In Global Witness Bribery Scandal Report Linking Liberian Officials, Two Of Those Named, UP Chairman, House Speaker Vowed Not To Submit To Any Taskforce

alex tylerCllr. Varney Sharman, Chairman of the ruling party and Alex Tyler, Speaker of the House of Representatives who are the center of the alleged corruption and bribery scandal reported by the Global Witness have vowed not to submit to the Taskforce recently set up by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to probe those linked to the scandal which brought her country reputation to disrepute.

The Taskforce is being headed by Cllr. Jonathan Koffa of the International Law Group, but his colleague, Cllr. Varney Sherman  who is also a Senator from Grand Cape Mount County has vowed not to submit to any investigation chair by Cllr. Koffa.

Global Witness, an internationally renowned and reputable “Watchdog” organization recently released a comprehensive investigative report entitled “The Deceivers” which can, at best, be described as a provocative and damning account of corruption within the rank and file of the Liberian government.

The report says the officials who allegedly received bribes include Speaker of the Liberian House of Representatives Alex Tyler: $75,000 for “consulting fees” and Richard Tolbert, chairman of the National Investment Committee: $50,000 for “consulting fees”.

Morris Saytumah, Minister of State for Finance, Economic and Legal Affairs, now a senator, also allegedly received $50,000 for “consulting fees”, and Willie Belleh, Chairman of Public Procurement and Concessions Commission allegedly received $10,000 for “consulting fees”.

Two of the biggest payments went to persons identified in the report as “Bigboy 01” and “Bigboy 02”, each receiving $250,000 with no explanation of why the payments were made.

Gant said Global Witness knows the payments were made, but it cannot say who the individuals were.

“We didn’t put the names of those two individuals, just the names that were on the payment list that we had which is “Bigboy 01, Bigboy 02 because we don’t right now have the evidence to be able to state who those people actually are. But we know the payments were made to one and two,” he said.

He said Global Witness is going through its evidence to see if the names are publishable.

President’s son among those named

The report also alleges that President Sirleaf’s son, Fombah Sirleaf, who is director of Liberia’s National Security Agency also benefited with “a $7,598 hunting trip to South Africa paid for by Sable.”

Others mentioned in the report include Senator Sumo Kupee and Cletus Wotorson, both allegedly receiving $5,000 each for “consulting fees”.

At least 3 officials deny allegations

It said Tolbert, Belleh, Kupee, and Wotorson all denied taking bribes from Sable.

The Liberian government said it has asked Global Witness to make available all evidence connected with this report.

Government claims it will investigate and prosecute.

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About Cholo Brooks 17126 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.