Journalist Drags Celia Cuffy-Brown To Court, As NPA Comptroller General Dismissed
The Deputy Managing Director for Administration of the National Port Authority, Celia Cuffy Brown has been dragged to court for her alleged refusal to settle debt of US$600.00 (Six Hundred United States Dollars) reportedly owed a local newspaper house for publication made on her behalf.
According to a local Magisterial Court in Monrovia, the Publisher of a weekly, the Corruption Watch, Roland Wowee, the NPA official has deliberately refused to settle her obligation with the paper, and therefore crave the assistance of the court to impress on her for the payment. Meanwhile, the hearing of the case is scheduled to be heard at a later date.
In a related development, the management of the National Port Authority (NPA) has with immediate effect sacked its Comptroller General Franklin Sackor, because of what it described “as gross incompetence and ineptitude on the job.”
A press statement in the possession of the Daily Observer said the dismissal of Mr. Sackor from his position by the NPA management was as a result of his failure to provide bank statements from the months of February to May 2018 as well as his failure to justify the reason a private entity was placed on the payroll of the NPA.
The NPA clarified as untrue reports that the office of the Finance Department had been closed and barricaded.
An NPA statement said the Department of Finance remains functional to the business community and the shipping world; and at no time was it shut down and barricaded as it is being reported by some media outlets.
While further details pertaining to the dismissal of Sarkoh were not disclosed in the press statement, it said Sarkoh is entitled to his salary and benefits that the NPA management owes him.
“Mr. Sackor has been asked to contact the Human Resource Department to collect his salary and benefits including – gasoline and scratch cards for the last month he served in the post,” the press release confirmed.
The statement, signed by NPA’s director of public relations, Malcolm Scott, said Mr. Sackor will also be paid his one month salary in lieu of notice in keeping with the labor laws of Liberia and, therefore, he is expected to turn over the keys of the office of the comptroller, his assigned vehicle and all other properties belonging to the entity.
Sackor is probably the first person in Weah’s government to be hit by outright dismissal, particularly on grounds of incompetence.
It can be recalled that deputy Commerce Minister Jamesetta Wolokolie was suspended for time indefinite on the orders of President George Weah for gross insubordination allegedly to Commerce Minister Wilson Tarpeh; but she was, however, recalled a little over one week ago.
Prior to his dismissal, it was recently reported that Bill Twehway, the newly appointed NPA managing director, was ready to dismiss Sarkor for what authorities said is the lack of compliance and disregard for orders from the new port MD.
Until yesterday, October 15, when this newspaper gathered that Sackor had been dismissed, sources had earlier confirmed his dismissal but said he was still taking orders from former NPA Acting Managing Director Cecilia Cuffy-Brown and disregarding instructions from Mr. Twehway.
Mr. Sarkoh, it can be recalled, was brought on board by Madam Brown when she took over the entity in March amid a series of public criticisms.
Madam Cuffy came under fire for hiring four brothers of President George Weah, a decision she has repeatedly defended, insisting that she had the backing of the President to hire and fire.
Shortly after taking over in March, Madam Brown immediately brought on board Mr. Sarkor as the new comptroller, along with an Internal Audit Department manager, although the department had a manager and other qualified auditors.
Sarkor had previously worked at the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company in the Human Resources Department and, before that, he served at the St. Matthews School in Logan Town as business manager.