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Saturday, July 13, 2024

LIBERIA: LACC DOWNPLAYS BILL TWEHWAY’S CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION

Date:

MONROVIA – What appears to be a lack of political will by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) to continue the investigation of the Managing Director of the National Port Authority Bill Twehway, over his alleged connection to the dubious transfer of US$300,000 from the account Port of Buchanan by the then Manager Charles Macarthur D. Gull and the awarding of a contract to a company which his brother Peter Twehway had 50 percent shares is being investigated at a very slow level. The delay by LACC is raising serious eyebrows among political pundits including ordinary Liberians who suggest that the LACC is deliberately delaying the investigation.

It has been nearly five months since the LACC quiet on Twehway’s corruption saga.

It can be recalled, Charles MacArthur D. Gull, the fugitive former Buchanan Port Manager who is at the center stage of the US$300,000 transfer in sterling revelations last year said that the amount that was stolen from the port’s account was not US$300,000 but rather US$1.5 Million. He accused the Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA), Mr. Bill Tweahway of being the main culprit.

Gull then posted on Facebook last year: “It is about time I speak and make clarity about the entire allegation. I had no option than accepting under duress, fear of death, being in imminent danger,” he said.

He added: “I have all the documents and communication in my possession. Locking my office not to get hold of any documents, was a failed attempt. Because every document I deem essential was kept on my iCloud. And it will be published to the press and the Liberian people. I won’t be the sacrificial lamb.”

However, again it was unearthed that Mr. Twehway through investigation awarded the loading contract at the port of Buchanan to his brother, Peter Twehway. The Creative Developers Inc. in which Mr. Twehway’s brother owns 50 percent shares. The Deputy Comptroller at the Port, Mr. Christian D. Brownell also owns 20 percent shares, Sidiki Fofana, 20 percent while the sister of the vice chair of the LACC, Cllr. Kanio Bai Gbala owns 10 percent shares.

Under Mr. Bill Twehway’s leadership, the company received contracts amounting to over US$500,000.

The document in the possession of Smart News Liberia shows that CDI which was incorporated on July 15, 2020, and signed an MOU with the NPA for the contract less than one month after its incorporation is largely owned by Mr. Peter Twehway, who is believed to be the brother of Mr. Bill Twehway.

Peter Twehway is also the Operations Manager for Global Tracking Management Service, a company managing the Container Tracking Numbers for the NPA. He is assigned at the Port of Buchanan.

Cllr. Kanio Bai-Gbala along with Mr. Bill Twehway, Mr. Brownell and Mr. Fofana, sources at the NPA revealed established the company and allegedly used funds from the NPA and purchased a loading machine (966 Loader) for the company and awarded the loading contract at the Port of Buchanan to themselves.

Cllr. Gbala has informed Liberians through the media that he is not a shareholder of the Creative Developers Inc. (CDI) but stated, “I bought shares in Creative Developers on behalf of my younger sister, Zarylee Gbala upon being invited by my friend Sidiki Fofana who established the company and is the CEO.”

“While I am absolutely convinced that I have committed no  wrong nor violated any conflict of interest provision of our laws, I believe it is necessary that I take this leave of absence in order to allow the independent and professional men of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) to undertake a speedy and impartial investigation into this matter without any public perception of bias or impartially.”

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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