Outgoing President of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, Charles Ananaba
Charles Ananaba asks SalaMartu Duncan to submit academic credentials or...
With all the rigmarole over the multiple postponement of the election for the next leadership of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC), the business organization now finds itself embroiled in further strife.
In this latest development, the outgoing president, Mr. Charles L. Ananaba has accused the Secretary General, Ms. SalaMartu Duncan, of theft of property, forgery and fraud.
According to Mr. Ananaba, Ms. Duncan entered his office on July 31, 2017 and stole several documents from her personnel file including her Curriculum Vitae (CV) and several documents relating to corrupt practices involving her and some past officials of the LCC.
But Ms. Duncan, in an email sent to the Daily Observer earlier this week, denied allegations that she "stole" anything from his office or lied to Mr. Ananaba.
Salamartu Stephanie Duncan, Secretary General, Liberia Chamber of Commerce
"After I provided proof of my credentials to the Chamber, he lied and said he contacted the school knowing very well there's no school in America that will give any verbal verification regarding my personal records without my authorization.
"I have come too far to now be trying to fight for my professional reputation. He knows very well that by simply putting out these accusations without any proof will cast doubt in people's minds about me," she said.
Ananaba further claimed that Ms. Duncan lied in her CV that she graduated from Ashford University in Iowa, United States, and forwarded copy of the said 'forged' Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology claiming to have been issued same by the university.
Despite numerous appeals, Ananaba alleged Ms. Duncan over the past 12 months has refused to furnish the Chamber with a certified copy of her diploma. Ananaba also claimed that Ms. Duncan told him that she was hired by the Executive Council of the Chamber and not him, Ananaba.
Ms. Duncan said these are not allegations from the LCC but rather from Mr. Ananaba alone, based on his personal feelings and his desire to fire her.
She said, "This is personal and has nothing to do with the LCC. His goal is to put out negative information about me with the hope of embarrassing me. Has he shown any proof of any of the accusations?" she asked.
"I have stayed away from the media at the advice of the Executive Council of LCC because this is the unnecessary attention the Chamber doesn't need".
"As I indicated to Mr. Ananaba, if he is claiming this, he should claim it alone and I will sue him for defamation of character. I would advise if he is making any accusations against me, he should do so without indicating that it's the Chamber," she said.
Mr. Ananaba stated that it was during his leadership as chairman of the Executive Council when Duncan was appointed as LCC secretary general.
Ms. Duncan said that as a young woman who is building a solid reputation both professionally and personally, not only is Ananaba being unprofessional by accusing her of things that are not true, but also these conversations have the potential of damaging her reputation.
"The abuse of power seems to come with no remorse despite my constant professionalism and my request for him to stay on the Chamber's agenda especially when he has absolutely no facts to back up his claims," Ms. Duncan added.
Ananaba also alleged that after Ms. Duncan submitted her documents, the Council later communicated with the university to authenticate the validity of her credentials.
"We obtained a Verbal Educational Verification (VEV) from the Ashford University where Ms. Duncan allegedly graduated, and they provided some very important information with instructions," Ananaba alleged.
According to Ananaba, the university allegedly told them that Duncan did not graduate from the school or obtain the degree as she claimed.
Instead, Ananaba claimed that Duncan gained enrollment at the University from April to July 2010 and August 2010 up to including February 2012.
Ananaba also claimed that the University through a communication said that there is no record to establish that Ms. Duncan is currently a student there.
However, Ananaba said, Ms. Duncan has refused to submit the signed Release Forms and continues to keep properties of the Chamber in her possession. In a letter to Duncan, dated June 11, 2018, Ananaba gave the Secretary General an ultimatum to sign said release forms by Friday, June 15 or resign. Ananaba has also filed an official letter of complaint to Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue concerning Duncan's alleged conduct.
Meanwhile, Duncan continues to carry on her functions as Secretary General.
David A. Yates