Clash of the Titans: Rep Sumo Accuses Former Lawmaker of Corruption

May 12, 2024 - 21:34
May 19, 2024 - 12:24
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Clash of the Titans: Rep Sumo Accuses Former Lawmaker of Corruption

By: Blamo N. Toe/Contributing Writer

Montserrado County Electoral District #3 Representative Sumo Mulbah has accused former Representative Ceebee Barshell along with his team members of siphoning close to One Million United States Dollars intended for the district.

Addressing scores of residents of his district in a town hall gathering when he donated several sanitary materials to the local leadership in the area, Representative Mulbah claimed that the period of the reported stolen money covered from 2017 to 2023 – the time of Barshell in office.

He said upon his ascendency to the district’s highest seat, he launched an investigation both at the Capitol Building and within the district, noting that the findings exposed a massive corruption scandal of the immediate past lawmaker and his team.

According to him, this disclosure of the corruption syndicate is not to target the former representative but also his associates, asserting that the Local Government Act does not permit a sitting representative to have exclusive right to the district fund.

“Today, if you were do the calculation from 2017 up to the time they occupied this position, there were lots of money that were given; money that was given by China Union, money that was given by other concessions and the one allocated in the national budget, we should be talking about closed to a million,” Representative Mulbah said.

The lawmaker noted that the money was meant for the constructions of roads, bridges and other public facilities among others but unfortunately, none of the named items was undertaken for the use of the citizens.

He intoned that during consultative meetings with some key citizens of the district, it was established that money generated for the use of only town hall in the area was also pocketed by a few groups of people at the detriment of the constituency.

Representative Mulbah vowed to put an end to such cruelty by fostering unity, advocating for more development, opportunities and ensuring his leadership remains accountable and transparent to the citizens.    

He stressed that gone are the days when leaders used to steal the people’s resources to satisfy their personal and selfish desire, adding that his administration will ensure that there will be no business as usual as declared by President Joseph Boakai.

In a sharp reaction to Representative Sumo Mulbah, the former lawmaker described the allegation as false, misleading and a child’s play, urging the current lawmaker as his junior brother to focus on leading the people and forget about initiating unnecessary political tussles.

Former Representative Ceebee Barshell challenged Representative Mulbah to show empirical evidence to back his claims instead of seeking public sentiment through falsehood.

The ex-lawmaker who is the vision bearer of the Barshell University told this media institution via mobile phone interview that since the 2023 elections, he has been engaged with nation building, helping schools to grow and providing quality education for Liberians.

Contrary to Representative Mulbah’s close to US$1 million claim; Mr. Barshell stressed that during his time in office, all of the financial support combined both from national government and other institutions did not reach US$100,000.

He refereed the current lawmaker to seek the actual financial document from the office of the Montserrado County Superintendent and speak with what is on the paper, adding that due to the lack of adequate financial support to the district; he personally made available some cash to the citizens and carried on many projects.

“How can I take one million when the money that came in from the government and the other institutions like the China and European Unions did not even reach US$100,000? That’s children play and I am not here for that. I have been recovering and don’t want to get myself involved with district politics. He is my junior brother; I am available to give him my support to succeed but he should stop such a play”, he added.

Mr. Barshell further indicated that when he was going against the former lawmaker he succeeded, at no time he told falsehoods about him just to win the hearts of the constituents, thus urging Representative Mulbah to lead well to win the admiration of the citizens.  

He recounted that ahead of the 2023 presidential and legislative elections, former President George Weah asked him to join the now opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) before his district (#3) could get financial support; something he rejected.

The former lawmaker emphasized that he does not play with people’s money, stressing that prior to becoming the lawmaker of the district; he had his own cash box (personal money) as such, public funds do not shake his person.

“I’m not prepared for children’s play. I’m not prepared for this kind of politics. I still have my contacts which he can use to move the district forward. I served the district and the country. When the 2023 elections came, they said they wanted him and I thanked them and also congratulated him, wished him well for our district and so forth,” Mr. Barshell said.

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