By: king Brwon (Grand Bassa County )
The Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liberia Dr. Gbehzohngar Milton Findley, has refuted accusation levied against him by Former Director of Passport Andrew Wonplo linking him to selling Liberian Passports and visas to non- Liberian.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday at the Coalition For Democratic Change headquarters in Buchanan, Dr. Findley said, at no time he instructed the Former Director of Passport and Visa to trade Liberian Passports to non-Liberians under his watch as Foreign Minister.
“I must say it here very clear today that serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia, at no time did I, Amb. Gbehzohngar Milton Findley instruct the Former Director of Passport Mr. Andrew Wonplo to trade Liberian passports to non- Liberians whether in this country or out.” Dr. Findley stated Sunday 28, September.
He further, “I am bewildered by the unprovoked outburst from Mr. Wonplo wherein he’s making claims that he smartly designed as retaliation to his re-indictment, as well as his designation by the Government of the United States of America. But let me say that “My deeds can clearly speak for me, and no chicanery can thwart the resolve of the peace loving people of Grand Bassa County.”
According to Dr. Findley, the Former Director of Passport Andrew Wonplo in August 2019 was suspended for passport fraud and forwarded to the National Security Agency (NSA) for investigation and was later charged with economic sabotage and forwarded to court by the Government for prosecution.
Findley stressed that while serving as Foreign Minister, all Honorary Consuls commissioned and issued diplomatic passports by the Government of Liberia were properly vetted in compliance with international regulations, protocols and laws.
According to him, the Former Director of Passport, Mr. Wonplo, was publicly designated by the Government of the United States of America for significant corruption and subsequently re-indicted by the Government of the Republic of Liberia for economic sabotage, misapplication of entrusted property and criminal conspiracy.
Findley mentioned that the bearer of a Liberian Diplomatic Passport must show proof that requires the possession of such passport and be approved by the minister of Foreign Affairs or a dispensation given by the president of the Republic of Liberia and according to him said dispensation was at no time abuse, but legally utilized under the discharge of his statutory functions.
Dr. Findley who is now senatorial candidate of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in Grand Bassa County for the December 8 mid –term election, however, promised to submit himself to any investigation at home and abroad.
Hon. Findley also called on the Former Passport Director Andrew Wonplo to submit himself under the jurisdiction of the court to answer to charges levied against him.
He added “Mr. Wonplo has chosen to flee justice while levying baseless, unfounded and trashy allegations against people like me, Amb. Gbehzohngar Milton Findley with impeccable characters and excellent public service records” I termed his statement made threatening to expose I Findley’s alleged corrupt attachment to the people of Grand Bassa County where I am seeking election as senator as little boy talk because he cannot expose me”.
In a press statement, Wonplo said that U.S Department of State was willfully misinformed by the Liberian Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the sole purpose of covering up corrupt practices and ties to potential terrorists and drugs dealers.
He alleged in a press statement that because of his announcement by the U.S. state Department, the Liberian Government led by President Weah will go at any length to silence or kill him which he said they think is an option for them.
“It was made cleared last week in a meeting according to my source, that I must be captured before the U.S. Government to gets to me. To the United States Government through the U.S.
My fellow Liberians, CDCains and foot soldiers of the cause, please be informed that the passport scarcity was planned illegally and executed by the Government of Liberia represented by Gbehzohngar Milton Findley (Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time) and Cllr. Deweh Gray, Deputy Minister for Legal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, R.L. for personal gain by blocking buck press, the original provided of the Liberia passports. Gbehzohngar is presently using proceeds from said illegal transactions to fund his campaign.” Mr. Wonpol said.
The Former Director of Passport indicated that the Minister of Foreign Affairs ( Gbehzohngar Milton Findley at the time) often acts in the place of President Weah when it comes to the issuance of diplomatic passports whereas the President will work directly with the Director of Passport Via communication instructions always emanating from the Office of the Chief of Protocol of the Executive Mansion (Nora Finda Bundoo), Minister of State (MOS) for Presidential Affairs without portfolio (Trokon Kpui) or the Assistant Minister of Logistics, MOS ( James Emmanuel potter.
For the issuance of diplomatic passport:
1)a special committee comprising of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, the National Security Agency (NSA), etc. vets all applicants for Honorary Counsels’ positions and later forwards the “approved” names of individuals to the Director of Passport through a status letter of communication directing the Passport Director to issue passports to these Honorary Counsels.
2) The Director of Passport at the time (i.e. Andrew D. Wonplo), receives the status letter of communications of vetted and “approved” individuals from the Special Committee and process the applications.
3) These non-Liberians who were issued diplomatic passports will later go to serve as Honorary Counsels on behalf of the Liberian Government at various locations around the world as they were vetted. Although it was part of my job as Director of Passports to issue diplomatic passports by law.
Wonplo lamented “Although it was part of my job as Director of Passports to issue diplomatic passports by law, it has been my concern that the vetting of the Honorary Counsels was done without my input.
It was imperative that I (like any other Passport Director) was compelled to issue said Honorary Counsels diplomatic passports once the communication came from the top. This process give rise to the issuance of diplomatic to numerous Non-Liberians across the world.”