25 February 2013

Liberia: U.S.$2 Million Lawsuits Awaits 'People' Newspaper

The Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) Board Chairman has threatened two separate Lawsuits against the People Newspaper, for lying on the corporation and for defamation of character in its Friday news story captioned: "Corporate thievery: LWSC Board Chair linked".

The threats of lawsuits was made during a press conference that was addressed by the LWSC Board Chairman Dr. Kimmie Weeks at the corporation's head office on Front Street last Friday February 22, 2013.

According to Mr. Kimmie Weeks, the People Newspaper's publication of volume 1 #20, was not only intended to tarnish and to distort the image of the corporation and its Board Chairman, adding that the publication against the Board chair tends to scare other young people from meaningfully contributing to the growth and development of this nation.

He noted that such publications have the tendency into public disrepute the hard earned character of public officials. He called on writers to balance their stories as failing to do so is against the ethics of the journalism profession.

Mr. Weeks added that he feels that publishing a story that has no bases has brought disgrace to the People Newspaper, which is why the management of LWSC has began to consult its lawyers to file in a lawsuit.

He said two separate lawsuits will be forwarded against the People Newspaper in the amount of a million dollar each; one of which is lying on the LWSC and the other for defaming the character of the LWSC Board chairman.

The LWSC Board Chair also stressing that the People Newspaper accused him of breaching the usual Public Procurement Consecution Commission (PPCC) regulation by purchasing goods and services, and by engaging in dubious transactions surrounding the purchasing of electric pumps for the corporation.

Mr. Weeks said the article goes on to say that he, without any disregard for the established procurement process went ahead to place the order for the pumps.

He quoted the People Newspaper as saying that the procurement exercise for the importation of the pumps to the country was also done outside of the competitive bidding process, wherein purchasing will be determined on lower prices .

The article added that the deal was said to have been sealed between the board chair, Mr. Weeks and his importer. It continued that the chairperson unilaterally acted.

Mr. Weeks who displayed two separate communications on the purchase of the 2 electric pumps allegations, with one on the PPCC and the other on the LWSC Board Resolution on the purchase.

He expressed complete disappointment at the nature of the reporting in the People Newspaper, asserting that :" There is no basis of truth in any of the allegations made."

"The People Newspaper said that we did not go through the PPCC process; but now you have in you hand a letter from the PPCC which is the only entity charged for making sure that the PPCC laws are followed," he said.

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