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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

ALLEGED CRIMINAL SYNDICATE UNCOVERED AT LIBERIA’S NATIONAL ELECTION COMMISSION

Date:

MONROVIA, LIBERIA – A high-level criminal syndicate has reportedly been uncovered at the National Election Commission (NEC) of Liberia, with allegations pointing to Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah as the mastermind behind the operation.

According to Charles Yates, a Liberian journalist and publisher of Integrity Watch, documents in his possesion reveal a significant payment of over US $160,000 to a local vendor for services that were never rendered. Yates described the financial malpractices as a criminal syndicate aimed at defrauding the government of Liberia through fraudulent transactions.

Yates further disclosed that one of the Commissioners at NEC initially resisted the suspicious payment. “For the record, the Co-Chairperson had issues with raising the payment; her concern was that no materials were delivered, and there was no evidence of shipping documents to prove otherwise,” Yates stated. “However, the Chair insisted that the money was needed to ‘take care of some legislators.'”

Further investigations by Integrity Watch unearthed that the National Election Commission allegedly collaborated with a local vendor to deceive the government. The NEC authority allegedly claimed that the vendor delivered election materials, when in reality, there was no importation of electoral materials. Instead, unused NEC materials from past elections were repackaged and used to fabricate a payment voucher and delivery note to facilitate their fraudulent operation.

“When contacted for comment, the chairperson of NEC, Davidetta Browne Lansanah, declined to respond to the allegations,” Yates reported. Meanwhile, Co-chairperson Teepla Reeves denied any knowledge of the transaction, stating that she was unaware of what Yates was referring to.

Yates said sources close to NEC have reportedly indicated that there are no shipment records for the vendor’s purported delivery, and all documents to facilitate the payment were allegedly fabricated by the chairperson and the vendor.

This is not the first time that Davidetta Browne Lansanah has faced accusations of corruption. Previous allegations include awarding a dubious contract to her brother for providing election equipment. As investigations continue, the integrity and transparency of Liberia’s electoral process remain under scrutiny.

Socrates Smythe Saywon
Socrates Smythe Saywon is a Liberian journalist. You can contact me at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or reach out via email at saywonsocrates@smartnewsliberia.com or saywonsocrates3@gmail.com.

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