NEC Chairman Falls into LACC Dragnet, Recommends Her Dismissal for US$182k Thermometer Scandal


Monrovia – LACC Chairman Cllr. Edward Martin has slapped criminal charges on the chairperson of NEC and the head of procurement, following an investigation of alleged corruption at the Commission.

The entire leadership of NEC was subjected to a criminal investigation by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission surrounding a US$180,000 pieces of thermometers that were purchased by the institution for the just ended By-Elections in four Counties.

Cllr. Martin said, the decision taken by the LACC to indict NEC Boss followed a reported confession from her, that she awarded the contract to her brother David Brown, Vice President for Operation of the Tuma Enterprise Incorporated during the investigation without disclosing her interest.

“DURING the investigations, Madame Dividatta Browne Lansana admitted and confirmed to the investigation that Mtotaling Brown, Vice President for Operations of TUMA Enterprises is her brother from the same father, while Arnold Badio, owner and incorporator of Tuma Enterprise Inc. is a brother to David Browne from the same Mother,” Cllr. Martins disclosed.

The head of Liberia Anti- Corruption Commission said, the National Elections Commission also awarded a certificate of Completion to Tuma Enterprises on October 24, 2021, and paid a full amount of US$182,320.00, while the stipulated date for the contract to end was November 20, 2021.

LACC believed that there was a conflict of interest and untold explaination while such huge amount was paid for few pieces of the thermometer.

Based on the Anti-Corruption Commission investigation and findings, it has recommended the dismissal of the National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairperson, Madam Davidetta Browne-Lansana and the Head of Procurement for alleged corruption.

The Anti-Graft Chief maintained that the NEC boss and the head of Procurement must be discharged of their duties, claiming that their action violates Chapter 1, Section 1 &3 of the National Code of Conduct for all public officials which amount to a conflict of interest.

The thermometers were used to detect temperature of voters during the just ended November 16 by-elections in Bomi, Nimba, Bong and Grand Gedeh Counties.

NEC Chairman

It was rented from Tuma Enterprise to perform non-contact automatic body temperature detection, brush human face, and perform high-precision infrared human temperature acquisition, and high effect.

The NEC reportedly rented each of the equipment for US$9,166 though a single piece cost not more than US$1,500.

The NEC was accused of secretly outsourcing the contract to Tuma Enterprise, a company with an alleged “link to Floyd Sayor,” a Commissioner at NEC, without a bidding process.

A proforma invoice, dated September 9, 2021, shows a breakdown of costs for all the equipment and accompanying services for setup and installation, totaling 182,320 for 20 units of the equipment.

The LACC sprank into action to investigate, following speculations that NEC Commissioners spent 180-Thousand United States Dollars to rent several pieces of thermometer for the conduct of the just-ended By-Elections in four Counties.

The commission’s recommendation was contained in its final investigative reports on the allegation of conflict of interest and financial improprieties into the procurement of thermometers by the commission.

The LACC in its November 2021 investigation, reported that elections authorities were conflicted in the award of the contract and did not follow procurement regulations and there was no value for money.
“These allegations found the bases for the commencement of investigations into the matter,” Cllr. Martins said.

The thermometers were used to detect temperature of voters during the just ended November 16 by-elections in Bomi, Nimba, Bong and Grand Gedeh Counties.

Part II, Section2.2 of the Act establishing the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission describes insider trading as an act of corruption and also in violation of section 15.3 (predicate offenses for money laundering under section 15.2 of the Money laundering Act of 2012 which provides(t) Insider Trading and Market Manipulations.
Subsequently, the indictment will be drawn for court’s prosecution, the LACC maintained.

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