Selling Liberian Embassy Properties: Part of the Ongoing Unbridled Corruption


By Sayku Kromah

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

October 28, 2004


Mr. Editor:

Liberian Ambassador’s Residence at 52 Whatley Avenue
Liberian Ambassador’s residence sold in 1997
The selling of the Liberian Embassy Properties in London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as well as the premises in Lagos, Nigeria is part of the ongoing unbridled corruption that is so pervasive in the Liberian Foreign Service. This level of corruption is a result of the lack of foresight, coupled with any planned coherent foreign policy, except the old policy of "deal making for personal aggrandizement" perpetuated by the likes of Fred Bass and Harry Tarr Freeman.

You will recall that early this year, I wrote an open letter to Chariman Gyude Bryant about the ill-advised appointment of Mr. Fred Bass as Advisor on International Affairs. I also added that except he wanted to send a message to "International Criminals" that it was business as usual, he should reconsider the appointment.

If the Honorable Chairman Bryant had paid heed to the German Government's complain about the indiscriminate selling of Liberian Official titles and ranking passports to criminals in Europe, he would have investigated. If he had investigated, he would have known that Mr. Harry Tarr Freeman is one of the members of the Fred Bass criminals, unfortunately associated with the Foreign Service of Liberia whose only job is to do anything for self, at the expense of disgracing the Government of Liberia. Mr. Tarr was instrumental in acquiring a Liberian Diplomatic passport to a German criminal to facilitate his escape to Asia. He later wrote a letter to the criminal, which was intercepted.

It is my understanding that these are the people that Mr. Yaya uses in the conduct of his version to "implement his of get rich at all cost policy."

Has it ever occurred to the Chairman or his Foreign Minister, Nimley Yaya why the selling and constructing of Embassies have suddenly become a priority of the Government? Who approved the sale? What did the Attorney General of Liberia say about the sale? Where are the funds deposited? Who controls the disbursement of the Funds? Was the sale advertised through the public media as prescribed by law? Or did the Ministry of Public Works inspect the building and make an assessment of the cost of renovation? Did the Ministry of Pubic Works inspect the building that they are purchasing?

These are simple procedures that must the be followed in the acquisition and disposal of Government Buildings, including those owned in foreign lands.

We make a total fool of ourselves, in engaging in these silly acts of corruption in foreign countries, and yet expect sympathy from the International Community in terms of financial and material assistance to feed our people.

As a citizen of the Republic of Liberia and as a Senior Foreign Service Officer of the Service, I would urge the Government to institute a full investigation through the Minister of Justice, and the National Security Agency (any citizen has a right to make such a request if the presumption of fraud is great). The Minister of Justice can secure assistance from his counterparts in these countries. Quite frankly, I can personally assure anybody that we will have this matter investigated if not under this corrupt regime but at the appropriate time. And those responsible will have to pay through due process. And if the Minister of Justice should fail to investigate this matter, he is also guilty of gross dereliction of official duty.

The Minister of Justice/Attorney General of Liberia should immediately dispatch the Minister of Public Works to travel to England, and Nigeria with a view to assess the properties to determine the market value, and advise the Government on what to do with them (if not already sold). If this is not done, it would be clear to all that Chairman Bryant is in collusion with those that perpetuated this fraud.

If so, Mr. Bryant has certainly overstepped the bounds of propriety by allowing the sale of these valuable government properties without following the proper procedures. The excuse given by Mr. Yaya is not justifiable. If the condition of the building was that bad, he could have informed Her Majesty's Government that NTG has a specific mandate, which did not include renovation of embassies. But same would be addressed at the appropriate juncture. But Mr. Yaya should know that the British Government knows the real reason for the sale, and so does the Nigerian Government.

Finally, Mr. Bryant promised transparent government, but it seems that he is running one of the most corrupt financially secret governments in the World.

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