Over Alleged Misappropriation of US$40K, Gand Bassa Legislative Caucus Suspends County’s Education Foundation Activities

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By King Brown (Grand Bassa County Correspondent)

Buchanan, Grand Bassa- Grand Bassa County Legislative Caucus has suspended all activities at the Grand Bassa Education Foundation over alleged misappropriation of funds.

The decision was reached on Saturday, August 1, at the eleventh Extraordinary County Council sitting held at the Unification Pavilion on the fairground in Buchanan.

The Education Foundation was established in 2015 under the then Caucus Leadership of Senator Nyonblee Kanrga Lawrence to standardize scholarship activities in Grand Bassa County and was fully funded by the County Social Development Funds.

The decisions to suspend the foundation comes after Representative Vicent Willie raised a motion that a report from the Foundation during the County Council Sitting showed that USD $40,000 was allegedly credited by the Former Manager of the Education Foundation, Mr. Philip Johnson, who headed the foundation for more than 3 months.

According to Rep. Willie, the report provided by Mr. Boeyou was contradicting and needs more clarification.

“We need a clear and comprehensive report. There is a need that the Grand Bassa Education Foundation Manager, Mr. Amos Boeyou gives an account for the US$40,000 that was allegedly credited to Mr. Philips Johnson and states a better reason why the foundation should credit an individual who works in the direct office of Senator Nyonblee Kanrga Lawrence,” Rep. Willie said.

Making his report during the council sitting, Manager Amos Boeyou clarified that the money given to Mr. Johnson was not $US40,000, but $US20,000 which was used as an administrative cost to run the day to day activities of the foundation. His clarification trigger argument among members of the Caucus and the delegates at the sitting.

The argument prompted Grand Bassa District#3 Representative Matthew Joe to raise a motion calling for immediate suspension of the Education Foundation and an audit to be conducted within a period of one month.

“Since Mr. Boyou is saying that he’s aware of only US$20,000 and their previous report which we have in our possession says US$40,000, I moved if I can obtain a second that the Foundation activities be suspended until an audit is conducted within the period of one month.”

Meanwhile, Senator Jonathan Kaipay recommended that an investigative committee should be set up to look into the matter and make a comprehensive report to the caucus that will be used as a decision-making tool.

Out of the 50 delegates, 37 voted to call for the suspension of all activities of the Foundation, and an audit is conducted within the period of one month.

The Chairman of the Grand Bassa Legislative Caucus Rep. Thomas Goshua noted that the essence of the audit committee is to review the tenth and eleventh county council sitting report of the foundation.

For his part, Mr. Philip Johnson, former Manager of the Education Foundation said he at no point in time credited the sum of US$40,000 from the foundation. Mr. Johnson said that he is aware of US$20,000 which was withdrawn from the Foundation’s account for administrative cost and tuition payment.

“I welcome the audit because I know that I will not be held accountable for any money.”

The Caucus has appointed the head of the County’s Internal Audit Agency to work with the Assistant Superintendent for Fiscal Affairs Daniel Joaka Willie to ensure that the audit is conducted and report their findings and recommendations within the one-month period to the body.