6 December 2018

Liberia: NHA Boss, Others Suspended

Days following their release from prison, President George Manneh Weah has, with immediate effect, suspended the Managing Director of the National Housing Authority (NHA), Duannah Siryon, Deputy Managing Director for Administration, Tugbeh C. Tugbeh and Deputy Managing Director for Technical Services, Isaac Roberts, respectively until otherwise ordered.

The three officials are being investigated in connection with their roles in an alleged act of fraud at the NHA.

Also, the President has mandated them to turn over all government properties and relevant documents in their possessions.

On Tuesday, December, 2018, Siryon and his Deputy Tugbeh, along with two others were released from prison following more than one week detention at the Monrovia Central Prison.

It can be recalled that the Supreme Court of Liberia through its Justice In-Chambers refused to grant the defendants lawyers' petition seeking for the writ of mandamus in connection with their prolonged detention.

The value of their criminal appearance bond remains unknown but Judge Kennedy Peabody confirmed their release as a result of a valid criminal appearance bond filed by the defense counsels.

The Chief Prosecutor for Montserrado County Cllr. Edwin Martin stated that the Court decision set the stage for an indictment of the defendants.

Siryon and Tugbeh, along with two others were dragged to the Monrovia City Court by the Liberian Government on allegation of Theft of Property, Economic Sabotage, Bribery, Criminal Conspiracy and Criminal Solicitation in the tone of US$92,000.00.

Documents revealed that during the period of September 2018, the defendants went to Royal Grand Hotel in Sinkor, Monrovia, connived and conspired with the intent to solicit and extort money from Mr. Emmanuel Tapsoba, former Coordinator for a Burkina Faso's Company called GELPAZ-IMMO, which has come into the country to construct over five thousands housing units along the Roberts International Airport high way.

The police charge-sheet said the defendants purposely induced and influenced the official of the company by reportedly receiving the total sum of US$92,000.00, under the pretext that the said amount serves as a requirement for doing business in Liberia.

"Having received the said amount, defendants out of deception criminally converted the same to their personal use and benefit with the intent to deprive the Government of the Republic of Liberia of its revenue and deceive potential foreign business partners wanting to do business in the Liberia," the police charge sheet said.

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