COP’s Financial Report Questionable
There is a popular saying that states “He who comes equity must come with clean hands.”
Information reaching The Monrovia Times newspaper have unearthed that finances received by the Council of Patriots also known as COP for the sole intended purpose of organizing the June 7 ‘Save the State’ protest has come under serious condemnation.
The group under the banner Council of Patriots (COP) organized and stage one of the biggest and most peaceful protest since in the history of Liberia but since the protest was held on Friday, June 7, 2019 Liberians have been expressing concern on how the money generated both locally and internationally was being used by the organizers in persons of Henry P. Costa, Abraham Darius Dillon, Mohammed Ali, former Representative Rufus Neuville and others.
Organizers of the protest particularly Henry Costa have come under attack by two brothers namely Hassan Fadiga and Al Hussein Fadiga who openly disassociated themselves from the protest on social media weeks before the protest was held citing corruption, deceit and other social impropriety.
Mr. Hassan Fadiga said on Facebook “Fellow Liberians if you are not equally concerned about the characters of those who advocate for you as well as the current leadership, then your desire to save the state is wishful thinking. Very soon, you will realize that many of those leading the fight to hold President Weah accountable are also inherently corrupt.”
The two brothers since the end of the protest have been releasing videos, audios, receipts and other documents pointing to flaws in the financial report showing the breakdown of how the money donated was spent.
With criticisms from abroad and in Liberia, the Chief Organizer of the “Save the State” protest Henry Costa was poised to release a financial that has been widely condemned and underrated by many Liberians who are financial experts in Liberia and the United States of America.
Mr. Henry Costa of the Council of Patriots (COP) bow to calls from Liberians to make full accountability of the funds they received to host the June 7 #SavetheState protest particularly from GoFundMe, businesses owners, politicians like ANC Alexander Cummings, LP, Charles Walker Brumskine, UP, Joseph N. Boakai, ALP Benoni W. Urey and others.
According to Mr. Henry Costa, the backbone behind the planning of the protest and one of the spokespersons for the COP, they were able to raise the total amount of US$11,435 and L$111,950 from their supporters in the U.S. and struggling Liberians in Liberia.
Information gathered shows that Mr. Costa has boasted that he contributed the highest amount to the protest in the amount of US$2,000 but political analysts are becoming to wonder as what was the contribution of ANC, Cummings and Businessman Benoni Urey whom many Liberians considered as one of the richest persons, if Talk-show host Costa will be the highest contributor to the protest.
Giving the breakdown of how the funds were expended on Facebook last week, the document which was released by Costa stated that they spent the total amount of US$9,685 and L$75,000. The balanced money which their financial reports say is in their coffer is US$1,750 and L$36,950 still keeps doubts in the minds of many Liberians, particularly those who spent their money to make the protest a success.
According to the financial report, copy of which is in possession of The Monrovia Times, the area that received the biggest spending were Media & Publicity, US$2,500, meetings and communications, US$1,200 and Flatbed trucks rental, US$1,050.
The area that received the lowest spending is Communication. It got just US$60. At least six categories on the financial report got money that fall between US$500 to US$550.
When Costa got off the air on Friday, he told the media that:
“We believe in transparency and accountability and because of that we are publishing what we collected in donations and spent.”
The Save The State Protest, Liberia’s biggest post-war protest ended in deadlock as the Council of Patriots failed to reach common grounds on the delivery of the petition for which the protest was held a week ago.
The petition was expected to seek actions on matters relating to corruption, governance, the economy and the provision of basic social services for Liberian citizens.
Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor was expected to receive the petition from Council of Patriots but failed to show up reportedly due to health reasons.
The Monrovia Times newspaper has not been able to verify either of reports relating to why the Vice President did not show up to receive the petition.
Justice Minister Frank Musah Dean, Foreign Affairs Minister Gbehzhongar M. Findley, Minister of State without Portfolio, Trokon A. Kpui, Representative Edwin Snowe, who is also an ECOWAS Parliamentarian and the ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia, Amb. Babatunde Ajisomo, were all present to receive the petition but the COP chose to disengage the dignitaries who had mediated for hours.
It was observed during the protest on Friday, June 7, 2019 several back and forth between these officials of government and the Council of Patriots with ECOWAS playing the mediating role.