What appears to be an internal wrangling is said to be increasingly ongoing at the Internal Audit Agency of Liberia,one of the Country’s integrity houses.
On one occasion the Director General of the Agency Emmanuel Barten Nyeswa claimed that one of his Deputies Robert Neal is no longer in the employ of the Agency but Mr. Neal refuted said claimed terming it as false and misleading.
According to Robert Neal the integrity institution which should be in vanguard of fighting corruption is engulfed with corrupt practices with specific reference to the Director General Emmanuel Barten Nyeswa, a claim, he has since denied.
Speaking in an interview with Reporters Monday February 10, 2020, he alleged that his boss carried out a double funding transactions between the World Bank and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in 2019 to execute a single testing center project at the “IAA” which is yet to begin operations.
He pointed out that the agency received 26,000usd from the World Bank and He Nyeswa purchase materials and other equipment for the project but at the launch of the program the World Bank was not even mention neither accredited for their contribution to the Agency.
Moreover, Neal noted that the building hosting the Internal Audit Agency is owed by former Deputy Education Minister Hesta Williams Catakwa and use to be the facility of Levi C. William School but was allegedly given to the “IAA” because the current Deputy Director General for Administration is a first cousin to Madam Catakwa something he termed as a conflict of interest and should not take place at an integrity institution.
According to him it is time that government officials work in the interest of the people than enriching themselves at the detriment of the masses, “We are well paid at the “IAA” so such a terrible thing should not be allowed, he noted.
“Let’s change our dirty behavior, we can’t be in Government and steal, Let’s have pity on the Government that is already struggling to deliver to its people”, the embattled Deputy Internal Audit Agency official added.
He said he has absolutely no personal issue with his boss but wants the right thing to be done something he has raised over the period and has led to his current allege strangulation.
Robert told reporters Monday that for unexplained reasons allegedly he has not gotten his Salary since September of 2019 including the locking of his office as well as removal of him from the Institution’s email and all other internal communication networks, yet he claimed he is still working because he is a political appointee like his boss as his tenure is expected to expire in 2023.
“The listings are endless but I will again list few including the allege infliction of all audit reports by 5% linking Mr. Nyeswa and that of the Ministry of Education payroll by 600% of recent among others”, Neal unearthed.
He wonder why will audit be conducted only for smaller Government Ministries including Education, Gender among others but not with Finance, Civil Service Agency, Ministry of States and many others only because according to Neal it has been influenced allegedly by his boss.
Additionally, he recommends the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to review the agency’s payroll which he believes has an allege excess of 40,000usd over the period and has been single-handedly received by his boss, a claimed Mr. Nyeswa noted is false, misleading and far from the reality.
The “IAA’s boss responding to his Deputy stressed that the agency is a professional area void of politics and he will not run it in the media, public or social media.
He maintained that Mr. Neal is no longer in the employ of the Agency because he has allegedly violated the Constitution and rules governing the entity though he is a presidential appointee.
Meanwhile the “IAA’s Deputy said he has written series of Communications to the office of the President, the General Auditing Commission, the Justice Ministry among others to look into several sensitive points he has raised but up till press time no tangible action has been taken to address the situation.
However, he pointed out that he will continue to take the matter one step at a time as the Liberian Senate and other officials of the National Legislature have already begun initial inquiry into the matter.
A committee chaired by Archie-Boy Bernard one of the advisers to the President was set up to look into the matter but he noted no result neither outcome up till press time has been revealed.
In the wake of the claims and counter claims between two top officials of the Internal Audit Agency , the institution has disclosed plans to hire an independent firm to audit it as well as the setting up of a nation wide task force in the Country.