MONROVIA – In wake of reports that Special Presidential Projects Coordinator at the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs, Makenneh L. Keita demanded US$5 Million from two South African investors to do business in Liberia, Smart News Liberia has also reliably learned that two of President George Weah’s confidantes held a meeting with the two South Africans in the presence of Madam Keita.
According to our sources, Mike Anthony Brummer and Gerhard Jacob Dirksen of Imperial Investment Ltd of South Africa, a trip to Liberia was made possible by Dr. Lawrence J. Saydee of Cannon Group of Companies, a Liberian company after acquiring a letter of invitation from the offices of Madam Keita to have his guests visit Liberia for possible investment.
Sources stated that the two South Africans arrived in Liberia on August 9, 2021, and held a meeting with Ministers McGill, Tweah and Madam Keita in Monrovia.
According to our sources, shortly after the two top ministers left the meeting, Madam Keita who left behind, demanded an alleged bribe of US$5 Million to grant the investors full access to do business in the country.
Our sources revealed that the Special Presidential Projects Coordinators allegedly prevailed on the investors to deposit the amount of US$5 Million in an account at the Central Bank of Liberia.
Our sources further narrated that the two South Africans agreed to pay the money, but insisted that Madam Keita issues an official receipt or do a legal memorandum of understanding, a request she allegedly rejected.
Failure by the two investors to pay the money infuriated Madam Keita, who it is alleged phoned an official at the Liberia Immigration Service to have the passports of the two South Africans confiscated for entering Liberia without official visas.
Sources further revealed that Keita also allegedly ordered the Police to have Dr. Saydee and two others arrested for being fraudsters and impostors.
Dr. Saydee and two others were therefore arrested and detained at the Police headquarters; only released a day later, based on the intervention of their lawyers.
Minister Nathaniel F. McGill, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Officials at Liberia Immigration Service confirmed they were probing a case involving two people who entered the country without visas.
Liberian Police also confirmed the arrest of Dr. Saydee and two others but did not elaborate.
It is not clear whether the two top Liberian Government officials have knowledge of the bribe allegedly demanded by Madam Keita.
All attempts made by Smart News Liberia to talk to Ministers McGill, Tweah and Keita failed up to press time.
Ministers McGill and Tweah failed to neither answer our calls placed to them nor respond to our text messages.
For her part, Madam Keita agreed to commend on the allegation, but requested time and when she was called later for her side she aggressively told GNN she is not prepared to speak on the issue. Investigation continues.