“NO US$600,000 Was Disbursed ”NOCAL OIC Denies Corruption Scandal

By: Feeme Wante

Liveria-April 1, 2024: The Officer In Charge of National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), Jake Kabakole, has denied allegations of US$600,000 being disbursed at the institution.

Speaking Monday, April 1, 2024 at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism special press briefing, NOCAL OIC termed the allegation as malicious, something he said, is intended to damage his hard earned reputation and the institution.

He noted that at no point in time under his watch, the National Oil Company of Liberia has signed off on any disbursement of fund.

“These claims are not only false but are a deliberate attempt at tarnishing a reputation built on integrity and dedication to national progress. I am further convinced that the actors behind this are to have a more immediate intention to discredit the President”, he added.

Kabakole, at the same time, clarified that NOCAL entered into a contract with BMC Group Inc. for an office construction project initially valued at $2.9 million on July 13,2023.

He furthered that the first payment to BMC was made on July 17, 2023, in the tone of $1,456,928.84, and was made in two separate checks of US$ 728,464.42 each.

“Actually, construction began in November 2023, followed by a contract amendment on November 23,2023; he stressed.

The NOCAL Officer in Charge emphasized “this amendment, approved by the PPCC, increased the contract value to $4.5 million to accommodate necessary project adjustment.The new amount represented an increment of $ 1.5 million or 51.72 %.On December 15,2023,an additional payment of $ 796,259.39 was made to BMC, bringing the total disbursement to $2.2 million, which accounted for 50% of the revised contract value”.

Mr. Kabakole has also expressed dissatisfaction about the level of misinformation and yellow journalism in the Liberian media about the National Oil Company’s transactions.

He noted that while evidences are available, he accused the media of reporting lies.
“Those responsible for spreading this misinformation are simply tabloids, and not one of our more reputable brick and mortar media houses,we deem it prudent as is within my fiduciary responsibility, to get ahead of this mill and nip it in the bud”, Kabakole stated.

However, the NOCAL Boss has disclosed his unwaving commitment to bettering the National Oil Company of Liberia is unbreakable, as he hopes to do everything possible to live up to the expectations of President Joseph Boakai.

“I understand how I may appear as an easy target on account of my relationship to his Excellency, but no-one should be fooled by this but a strength that encourages him to be extra diligent and to work demonstratively harder to achieve the pillars of the RESCUE agenda for Liberia”, he added.

On March 25, 2024, it was being reported in several media outlets that the Officer in Charge of the National Oil Company of Liberia Jake Kabakole allegedly squandered US$600,000 in less than two months as head of the Liberian oil company.

Meanwhile, the Liberia Anti-corruption Commission (LACC) has launched an investigation into the matter.

According to the LACC’s letter addressed to Jake Kabakole, Officer-in-Charge of National Oil Company of Liberia, his administration is accused of conspiring with BMC Group Inc. to open an account at the Standard Investment Bank (SIB) for the purpose of illicit money laundering.

Subsequently, on July 17, 2023, NOCAL management purportedly issued a check amounting to USS728,464.42 to BMC Group Inc., which was promptly deposited into the newly established account.

The funds, the letter alleges, were withdrawn within a week and remain unaccounted for.

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