Gbarnga, Bong County - The ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Bong County on Saturday said it had concluded arrangements to declare suspended Kokoyah Statutory Superintendent, Joseph Weleteh Flomo, wanted for allegedly embezzling US$60,000.
In an arrest writ issued on December 28, 2013, the court said Flomo is wanted by the court to stand trial on allegation of theft of property and misapplication of entrusted property.
The County Attorney of Bong County, Cornelius Flomo Wennah, said the case was assigned at the Kokoyah Magisterial Court in Kokoyah district but exceeded the trial jurisdiction of the Magisterial Court, and was forwarded to the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court for prosecution.
“In the indictment Mr. Weleteh Flomo is charged with theft of property and misapplication of entrusted property, so he has to come to the court to exonerate himself from the allegation,” Wennah declared.
The Statutory District Superintendent was suspended by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on November 14, 2013 for his alleged involvement with misapplication of US$ 60,000.00 that was provided by Atlantic Resource Company, a concession company operating in the district.
The money was given as a land rental fees to allow the company to temporarily pack logs before being transported to the port city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
Flomo’s suspension came days after members of the Bong legislative caucus filed a formal complaint to President Sirleaf, demanding action over the alleged misused of the county’s development fund by Flomo.
Wennah maintained that Flomo was encouraged to make himself available to the special investigation panel headed by Bong County Superintendent Selena Polson Mappy for probe and the team brought down the suspended Superintendent guilty of misapplying the county’s fund.
The County Attorney explained that in accordance with the committee’s findings and as required by law, the court subpoenaed the suspended Superintendent but botched to appear and the court has no other alternative but serve an indictment to the hovering Superintendent.
Proceeding on the above legal scenarios, facts and figures, according to Wennah, declared Flomo a wanted man. Wennah’s statement enjoined anybody with useful information on the arrest of the suspended superintendent to approach or contact their offices in Gbarnga.
Flomo speaking from an unknown location via mobile phone Flomo admitted receiving the US$ 30,000.00 from the company but said the amount was used to implement development projects in the sub-three districts and was never diverted into his personal pocket as being claimed by the special investigation panel set up by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
“The money was given to the people of Kokoyah Statutory District not the county as people perceived. Unlike the county social development funds, this money is not reflected in the budget law, so it is for the people of Kokoyah and have to decide how to use it not the county” Flomo challenged.
He told FrontPageAfrica that the projects were identified by the citizens of the district in a mass meeting in Botota, the district’s headquarters.
Flomo informed this paper citizens resolved that portion of the amount be used to renovate the Administration Building at the District headquarters – a building constructed during the administration of the late president William R. Tolbert – while the other two sub-districts received their share of the money for projects implementation but failed to say how much was given the two sub-districts.
The suspended Superintendent specified that he did not inform the County Superintendent officially upon receipt of the money from Atlantic Resources Company but admitted informing the district lawmaker Tokpa J. Mulbah.
When contacted via mobile phone Representative Mulbah confirmed that he was aware of the Atlantic Resources presenting the money to Flomo but was not part of any meeting and was never informed by the Flomo how the money should be expended.