Fonati Koffa challenges Sherman
The former head of the Special presidential Task Force set up to investigate the bribery case has challenged Cllr. Varney Sherman to produce any document where he Fonati Koffa received US$4.5m to prosecute the case.
Cllr. Fonate Koffa made the statement at a press conference on Thursday at the capital building.
Cllr.Koffa was appointed by former president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to head the special Presidential Task Force to carry out investigation of the bribery case.
After investigation, the case was taken to court and a grand jury indicted Cllr. Sherman.
Koffa said that he did not make up these allegations, rather, Global Witness which were supported by pieces of evidence ranging from email trails, check deposits records among others.
Sherman told open court that Koffa, who is now representative of Grand Kru county, received US$4.5M from the Liberian government to prosecute them. Sherman, Alex Tyler, former speaker of parliament and others were accused by Global Witness of bribery.
In 2016 Global Witness released a report of bribery of over US$950.00(Nine hundred and fifty thousand United States dollars) and other suspicious payments by UK mining firm Sable Mining and its Liberian lawyer, Varney Sherman. Based on the report, the government of madam Sirleaf promised to investigate the case to its logical end.
By then, Cllr. Sherman was the chairman of madam Ellen Johnson Sirelaf’s ruling party, Unity Party(UP).
The payments were made for Cllr. Sherman to influence lawmakers and some government officials to enable Sable Mining company acquire an Iron Ore concession-Wologizi, the largest mountain in the country.Sherman served as lawyer for Sable Mining Company.
Cllr. Koffa challenged Cllr. Sherman, now senator of Grand Cape Mount county to come out with any document against him. Koffa said to the best of his knowledge, an amount around US$1.1M was given him by the Liberian government to effect the prosecution.
“I challenge him to produce any document to show that I went and received such money,” he said.
Koffa said “Cllr Sherman’s testimonies made in open court were all false, full of innuendo, full of perjuries and are defamatory.”
Koffa revealed that while serving as head of the Task force, some the best investigators in Liberia whom he worked with, some Liberians attempted to bribe them in the tune of US$250,000(Two hundred and fifty thousand united States dollars).
“But the investigators refused it and asked those who brought it to leave or they would be arrested for attempted bribery.”
He called on some lawyers, especially at the ministry of Justice to be professionals in carrying out their work.
Cllr. Varney Sherman
But sources close to the case, have expressed fear that the judge needed to be professional. That the way in which the judge has been proceeding with the case calls for some concerns.
Koffa said, he would not allow for Cllr Sherman to spread lies. “We will not permit the lies and deception of Cllr. Varney Sherman to undermine the credibility of persons with credible credentials to be tainted. This case grew up of a Global Witness report alleging systematic allegations of bribery on now defendants including Cllr. Varney Sherman,” he said.
He continued: “We never knew about this Sable Mining Case until it was duly reported but contrary to claims now that we are which hunting him. Cllr. Sherman knew, so then, how can he say the special task force was about to witch hunt him and others?”
Cllr. Sherman was unable to acquire the concession for Sable Mining Company. TNR
The New Republic Newspaper is an independent newspaper established in 2009 by a Liberian journalist, Alphonso Toweh with many years of experience for the key purpose of reporting a balanced coverage of events as well as promoting Liberia’s image locally and internationally.
Toweh has been working for Reuters News Agency as its correspondent since 1998 to present. In addition to that, he has served as correspondents for the following magazines: West Africa New African, Africa Week and African Observer.
More to that, he worked for Radio Deutche Welle radio in Germany, Radio Netherlands and contributed to CNN, BBC News hour, BBC TV as well as Africa Confidential and Sunday Times in London.
The paper has no political affiliation nor ethic lineage. The focus and primary commitment is to ensure the sovereignty of Liberia and unity for Africa. It seeks to foster human rights and freedom of the press.
The New Republic is a liberal paper dedicated to upholding the tenets of democracy. It believes that state can not only create the political, social, economic and cultural spirit, but also to ensure that all human beings, irrespective of any affiliation is able to achieve its highest human potentials.
The paper strives for free speech and equal opportunity for all. Importantly, it believes that the nation must intervene judiciously in the economic life, in order to minimise the adverse effects of free enterprise and ensure that less privileged people have reasonable and fair access to the basic necessities of life. By this, it would help reduce some level of threat.
New Republic brings huge commitment to its readers and offers the nation the type of media that will advocate for the people and nudge our nation on the path of development and social re-engineering