while she was abroad performing an official function on behalf of the government? The suspension pronouncement made by President Sirleaf in 2015 while Madam Parker was away validates our initial position that such decision was prearranged and well-intentioned.
For President Sirleaf herself to have even read the suspension of Madam Parker on air after the playing of the National Anthem creates serious doubt in the minds of many Liberians. The President has never done this before. Often in our country, the National Anthem is mostly played during a time of national emergencies. Furthermore, President Sirleaf herself has never pronounced suspensions, dismissals, etc. The suspension or dismissal of public officials is usually done via the office of the Presidential Press Secretary and the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism. Suspension and dismissal press statements are usually placed on the Emansion website.
- The Final LACC report dated April 14, 2015 was never shared with Madam Parker for review or feedback, until the first sitting of court in December 2015. In our mind, this report was never shared because of its nonexistence. From our high level review and investigation, voluntary statements and interviews of several persons were met and interviewed after the final date of the report. The following interviewees were interviewed on these dates:
- Ashford Peal of the Liberia Seaport Police (LSP) was interviewed on May 22, 2015
- Nathaniel C. Gbarba was interviewed on July 22, 2015
- Sunday G. Wright was interviewed on July 13, 2015
- Jeffery George was interviewed on May 28, 2015 and July 9, 2015
- Patrick M. Konneh was interviewed on July 10, 2015
- Otis V, Kah was interviewed on July 15, 2015
- Emmanuel Z. Davies was interviewed on July 10, 2015
- Prince Jegbedai was interviewed on July 14; to name a few
Based on these facts, we wonder what report was used by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to suspend Madam Parker on April 23rd, 2015. On what basis was Madam Parker suspended? Spending public officials on the basis of hearsay or rumor is detrimental to the development of the nation.
- The LACC report, unlike other professional reports like GAC, was never submitted to Madam Parker in a draft form for appropriate feedback. Instead, we observed that the report was not even signed by the Head of the LACC, Honorable James Verdier, nor any of the Commissioners. It was only signed by the chief investigator, Blamo Kofa and the two investigators.
- During Parker’s case, the house of the former comptroller who was also indicted by the government was vandalized by a joint team from LACC, MOJ, etc. This incident was reported to the Minister of Justice in July 2015, and to the President of Liberia, and the Independent National Human Rights Commission of Liberia in early December 2015.
To date, the complaint filed by Paelay is yet to receive redress. Additionally, the maid from Parker’s house was beaten by several men with ski-masks in an attempt to take her house keys. The case was also reported to the police, but there has been no investigation up to now. All of these schemes show how desperate the government is to maliciously undermine the incomparable integrity and image of Madam Parker.
- The indictment against Parker claims that payment was made for work not performed. Yet, the voluntary statement signed by the Port Manager of Greenville Port, dated January 2015, states that the wreck was removed by a company whose name he could not remember, because it was executed in 2011; and the contract was done at the Head Office. Additionally, he stated that Security Assessment work was performed. Now, considering that the work to be performed was order by the President of the Republic of Liberia in a harsh letter to Parker, common sense would say that this is not a project that the former NPA MD would select to cheat on. The facts are clear and plain!!!
- We all know that Parker was almost fired by the President in 2010 when she pointed out the flaws in the APM Terminals Agreement. Parker was recently on the hot seat for refusing to sign the Dangote Agreement in the absence of all Parties, and requested that the agreement include the investment amount.
Parker was also asked to insure that the Agreement followed the Laws of England for certain issues. Parker refused to sign the Dangote Agreement until all parties were present, the investment amount was included and the agreement followed the Laws of Liberia since this was in fact a locally registered company and not a concession.
It is believed that Parker was never forgiven for these events. All of these firm and legally compliant decisions taken by Parker put her on the extreme and created many enemies for her. Finally, Parker fell out with President Sirleaf who said in her book that her inability to forgive is one of her faults.
Today, Madam Parker is going through what she is going through due to her firm adherence to established principles and existing policies. Never a day did she compromise the law and mortgage the interest of the Liberian people while serving as MD of NPA.
About The Author: Alston V. Nyumah is a Liberian by birth and a patriot. He is a postgraduate student of the Australian National University, pursuing his master’s degree in Financial Management. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org