Global Witness is at it again – Selective Justice!
This release addresses the March 2018 report by Global Witness titled Exxon Liberia – particularly, the section “Monrovia 2013: Awash in Cash.”
Washington – In an attempt to prejudice the minds of many naive and trusting readers in Liberia and around the world, Global Witness begins its sensational news article/report with the phrase “Some Unusual, Large Payments.” The phrase in of itself is vague and open to interpretations. Hence, some will interpret this phrase to mean there is something illegal about receiving bonuses.
The report also plants a bias and prejudice in the minds of readers that there is something illegal about a bonus payment of 0.04 percent on one of the largest oil deals in Liberia’s history. Except, Global Witness purposefully ignored Section 10.10 of Liberia’s Petroleum Law which makes such bonuses to NOCAL legal. Moreover, one could equally assert that the $115k salaries and 6% bonuses paid to directors at a nonprofit organization like Global Witness are “unusual, large payments” for a nonprofit organization.
According to an article posted by Forbes magazine, some energy companies, including Hilcorp Energy paid its employees bonuses of $100,000.
The real story here isn’t the legal and rightful bonus paid to NOCAL or members of the Board – the real story is, whatever happened to the millions of dollars Robert Sirleaf and NOCAL received from these lucrative concession agreements?
Furthermore, isn’t it highly suspicious that once President Weah began calling for a review of all concession agreements then suddenly former President Sirleaf’s friends at Global Witness immediately manufactured another report to tarnish the good name of yet another prominent Liberian? Also, to ensure that the report gains traction, Global Witness decided to add Madam Sirleaf’s harshest critics – former Attorney General Christiana Tah, to the list while ignoring dozens of Ellen’s closest friends and collaborators including Nigerian Tony Praise Lawal who took more than $18 million United States dollars in Liberian government’s contracts for construction work undone.
“JUST BECAUSE SOMETHING IS UNUSUAL DOESN’T MAKE IT ILLEGAL”
Former Attorney General, Counselor Tah (2009-2014) is highly respected amongst Liberians. She often served as a member of the negotiating team for concession agreements between the Government of Liberia and foreign investors. She holds a graduate degree in law from the prestigious Yale University School of Law, and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Kent State University.
She served as a Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice for more than 15 years in the United States while practicing law in the State of Maryland. She is the only person who took a stand against the corrupt regime of the former president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and resigned when the former president obstructed her investigations into the National Security Agency’s alleged corruption and related scandals.
While Globe Afrique will agree that Liberia is rife with corruption and mismanagement, especially during the administration of former president Sirleaf, Liberians will also agree that not everyone in Liberia is corrupt. Former Attorney General/Minister of Justice of the Republic of Liberia, Christiana Tah is someone Liberians should be proud of and should be able to stand up and say – No! The former justice minister isn’t corrupt. Therefore, just because something looks unusual doesn’t make it illegal. Liberians should focus their attention on what the Sirleaf’s did with the money that went into NOCAL’s bank account.
While it is important to acknowledge that Global Witness, at times, does an excellent job in advocating for transparency and accountability in emerging markets, it is also very important that Global Witness stops making misleading, unfounded and baseless accusations against the image and reputations of trusted, decent and responsible personalities who have worked hard to shape their reputation admirably as that of Counselor Christiana Tah. No one in and outside of Liberia can say or argue that Counselor Tah has ever received, solicited or forced any bribe or gifts from them in any form, manner, and shape. By blending apples and oranges and including Counselor Tah’s name in such a highly sensational draft (report) for international consumption and fundraising purposes, Global Witness leaves one to wonder what the true intent of Global Witness is with regards to its recent Liberia’s investigation.
The recent investigation by Global Witness has sparked the interest of Globe Afrique Media and Communications. Over the next few weeks, Globe Afrique will conduct a private investigation and detailed research into this matter with particular attention on NOCAL’s bank account and will issue a detailed report.