Tuesday, January 12, 2010

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Ellen's Modus Operandi: 'Protecting Big Fishes in Govt', Genesis Tells Court
Source: http://www.frontpageafrica.com/newsmanager/anmviewer.asp?a=10492

No one has ever known the ‘modus operandi’ of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf political struggle for power over the years, but defendant Terry S. Genesis was able to unveil the incumbent president’s secret of governance last week, when defended himself in court against the charges of theft and fraud in the total sum of US$ 28, 320.00 and L$ 440, 00.00.

Defendant Genesis, a snatch member of the ruling Unity Party (UP), now on trial for his alleged involvement in power theft at the Ministry of Post & Telecommunications last Wednesday criticized that President Sirleaf administration’s modus operandi is intended to protect the big fishes, when it comes to allegations of corruption in her Government, but always eager to prosecute the small fishes.

The big fishes referred to by defendant Genesis are the ministers proper and the small fishes are the junior or deputy ministers in the Government.

Testifying in his own defense as defense’s first witness Genesis, a former Post & Telecommunications Minister for Administration, who was dismissed by President Sirleaf for allegedly supplying some business entities in Monrovia with electricity, told the court that he challenge the prosecution to produce any receipt to the effect bearing his signature that he received money for the sale of power supply.

“I denied and challenged Mr. Gataweh’s false claims against me and asked the investigators at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to have him (Gataweh), to provide evidence to his claims. When Mr. Gataweh was brought in to face me, Mr. Gataweh told the investigators that he gave me money, but made a mistake to take a receipt from me. At that point, that one of the investigators in person of one Weah, said that Mr. Gataweh should not make such statement that in the course of law, it will have no basis”, Witness Genesis said.

The witness, now a criminal defendant further told the court that after several months, when the NBI released its investigative report on the power theft at the Post & Telecommunications, he was contacted by a journalist from the Daily Observer newspaper, informing him that the Government has issued out an indictment against three persons from his ministry, including him.

“When I bought the newspaper, every thing that Minister Jeremiah Solunteh’s bogus Comprehensive Electricity Committee (CEC), wrote against me, was in the indictment. The first thing that came to my mind was that the investigators at the NBI were very lazy, because it was just a photo copy of Solunteh’s bogus committee report, and so, there and then, that the Government had nothing against me”, Genesis told the court.

Accused Genesis further disclosed that the reason of him being prosecuted by the Government for power theft was predicated upon his continued engagement of Minister Solunteh for allegedly embezzling US$ 75, 000 from the ministry’s coffer, when he took as minister.

“It is important that we acknowledge the fact that in March, April, 2008, Minister Solunteh traveled to the United States of America (USA), specifically, New York to remove the moratorium on money of the Intergovernmental Philatelic Corporation (IPC) that former Minister Doe left. During that particular ceremony in New York, Hon. Solunteh requested the IPC to make a financial disclosure of all monies left in the minisrty’s account with the IPC to be handed over to him, but the IPC management told him it was not possible, and he said that he has come in as minister proper”, he added.

Witness Genesis testified that the US$ 75,000 came in the care of Minister Solunteh,s name and it was deposited at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) in the ministry’s account.

He told the court that money came in three times installments, first check was, US$ 40, 000; followed by another check of US$ 15 000, which came in April; and the balance US$ 20, 000 arrived in Liberia in the same April, 2008.

The witness who has since crying for justice, further averred that during one of their Executive meetings, in the presence of Deputy Minister for Postal Operations at the ministry, Hon. Soko B. Sackor, he hit hard on Minister Solunteh to give account of the US$ 75, 000, but he said, Solunteh replied him that he (Solunteh) was not answerable to him (Genesis), except President Sirleaf.

He also told the court that Minister Solunteh confirmed receiving the US$ 75, 000, but informed participants at the Executive meeting that amount has been expended.

According to him, another called meeting in July, 2008, members of that meeting asked the minister to give them the breakdown of how he used the money, but Minister Solunteh could not actually tell them how the money was used.

The witness pointed out that because Minister Solunteh wanted him to leave the issue of the US$ 75, 000, later charged him for theft of property and recommended that he (Genesis) should restitute the money generated from the ‘illegal’ power sale.

Minister Sulunteh took over from Minister Jackson E. Doe as Minister of Post & Telecommunications in 2007.

The accused and three others were charged and indicted for power theft, allegedly using the Ministry of Post & Telecommunication’s 145 KVA generators for commercial purposes and proceeds generated at the time, were said to have been converted into their personal use, depriving the Liberian Government of needed funds.

The other accused are F. Mohammed Gataweh, Director of Maintenance, Post & Telecommunications, Podynon Gaye, Generator Operator, Post & Telecommunications and Salas K. Tweh, Comptroller, Post & Telecommunications.

However, the state prosecutors’ nolle prosequi three of the accused so as to obtain a successful prosecution against defendant Genesis, who state witnesses, testified that he benefited from the deal.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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