Epitome of "Systemic" Corruption: Tyler's Removal, Ellen-Brumskine Conspiracy, etc.

By Abraham Z. Mustapha

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

August 15, 2016


President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

The current fragile political situation in Liberia continues to worsen due to the treacherous machinations of politicians with naive fantasies of determining who becomes president in 2017, without considering the dangerous consequences to our hard-earned peace for their self-conceited reasons. This determination to orchestrate and superimpose the outcome of the 2017 national elections is one of the devilish interests of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and those egregious political masterminds within the inner cycle of President Sirleaf.

This new interest to handpick the outcome of the 2017 national elections, coupled with the corruption saga that might have made the money culture attitude irreversible in Liberia, makes it difficult for President Sirleaf to meet the expectations, of not only Liberians, but also her darling friends of the International Community. Optimistic comments or praises made in international magazines such as Forbes, good rating from the World Bank and, or commendations from prominent citizens around the world cannot overshadow the daily stories of corruption, the ineptness of her advisers and the money culture attitude promoted by her privileged officials. 

Yes, the money culture has and continues to overshadow President Sirleaf’s era. And unfortunately, for President Sirleaf, Mr. John Morlu II, once again, prophesized that money grabbing will dominate the few remaining months of the President Administration what he called “Injury Time.” Even before the former Audit Commissioner completed one audit, he stated that President Sirleaf Administration was three-times corrupt than the previous Administration. Well, the auditor’s critics who claimed that he spoke prematurely found out later that Mr. John Morlu II might have seen the vision of money culture before he began his tasks. So, during the past 10 years (i.e., a period Mr. Morlu II referred to as “Regular Time”), public records indicate that  President Sirleaf’s advisers and friends carried out ominous activities. This is a partial list:

  1. The government paid excessive salaries to advisers, while it downsized poor workers;

  2. Liberia has spent $750 million since 2006 without any tangible results according to Mr. Gyude Moore, Minister of Public Works when testified at a July 2015 Legislative Hearing;

  3. Liberia allocated $80 million out side of the regular budget according Global Witness, based on reports of International Money Fund;

  4. Liberia can not account for the $30M donated for food sufficiency project in Lofa County, according to Atty. George Saah, Director of Media of the Vice President of Liberia;

  5. The National Oil Company, under the leadership of Robert Sirleaf, son of the President Sirleaf, spent $138 million during the 2012/2013 fiscal year without any evidence;
  6. Liberia did not account for the $13 million the European Union donated for healthcare services;

  7. President Sirleaf government signed 66 flawed agreements out of the 68 concessionary agreements; according Global Witness; etc.

  8.  The New Democrat newspaper reported, even though it was taken down that “President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s international lobbyist and advisor, Riva Levinson along with top officials of steel giant, ArcelorMittal have been overheard on tape discussing a negotiated US$3 million to bribe lawmakers. The bribe is intended to influence legislators and key government officials to renegotiate AcelorMittal’s mining contract, give it tax holiday and a compromised deal on its energy (biomass) project."

Now, few months left for President Sirleaf to leave the office, Commissioner Morlu II stated “it is Injury Time,” and there are few options left to siphon money away from public resources to personal accounts. And guess what, the national coffer is the only available option, but it is difficult to use government’s money for non-governmental purposes.  For example, you need a willing official at the Ministry of Finance responsible for disbursement, and you need lawmakers who are friendly or leaders at the House of Representatives who will implement your directives as well as prevent or squash any hostile legislation or developments.

And, in order to coordinate these activities, an errant person is needed to navigate the political terrain and negotiate the deal. This is the kind of operation that Mrs. Medina Wesseh is good at. Our unerring source alleged that the president’s avaricious daughter, Medina Wesseh, is dictating the agenda, to the noxious effect of the madam Sirleaf`s legacy. After her failed quest for the UP chairmanship, Medina who has won notoriety in Liberian politics and is dubbed as ‘The dark horse of deception’, is said to be the architect of the budget manipulation of 22 million USD, for which Dr. James Kollie (i.e., the willing official at Finance) was made to execute. Observers believe that Medina, Kollie, the former comptroller, etc. could not have done this without the knowledge of President Sirleaf.

The US $22 million, once disbursed, was to be used to support the campaign of Charles Walker Brumskine of the Liberty Party as the 2017 winner as well as to lobby and marginalize unfriendly lawmakers or preferably to replace those lawmakers who are running during the 2017 elections. But the boomerang of this devious scheme embarrassed the president to the point that she is now calling for the resignation of Dr. James Kollie and the withdrawal of the budget.  Her request for his resignation is a hoax; she has assured him of the Maritime job, once the dust is settled. 

While the public and opposition political parties are disdainfully mocking the regime for its failure to fight corruption and prosecute corrupt officials, some officials and regime collaborators are desperately seeking wealth to an excessive degree. The injury time is now a “gold rush.” It is open secret that the campaign to oust speaker Alex Tyler goes far beyond the Global Witness Report. While many Liberians support the fight against corruption, they are cautiously watching the unfolding events. Observers believe that the scheme behind speaker Tyler’s removal is to enthrone Liberty Party’s deputy speaker Hans Barchue, who will spearhead the negotiations with his colleagues in the parliament in collusion with the executive branch of government for the sale of oil blocks and for the passage of the budget despite the 22 million USD manipulations.

Why not use the money to help her Vice President? President Sirleaf and close friends do not trust many of the friends and political advisers of her Vice President Mr. Joseph Boakai. They trust the leader of the opposition Party headed by Mr. Charles Walker Brumskine.  Medina, whose legal partnership with Cllr. Fonati Koffa, has mesmerized the president in believing that such an agenda is workable to fight and oust the Unity Party of Joseph Boakai, because people who are unfriendly to President Sirleaf are the closed friends of her Vice President (Mr. Boakai).

But Madam Sirleaf’s gamble might not payoff if she continues to facilitate and support such devilish interest.  For example, while President Sirleaf and Mr. Brumskine might share the same kind of economic philosophy, Mr. Brumskine is politically complex and some times he acts independently, if his departure from the Charles Taylor government is a onetime decision to be used as a guide to judge his political judgment. But he has drastically dropped down the pecking order after his failed and hypocritical attempt at Charles Taylor, and the 2005 & 2011 elections. Medina’s choice for Brumskine is not based on his competence and character, but rather her conviction that Brumskine can aggressively propel the Liberian elite agenda, thus setting the stage for continuous pillaging of nation’s coffers, in partnership with his alleged Italian-Mafia cartel.  

President Sirleaf’s preference for Mr. Brumskine and not her Vice President might not have been stated during the audiotape involving the $3 million bribe from Mittal Steel to the Executive Branch. However, why would the Commander In Chief in charge of the war against corruption prefer to rely on an opposition leader to receive and, or manage bribery items on behalf of the Commander In Chief if the opposition leader is not the preferred candidate for the pending 2017 elections? It is common sense that an outgoing leader might disclose his/her dirty secrets to a friendly would-be successor and not to a would-be successor who is perceived to be unfriendly or might embark on prosecuting his/her would-be predecessor. 

Impeccable sources indicate that the portion of the recording that mentioned Koffa and Brumskine was strangely excluded in the New Democrat article. According to the sources, Koffa’s name was mentioned as a good conduit for the $3 million dollars, but he was allegedly trashed by the president’s lobbyist, Riva, as being criminal and corrupt.  Cllr Brumskine was also mentioned as a potential conduit for the money to bribe the lawmakers. The reasons for choosing Koffa or Brumskine were that both are equally corrupt and have close ties with the executive, thereby making either of them ideal for the scam.  Though the sources did not indicate as to whether they knew about their selection or not, other sources find it hard to believe that Brumskine and Koffa were not in the loop.

Stay tuned for more coverage on "Injury Time" gold rush in Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's Liberia.

Kandajabab Zoebohn Zoedjallah
No wonder why a thief Jonathan Fonati Kofa who was jailed in the US for stealing was the only joker Ellen Johnson Sirleaf dare think of heading that illegal bullcrap she calls task force. As for Brumskine, if this member of Charles Taylor's killing machine helped Lebanese traders murder poor innocent young Liberians working at supermarkets in the 70s, of course, all said here about him may be true as evidenced by the very Brumskine's Liberty Party Chairman Fonati Kofa's STRANGE AND SMELLY APPOINTMENT BY ELLEN!

Well, Pericles was right when he said "Just because you don't take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you"! And so we are not surprised to see Plato's warning been Liberia's fate that "the penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men (Bruskine, Kofa. Boakai) far far far worse than themselves"!

Kandajabab Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 02:33PM, 2016/08/15.
sylvester moses
Irony of ironies, that is.

While this story's purported intrigues to hang on to power were being hatched, (according to a Daily Observer editorial) EJS deployed ERU militarized police units to close down Ben Urey's radio station in spite of being the second African leader to sign the Table Mountain Declaration. And former UL Progressive Movement member Mrs. Medina Wisseh, the alleged coordinator of the supposed secret scheme, didn't only get tarred by conflict of interests' accusations at the Ministry of Agriculture, but is in prime time politics as a result of a pipeline to her benefactor, the Iron Lady.

Anyway, despite the inherent hypocrisy of some ironies, they seem to seldom surprise, or shock. For example, Shakespeare used irony to telling effect in Act 1, Scene 4 of the play "Macbeth" when King Duncan says he trusts Macbeth. The audience, however, knows that despite the expressed confidence in the below quote, Macbeth is going to seize the throne after murdering the trusting Duncan:

"There's no art
To find the mind's construction
in the face:
He was a gentleman on whom I
An absolute trust".

The allusion seems to support the theory that politics is about behavior. And, most likely, our "imperial presidency" in the hands of a succession of flawed characters drove the national moral blindness, and blighted backwardness of resource - rich Liberia. As Counselor Tiawon Gongloe noted in his July 3, 2016 speech entitled "Keeping the Promise of Maintaining Peace in Liberia", from the Edward James Royce's presidency in 1871 to that of Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, promises were blatantly betrayed.

Therefore, whether wholly or partially factual, the take away from Mr. Abraham Z. Mustapha's claims is that, unmistakably, the majority downtrodden have had enough of EJS's style of unresponsive unaccountable rule, and to force her dictates on them could stoke chaos. We concur. Mind you, stability is the outcome of good governance, not endless rhetoric, photo - opportunities with fawning foreign officials, or threats of state violence.

Thus to bury our heads in the sand amid potential indicators of instability would be seditious, and unpatriotic.
sylvester moses at 10:43AM, 2016/08/16.
sylvester moses
Reference Tyler's removal, Under chapter V article 49 of the 1986 constitution, "the Speaker ... may be removed from office for cause by resolution of a two-thirds majority of the members of the House". It is wrong, therefore, to accuse him of refusing to recuse himself, a wish of the "vacate chair" crowd. The ball is in the court of his colleagues whose turn to face executive wrath would come one day should they set this precedent of punitive presidential prosecution

Lest some forget, the speaker is charged for corruption by the head of another branch of government, a case which is still pending in court. And to home in on her power - hugging habit, we all saw how she maneuvered Dr. Koroma into delaying the confirmation of Senator Varney Sherman's election merely to prevent her own party chairman from running for the vacant Senate President Pro Temp position.

And, reportedly, she had even used PRC decree 88 (a) to rationalize government's plan to grab a property of the True Whig Party. Moreover, how hypocritical to talk of the speaker's corruption after the president had previously authorized former NOCAL executive Counselor Urey to bribe him, and other legislators; an act (in the midst of pervasive poverty) that was repeated with USD $1.5 Million for the passage of the Oil law.

Needless to say, one can't talk about the USD $308 million (US govt. FARA report) the regime paid between 2007 and 2013 to American lobbyists from the Maritime funds, though JFK and public school education were in a "mess".

Some can pretend till hell freezes over, but most likely billions of USD dollars had been misused that could have built more new roads, ensured food security, and raise thousands of the marginalized from poverty to tax - payers. So it isn't about Tyler's ethics in a dastardly unethical political space. Instead, it should be attributed to a despotic president who betrayed basic promises to the people in spite of available funds, enormous powers, and yet wants more.

The question is, if the people can't restrain the authoritarian overreach of a supposedly "champion of free speech and democracy"; how would her successor be prevented from becoming a tyrant? Make no mistakes, unless citizens clamor ceaselessly to reduce that excess power, Liberia is doomed to trials, tribulations and strifes. Because the next "elected deity" would also want to jail anyone he or she dislikes, and hold on to the keys for all safes containing the nation's revenues, diamonds, gold,...

sylvester moses at 11:38AM, 2016/08/17.
Kou Gontee
Her successor may probably be prevented from being a tyrant by the so called progressives who, by then, may be set free of THE SPELL she seems to have placed them under!
Kou Gontee at 05:43PM, 2016/08/19.

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