The high profile bribing and corruption case which drew the attention of Liberians both at home and abroad when Global Witness alleged that some former and current government officials were bribed to get provisions of ‘Non-bidding areas’ into the revised 2005 PPCC Law which eventually became the 2010 PPCC Law, two officials designate of the Ministry of Mines & Energy have publicly exonerated those accused of any wrongdoing.
Addressing a news conference on Saturday afternoon, February 17, 2018 at his Law Firm, Cllr. Varney Sherman who is also Senator of Grand Cape County, noted that those two officials, Emmanuel Sherman and Bloatey Scere at their respective confirmation hearings for the position of Deputy and Assistance Ministers testified before the Senate indicating that they were among several people who made the change to the law, and further admitted that Section 75 was inserted as part of the amendment of the 2005 PPCC Act which eventually became the 2010 PPCC Act.
In the ‘The Deceivers’ report published by the Global Witness it was alleged that he (Cllr. Sherman) singlehandedly distributed $950,000.00 on behalf of Sable Mining, to bribe former government officials to insert into the amendment to the 2005 PPCC Act in section 75 which will provide for nonbinding areas in Liberia’s mineral laws, according to them the intention of this corruption was that Sable Mining would be able to singularly get the Wologizi Mountain in Lofa County.
In their testimony, the two officials explained that action was taken in collaboration with those who were at the PPCC at the time, and also with the assistance of international experts who were clothed with the authority to supervise the process at the time.
Addressing journalists, Cllr. Sherman bragged of his 65th birth anniversary noting that this latest disclosure by officials designate of the Ministry of Miners & Energy has made his day, noting, “Despite of all of the persecutions by the media and detractors, it has clearly come to light of our innocence,” Cllr. Sherman told journalists during the news conference.
During Globe Afrique and GNN-Liberia investigation into the Global Witness allegation, it was disclosed that the change in the 2005 PPCC Act was not made for the purpose stated in The Deceivers and that no bribes were paid by Sable Mining directly or through Senator Varney Sherman to influence the change of the 2005 PPC Act as been insinuated in many quarters.
Our investigation also revealed that Global Witness did not conduct its own investigation thoroughly and completely as it should have been; it did not talk to those international agencies and consultants who assisted the Liberian Government in changing the law; it did not even talk to the Liberian participants involved in the process of the change of the law, such as the executive directors of the PPCC during the process of the change of the laws.
So with this latest revelation, Liberians will now get the regarding the actual facts surrounding the Global Witness’ published ‘The Deceivers’.
This latest revelation by officials of the Ministry of Mines and Energy has clearly debunked and put to rest media report that those accused by the Global Witness were enemy of the state, and therefore they should be brought to book legally.