House Members in a unanimous vote Tuesday implored President George Weah to fully execute recommendations arising from state inquiry into Global Witness’ accusation that a 2013 offshore oil concession reached with US supermajor ExxonMobil was fraught with irregular payments.
The President shared the report with legislators after being in receipt for more than a week. The prosecution of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s son, Robert Sirleaf, and other former and current public officials for abuse of public resources and economic sabotage is option amongst recommendations proffered by the Special Presidential Committee that investigated the matter.
While some representatives were opting for the legislature’s involvement in the implementation of the committee’s report, a majority decision stuck to the constitutional doctrine that the power to prosecute lies with the executive branch.
The state owned oil Company was the epicenter of large-scale underhand transactions that require independent forensic investigation the report said.
According to the report board members were obtaining illegal rewards and instituted a 13-month payment calendar. Based on the gravity of theft that occurred at NOCAL, the Special Presidential Committee has recommended that all who served on the company’s board should not serve on any public corporation and state owned enterprise’s board for life. They will also be required to restitute money disbursed from NOCAL’s coffers for illegal gains.
Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s son – Robert Sirleaf and other current and former officials received in payments more than US$300,000 after granting US oil firm ExxonMobil concession.
They have insisted they did nothing wrong and those payments they received were “bonuses” for a ‘very good deal’ negotiated and concluded with Exxon.
Following Exxon acquisition of offshore oil Block 13 and subsequent payment of US$50million, the Board of Directors of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) convened an emergency board meeting on Saturday, April 27, 2013 to discuss how they will collect some of the Oil money for personal benefit, NOCAL board resolution showed.
They claimed in a board resolution Johnson Sirleaf directed that 10 percent of the US$50million be given to the Hydrocarbon Technical Committee members, NOCAL officials and staff.
But the former President told investigators she did not authorize the sharing of oil revenue with select members of her kitchen cabinet as her son and top officials of the state owned National Oil Company had claimed, verified sources have said.
Individuals that the ban will affect include Robert Sirleaf, Amara Konneh, Patrick Sendolo, Christiana Tah, Randolph McClain, Fred Bass Golokeh and Joseph Howe.