As the Press Union of Liberia turns 59 on Saturday, a journalists’ leadership group says holding accountable those responsible for alleged corruption at the Press Union of Liberia must be the foremost priority for all journalists and media stakeholders.
The National Campaign Management Team of Julius Kanubah–Beatrice Sieh for leadership of the PUL says it believes prioritizing accountability is paramount to ensuring a credible PUL.
According to a press release, Team Kanubah’s push for accountability is against the alleged gross mismanagement of the PUL during the administration of Charles Coffey, Daniel Nyakonah, Musa Kenneh, and Akoi Baysah.
The Coffey–Nyakonah, administration according to the release, is notorious for introducing and perpetrating a system of fraud in relation to the PUL Full Membership Registrar as part of a vote rigging scheme.
Moreover, the release says that the administration of Coffey–Nyakonah–Kenneh–Baysah is yet to account for more than 40–thousand United States dollars in donations to the PUL.
The release states that this includes but not limited to: US$10,000 by Daniel Cassell during the PUL 56th Anniversary celebrations in Tubmanburg, Bomi County in September 2020; US$10,000 by the Government of Liberia during the PUL 57th Anniversary celebrations Voinjama, Lofa County in September 2021; and, US$10,000 by the Government of Liberia during the World Press Freedom Day celebrations in River Gee County in May 2022.
The release notes that aside from the above unaccountable money, Coffey, Nyakonah, Kenneh, and Baysah have allgedly failed to present financial statement and comprehensive narrative report of programs and projects implemented during the last three years of their former administration.
This is in complete violation of Article 10 Section 6 of the PUL Constitution, the release further states.
the release: ‘As a result of these violations, especially the failure to produce a credible PUL Full Membership Register, a fraud case was filed against the former administration of Coffey, Nyakonah, Kenneh, and Baysah along with their collaborators.”
Team Kanubah meanwhile commends all international and local partners who have taken serious the calls not to do business with Charles Coffey, Daniel Nyakonah, Musa Kenneh, and Akoi Baysah in the name of the PUL.
The four men tenure expired since November 2022, and they are restrained by a Court’s Stay Order not to undertake any activity in the name of the PUL until a legal determination into the case of constitutional violations underpinned by fraud.
“Although Daniel Nyakonah and Akoi Baysah have continued to follow the path of Coffey and Kenneh to disrespect the Court’s Stay Order by impersonating as leaders of the PUL, Team Kanubah says this will not go with impunity.
“Their defiance to the Court’s Stay Order is yet another act of fraud and a direct affront to the judicial circuit court and by extension the Supreme Court, which took seize of the PUL case.”
The Kanubah Campaign Team also underscores that the PUL former administration lacks the moral authority to speak on electoral integrity amid ongoing debates on the failure of the National Elections Commission to publish the Final Registration Roll of eligible Liberian voters.
Team Kanubah believes the press release issued in the name of the PUL on 25 September 2023 by Akoi Baysah under the guidance of Daniel Nyakonah is deceptive and pretentious.
Baysah and Nyakonah, the release say are part of the Coffey former administration that failed to produce a credible Membership Register in line with Article 10 Section 7 of the PUL constitution.
“For Nyakonah and Baysah to now have the audacity to present themselves as prophets of integrity in elections shows how shameless they are, Team Kanubah declares.
“Nyakonah and Baysah must not be taken seriously but for what they are: as morally corrupt and adverse to the principles of honesty in elections and leadership”, says Team Kanubah.
“It is advisable that Nyakonah and Baysah focus first on removing the poop of fraud from their eyes before pointing to the controversies involving the NEC regarding the disaggregated Final Registration Roll.”
Finally, Team Kanubah congratulates Liberian journalists, media practitioners and institutions on the 59th Anniversary of the PUL. We are optimistic of a brighter future for our Union once the fraudsters are expunged and held accountable for the over half a decade of mismanagement, the release signed by Raymond Zarbay, Chair of the National Campaign Management Team of Julius Kanubah for PUL president, concluded.