Liberian religious Group In confusion Over US$250.000 Embezzlement
By Charles Crawford
Posted November 19, 2003
Dispute seems to be brewing within the hierarchy of a Liberian religious group, the Liberia For Jesus (LFJ) over circumstances leading to the controversial US$250,000 check donated to the organization for internally displaced Liberians by an American Evangelist Dr. K. A. Paul.
On July 26, 2003, Dr. K. A. Paul donated US$250,000 check to LJF for IDPs during a national prayer crusade held at the SKD Sports Stadium. This check was received by LFJ’s National Executive Director Rev. Jimmy Dugbeh.
Since then, there have been reports in the media alleging that the check has been cashed by LFJ Executives with the help of a local bank in Monrovia, a report that has since been denied by LFJ.
Expressing his disgust over criticism from the public regarding the check, LFJ National Chairman of the Advisory Board, the Rev. Dr. Walter D. Richardson hinted that controversy surrounding the US$250,000 check has brought the LFJ to public disrepute and further hanged dark cloud over the characters of LFJ members, making direct reference to letters read on Radio Veritas on last Thursday during the live phone in talk show, “Topical Issues”.
Rev. Richard said, as a senior member of LFJ, his character was too clean for anyone to destroy within a minute for something that he does not know about, and vowed to duly inform the general public about what has happened to the US$250,00 check intended for IDPs through a news conference planned for this week.
Speaking at the opening of a three-day pastors’ prayer retreat hosted by LFJ, under the theme: Watch and Pray” held at the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary Campus on the Robertsfield Highway. Rev. Richard said, “We are about to talk on the issues regarding the check because we continue to receive derogatory remarks form the public, our reputation is on the line.”
In contrast to Rev. Richard’s statement, LFJ National Coordinator Rev. Kortu K. Brown maintained his earlier statement that the check in question, has not been encashed, as the donor of the said check had placed a stop order on it due to procedural errors.
He, however, failed to elaborate on the procedural errors committed along the line.
Observers see this latest statement from LFJ’s Advisory Board Chairman as something wrong somewhere, and that those who have characters to protect are about to let the cat out of the bag.
Meanwhile, the suffering internally displaced persons (IDPs) are calling on the leadership of the religious group to make available the US$250,000 given to them by the American prelate for relief items for the IDPs.
The IDPs, who spoke told The INQUIRER, are appealing to the public and all people of goodwill as well as relief, humanitarian, NGOs, religious organizations not to deal of the Liberia for Jesus Crusade on their behalf of the IDPs.