Liberia’s largest followed talk show on social media, ‘The Costa Show’, hosted by the leader of the Council of Patriots, Henry P. Costa, has initially accepted to help solicit money from thousands of Liberians and supporters around the world to help pay the 1.4 million dollars Senator elect of Lofa County, Brownie Samukai was convicted for and ordered to refund the cash or serve a two year jail sentence.
Henry Costa arguers that former Defense Minister Samukai did not steal the money as was verified by several witness including the Current Defense Minister, Maj.Gen. Daniel Ziankahn, (RET) and high-ranking Army officials during the trial of the case.
He said the action from the CDC government headed by George Weah to prosecute Samukai is a ‘political witch -hunt’ and as such it must not be accepted. “If you feel Brownie them misused the money why did you pay four hundred sixty thousand of the money back, my people the question here is why the hell did they pay $4.6 thousand back?”
On his social media platform Thursday February 18, 2021, he wonder how you can the government paid some of the money and revert to taking the former Defense minister and co- officials to court for the same cash which they initially agreed to pay back.
Mr. Cost said he’s not here to shield the misuse of the Army pension cash, but it was clear that the money was used following instructions given Mr. Samukai by his boss, former Liberian leader Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who committed the AFL to take up peace mission in Mali.
Giving a condition to help raise the cash, Mr. Costa said, before he rally his supporters from around the world, Mr. Samukai must first call a press conference and provide all details and supporting proofs to the public about his role in the AFL pension money saga which the court convicted him for.
He said thou it is clear that Senator Samukai did not used the cash for his personal gain, but such information was again necessary to the public aimed at showing more transparency to his supporters or those with doubts.
The “Costa Show” over the years has been raising thousand of Liberian and United States dollars to help people in need of education, health, peaceful protest, political campaigns amongst others.
On his platform Mr. Costa also sought the views from his supporter on the matter before finalizing his decision as they are the driving force to his final decision he said.
Meanwhile, several supporters suggested that Mr. Samukai call a press conference and explain his side in details.
In another development, a staunch member of the ruling party, Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and son of Lofa county Isaac T. Charleson wrote in the Foya District Intellectual forum Facebook page calling on his people not to support Mr. Samukai to raise the cash.
It was reported that several citizens of Lofa county are designing strategies to help raise the cash for their Senator elect, aimed at keeping him out of jail for two years.
But Charleson wrote “ We must now enlighten our dear citizens of Lofa to stay off from making any penny contribution to fund the restitution of the AFL money for which Senator-elect Brownie Samukai was convicted of by the Highest Court in the land.
If we must rally 1.4M, let’s undertake the below listed development to make Lofa a better place instead: Road Network, Building of Schools, Improving our Healthcare system, Water and Sanitation, Electricity, Agricultural Equipment, Human Resource Capacity Building, Sports Development, Human Rights, Technical Vocational Training, Protect our borders to prevent the return of Ebola et al.”
Isaac Charleson said, paying for the convict is like supporting your child or children to continue the commission of crime and noted that paying back will destroy the imagery of Lofa, and those great values and attributes for which Lofians have been respected as a distinguished people over time.
He said abuse of discretion by public officials is a societal ill, that’s why the law provides citizens and institutions a legal means of compelling public officials to do what is required of them in the framework of the law.
“Mr. Samukai MUST pay for his action of public disservice against our gallant men and women in arms, some of whom are sons and daughters of Lofa county. Rallying for Samukai against those sons and daughters of Lofa, whose earnings were compulsorily sliced and subsequently misapplied, presents the county as enabling wrong against a whole group of selfless citizens serving their Motherland diligently. And this would be a stinking act of bad precedence that must not be tolerated in Lofa, my birth place!” he concluded.