NEC Chairperson Davidetta Brown Lassannah Criminal Case will Take Affect Monday, February 28, 2022

The head of the National Election Commission (NEC)of Liberia was indicted late 2021 over crimes of predicate offense for money laundering (insider trading and market manipulation) and violation of the code of conduct (conflict of interest, relative use of office for private interest and disclosure of interest.”

The case was assigned for pre-trial conference on Monday and all parties have been notify to be present.“You are hereby commanded to notify the parties together with their counsels in the above entitle cause of action to appear before the first judicial circuit court house, Temple of Justice, Monrovia on Monday, the 28th day of February 2022 at the precise house of 1pm,” the court notice of assignment mentioned .

On August 17, 2021, Davidetta Brown-Lansanah, chairperson of NEC wrote Atty. Jargbe Roseline Nagbe-Kowo, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC), informing her that the NEC had received funding from the government of Liberia to conduct the by-elections of four counties, Bomi, Bong, Grand Gedeh and Nimba.

The indictment says though NEC procurement plan was approved by the PPCC, the NEC failed to specify the line item (verification equipment rental) as to the kind of equipment, model and brand of equipment to be procured or rented.

It furthered that madam Lansanah had reason to know that Tuma Enterprises Incorporated is owned and operated by her two brothers (Arnold badio and David brown).

Section 9.6 use of office for private interest states: “No public official or employee of government should use an official position to pursue private interest that may result in conflict of interest.”

On September 1, 2021, Brown-Lasanah as head of the procurement committee of NEC invited three companies (tuma enterprise, HAK technology and smart systems) to submit sealed bids for the rental of electronic verification system to be used for the representatives by-elections in Bomi, Bong, Grand Gedeh and Nimba counties.

The indictment mentioned that only Tuma Enterprises responded to the bidding committee, and that the other two companies (HAK Technology and Smart Systems) which did not know of madam Lansanah vested interest in the exercise, never responded to the NEC for participation.

Section 9.11 disclosure of interest states: “where public officials and employees of government have direct or indirect personal interests in a matter being examined, he or she shall inform the authorities of those interests and shall excuse himself before deliberations are held and a vote or decision is taken.

The indictment also holds that the alleged act on the part of NEC Chair Lansanah as head of the procurement committee to deliberately and willfully conceal such information for an apparent pecuniary interest or family relations undermined the entire process and it shows that she provided information to her brothers of NEC’s intention to rent verification equipment for which their company bid for.

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