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Contentious Commissioners
…As Corruption, Sex Scandal Bit INCHR Internally

It appears that the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) has found a space among government institutions that are being rocked by internal beefs.
Most of the internal wrangling among the Weah-nominated officials ranges from presumed envy over proximity with the President to their personal goals but at the INCHR, it appears that the strategy has extended to allegations of sexual harassment, intimidations and corruption.
Currently at the INCHR, it is being reported that Commissioner Mohammed Fahnbulleh is involved with sexual harassments, while the Chairperson Dempster Brown is involved with corruption and the wrangling seems to be dividing the rest of the commissioners with three against two thereby putting fear in the employees as they remain tightlipped.
The explanation by a source closed to the INCHR that has drawn the Commission in the lamplight of controversies is that Commissioner Fahnbulleh is allegedly in the habit of having sex with INCHR’s female staffers and other individuals in exchange of employment but in his office, which among other things, the Code of Conduct prohibits.
According to our sources, he is bent on having sex with females and thereafter takes several photos in an attempt to later discuss them with friends and at times displays the photographs of his victims.
On June 20, 2022, it is said that the INCHR’s Staff Workers Union reported to the Director of Administration and Budget that Commissioner Fahnbulleh had coerced an employee whom he claimed was tarnishing his reputation in the workplace and allegedly threatened punitive action which made her to inform the workers’ union.
The Director of Administration and Budget has formally informed the Executive Director of the Commission regarding the staff workers’ accusation against the named Commissioner.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the INCHR, Atty Urias Teh Pouh, confirmed that the Director of Administration and Budget did communicate to him on an alleged sex scandal within the hierarchy of the Commission but refused to state what action the Commission will take or has taken.
Atty. Pouh said, “It is just an allegation and we are treating it as such”; however he failed to state whether or not the INCHR will investigate the case as a matter of human rights but noted that all parties will be listened to pointing out, “We are talking about the character and dignity of people. We can’t be preaching one thing and doing otherwise.”
The Executive Director then reminded Fahnbulleh that the post he (Pouh) occupies was advertised, the applicants were vetted and he came first thereby qualifying him for the post and it was based on nothing near favoritism.
“I applied first to be a commissioner and went through the process of vetting, emerged qualified for the position but I was not favored by the President like Fahnbuleh and others,” Mr. Pouh explained.
He said currently he is the only employee that has earned a Master’s degree in Human Rights Law noting, “As any other Liberian, I am qualified and it’s a contradiction that Fahnbulleh refers to me as Executive Director how then he can question how I assumed the post.”
“I am not involved in confusion so when I received a complaint of harassment and the lady was later intimidated to apologize and in my presence, Fanhbulleh made a remark that I thought was not good. His action is not a speculation in the premises so I drew the chair attention to have a panel investigate.
Article 11.3 of the government of Liberia Code of Conduct for public officials under the caption: Sexual Harassment’ is state that all public officials and employees of government shall avoid unethical and unbecoming behavior such as the use of nude, abusive ad obscene language, indecent dress, unreasonable or oppressive supervision and sexual gesture which constitute sexual harassment and violation of human dignity. Also, article 11.4 states that public officials and employees shall neither be subjected to nor have others subjected to conduct or a sexual nature, which is unwelcomed, unreasonable and offensive.
The INCHR was established in 2005 through an Act of the National Legislature in response to the atrocities of the 14-year civil war in Liberia and was also established in accordance with the Paris Principle of December, 1993 which gives the Commission a broader mandate to promote and protect human rights.
Article III (1) states, “The Commission shall have general competence to protect and promote human rights in the Republic of Liberia according to the provisions of this Act, the Constitution and other relevant laws of Liberia.”
It is least expected that the INCHR which has the obligation to adequately strengthen human rights promotion and protection in Liberia will engage in the abuse of women in exchange for sex, disregarding the principle of no sex for help and be engaged in corruption when there is an eviction notice hanging over them.
In a telephone conversation earlier yesterday when the news reached this institution, Commissioner Fahnbulleh denied the claim challenging his accusers to display the formal complaint from staff.
He described the accusation against him as being diabolic and misleading and one being spread now to the media with intent to defame his character and sway his quest to fight corruption at that human rights institution.
He claimed that he is targeted by few staffers of the Commission including the chairperson, his Vice chairperson and the Executive Director for his stance against corruption.
He further accused Chairman Brown of displaying nepotisms and tribalism at the INCHR where he along with the Executive Director Pouh are from the same the county, same clan and same tribe.
Fahnbulleh who did not speak much to the sexual allegation explained how he has frowned on several things including the chairperson having his son working in his office as his Technical Assistance as well as his in law employed at the Commission adding, “He is the only commissioner who has his children working with the Commission.”
Fahnbulleh furthered that with all the allegations against him there are no written complaint from the lady in question pointing out, “She even apologized to me in the presence of the HR and other staff.”
He asserted that Chairman Brown uses the salary of employees to cater for other operations explaining how there should be seven commissioners but to date they are still five and the salaries of the two yet to be nominated are being used indicating that Chairman Brown even used the salary of some contractors to purchase rice for the staff, a gesture he, Fahnbulleh, detested and refused.
He said his fight is that as a human rights institution, he does not want to sit supinely and watch while the Commission is being baptized in corruption therefore he is prepared to fight even if it means he will be libeled as being controversial.
Fahnbuleh said he will seek his lawyers’ consent on the matter since this long yet to be resolved matter which was handled internally has been brought to the media and will then seek legal redress for his character if so advised.
When Chairman Brown was contacted, he outrightly said Fahnbulleh is not a correct man and confirmed how he is sexually harassing the ladies in the Commission stressing, “I am not the one who is complaining him.”
As for the allegation of corruption and or using employees’ salary for diverse purposes, Brown said, “I am not the comptroller how then I can handle monies that are not mine.”
He said his Technical Assistance is one Humphrey Massaquoi wondering how they both could be related describing Fahnbulleh as a “Stupid man who has been caught several times having affairs sexually with female staffers in his office.”
“When I got the communication, I sent for Fahnbulleh yesterday in my office and explained the matter to him but he appealed that we open it for investigation. If the allegation is truth, he will not be in the Commission. As for them boycotting the meeting, they were unable to present the topic provided them so they boycotted,” Brown stated via telephone conversation.
To give her input on the issue at bar, Commissioner Pela Boker-Wilson explained, “It all started in my office; on Friday I think I was in my office when Fahnbulleh engaged me saying something happened and needed my presence and I offered my office for the investigation. Everyone was present and I decided to investigate I asked them to explain but then got an apology that was offered Fahnbulleh by Kennedy, the Workers’ Union president and not the accuser.”
“I will not be the only female commissioner to sit here and allow a woman’s rights be violated. The workers union president kept apologizing on the lady’s behalf so who intimidated her? I reckoned to him to stop and allow the lady speak for herself. I am a feminist and will never defend a male against a female,” Cllr. Boker-Wilson stated.
Cllr. Harris said but the accuser story was inconsistent because in her presence the accused denied speaking to Fahnbulleh instead said it was the Commissioners who were sleeping with staffers and harassing them and that became a grave allegation to the Commissioner who then thought it laughable but later said she need to call the names of the persons involved adding, “I had to leave later because we were going back and forth with the matter and I heard she later apologized but I can admit that she did not do it in my presence.”
When the accuser was contacted, she denied every word on her person; be it from the Commissioners, the Executive Director and said she does not even know what they were all talking.

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