Acting Information Minister, Atty. Isaac W. Jackson
Govt. ‘Disappointed’ In National Chronicle, Says Minister Jackson
By Richard Stephens
MONROVIA, May 1 (LINA) -The Liberian Government has described as ‘false and misleading’ recent media reports linking the former Chairperson of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Dr. Amos Sawyer, to financial improprieties while serving the APRM.
Addressing the Ministry of Information regular weekly press briefing Thursday, Acting Information Minister, Atty. Isaac W. Jackson, said the allegation against Dr. Sawyer is of serious concern to the government because it has the propensity to undermine Liberia’s chances of holding top posts within the international community.
Minister Jackson said the author of the story made no attempt to contact Dr. Sawyer for his side of the allegation, but rather published the story as obtained from a source which, he noted, is an ethical breach in the journalism profession.
He said the Government will officially file a complaint to the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) seeking redress.
The acting MICAT boss accused a man only identified as Munah who, he said, worked at the APRM, as being behind the false story.
He said this man wanted to get at Dr. Sawyer because he denied his intention to
extend his tenure at the APRM, saying, "This is what prompted him to release misleading information to the press about the former Interim President of Liberia."
Minister Jackson said it was grossly disappointing to malign the hard-earned reputation of someone like Dr. Sawyer who, he noted, sacrificed his time and set the basis for peace to return to war-troubled Liberia.
He emphasized that the allegation that Dr. Sawyer mismanaged the Trust Fund was ‘a blatant lie and mere fallacy’, because it is the UNDP that manages the Trust Fund, and not individuals, adding that while serving at the APRM, Dr. Sawyer had no access to the trust fund.
Minister Jackson also said the account of APRM is audited periodically and as such, if Dr. Sawyer had embezzled any money at the entity, it would have been reported to the world, and not only by the local media.
The National Chronicle newspaper in its Wednesday, April 30, 2014 edition reported that the Good Governance Commission Chairman, Dr. Amos Sawyer and Finance Minister Amara Konneh are linked to a corruption scandal at the APRM, an entity of the African Union.
Meanwhile, the Liberian Government is demanding an immediate retraction of the story by the National Chronicle newspaper.