The Liberian Senate is investigating the payment of US$1.4million social security fund to a company with link to the leader and deputy leader of the opposition Liberty Party.
Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine and his running mate Harrison Karnwea are owners of the Nimba Rubber Incorporated or the Cocopa Rubber Plantation Company. In July 2016, the National Investment Commission signed a concession agreement with the company to operate the plantation, which is valued at US$20million.
Verified sources and document this paper has seen confirmed the US$1.4million payment was made in October 2016, three months after the deal was concluded. Karnwea was Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority want the money was paid to his company while Brtumskine was serving as lead lawyer.
The House of Representatives criticized the agreement reached with the Nimba Rubber Incorporated claiming it was consummated in breach of the country’s concession law and urged the President not to sign the 30-year deal.
Eight months after, the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation’s (NASCORP) US$1.4 million Cocopa Rubber Plantation payment has become a questionable transaction, shading light into how state resources are being disbursed for the benefit of favored regime figures
“We want the Senate to invite the welfare corporation to explain why such money is being invested into a private rubber corporation,” Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson whose communication set the basis for the investigation said.
“We believe that if nothing is done, people may develop the idea to siphon public funds. Monies within the custody of the welfare corporation are collected from workers across the country with the intent of providing retirement and other social security reimbursements to beneficiaries.”
Senator Milton Teahjay of Sinoe County said “giving government workers’ money to a private firm for investment or for whatever reason that we don’t know is another thing; but to take money of that magnitude and give it to a private concession company from depositors’ funds raises lots of eyebrows, especially when we have elections around the corner.”
The senate committees on Judiciary and social security have been ordered to probe the matter and present findings and recommendation to plenary session in two weeks.