MONROVIA – On Wednesday, two days shy of when dismissed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Henry B. Fahnbulleh intervened in a standoff at Liberia’s Permanent Mission at the UN, the Executive Mansion announced that he was fired by President George Weah, with the presidency citing administrative reason as the basis for the Liberian leader’s dismissal action.
But just what did Fahnbulleh say regarding the Monday, 6 November 2023 standoff between Madam Wynee Cummings Wilson, who is believed to be a staff at the Permanent Mission and some Liberian authorities at the Mission, who called in United States cops to prevent Madam Wilson entry into Liberia’s Permanent Mission at the UN?
Madam Wilson, after being prevented from having access to the office by New York police officers, who were instructed by Liberian government authorities at the Mission, who themselves, it’s alleged got their orders from Foreign Minister Maxwell Kemayah, who Madam Wilson accused three years ago for sexually harassing her, placed a video call to Fahbulleh then in his capacity as Deputy Foreign Minister with supervisory responsibility over Liberia’s foreign missions.
It was at that point, when some NYPD officers insisted that Madam Wilson left the premises of the Permanent Mission without accessing the office that, Fahnbulleh told the cops that doing so would have sent the wrong signal that it was a matter of reprisal against the lady, who had earlier filed a complaint for sexual harassment meted out against her allegedly by Foreign Minister Kemayah, when he previously served as Liberia’s Permanent Rep to the United Nations.
There is a [sexual harassment] complaint against Minister Kemayah that the U.S. State Department is aware of, Fahnbulleh told a New York police officer, with whom he was in a video conversation, while pleading that Madam Wilson be allowed entry into the office.
“This is a matter of reprisal against someone who has lodged a complaint of harassment, sexual intimidation, and exploitation. So the matter is registered. So this is not a new stuff,” said Fahnbulleh, who pointed out to the NYPD officer that what was obtaining warranted no police involvement at the time because according to him, it’s already being investigated.
He asserted that Liberian authorities at the Permanent Mission enforcing the prevention of Madam Wilson’s entry into the office were doing so at the behest of Foreign Minister Kemayah, who he referred to as “the alleged perpetrator” of sexual harassment.
“This matter is a matter of law and no one is above the law,” Fahnbulleh said, in apparent reference to Minister Kemayah availing himself to the legal process for the alleged sexual harassment case that has lingered for long to be resolved legally.
Following this incident, in a statement posted online, Fahbulleh, who stated that his dismissal did not come as a surprise to him, narrated that the day following his interaction with the U.S. cops, he started receiving many calls, some of which he said came from those he described as the Liberian government’s senior functionaries, who have close ties with the presidency.
He declined to reveal the names of those senior functionaries of the Government, but quoted them as warning him to retract his statement to the New York cops, as such statement, in their view, did not only validate Madam Wilson’s allegation against Minister Kemayah, but that it “embarrassed” the Weah-led government.
He further narrated that some of the calls he received from the unnamed senior functionaries of the Government went up to midnight on Tuesday, 7 November, but he emphasized that he was in no mood to oblige to such request because his assertion to the NYPD officers was a statement of fact.
“So, it did not come much as a surprise to me for President Weah to have wielded his constitutional powers to relieve me of my duties as the Principal Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs,” said Fahnbulleh, who has since extended his gratitude and appreciation to President Weah for the opportunity accorded him to have served in his administration from June 2019 to November 8, 2023, describing his time in government as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, as a wonderful experience.