Minister Kemayah told journalists Thursday, August 11, 2022 at the Ministry of Information Culture Affairs and Tourism(MICAT) Regular Press Briefing that the committee is still working and will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the truth be told to the public.
His latest disclosure came following the expiration of previous deadline for the release of the report, which has to some extend brought speculations as well as mixed views in the public surrounding the passport saga.
But the Foreign Ministry boss assured the public that the committee headed by Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister for Administration Thelma E. Duncan Sawyer is a credible and transparent committee and is working very hard around the clock to complete the investigation process.
"Currently, the investigation is at a point where discussions are ongoing aimed at getting responses through questions and answers from the main person of interest Sheik Basirou Kante,’’ Minister Kemayah stated.
"We are investigating allegation that one of our privileged documents, diplomatic passport was allegedly found in the possession of him, and therefore, we need the person of interest to also answer some questions," Minister Kemayah noted.
‘‘You will agree with me that the investigation even becomes in conclusive if you don’t directly or indirect have access to having Sheik Bassirou Kante to answer questions and that’s diplomatic engagements we are currently in and fortunately for us the expert from the United States that is providing expertise is now in country and we have been working together along with him and his colleague from the United States Embassy as it relates to this investigation,” he pointed out
Sheik Bassirou Kante was arrested at his residence in the United States on April 20, 2022 for wiring fraud amounting to US$7 million, according to reports.
He is known to have a close relationship with the Government of Liberia (GoL). In February, he single-handedly paid the cost of flying in Nigerian superstars, P-Square on a private jet to perform during the Bicentennial Celebrations. He paid the twin superstars US$100,000 on ground that was his contribution to the Bicentennial Celebrations.
According to Foreign Minister Kemayah, if they succeed in getting the person of interest, they will conclude with the investigation soon and submit the report to President George Manneh Weah.
The US Government, he disclosed, is also conducting its own investigation surrounding the situation as well.
At the same time, he informed the media that other related issues that will be revealed in the investigation report will also be submitted as well to President Weah.
"We have nothing to hide and the truth following the completion of the investigation will be told," he emphasized.
The Dean of the cabinet highlighted the importance of the US Government collaboration to the entire process.
He commended the US Government for providing technical assistance to the investigation process.
In June of 2022 he stated that experts from the USA with expertise and skills in examination of documents and or fraudulent documents came into the country and are assisting the process and is certain that with the level of collaboration, the report might be released on or before September of 2022.
He mentioned that the Ministry of Justice was also contacted and requested for technical assistance, which was provided and the ministry is grateful to the Director of the National Security Agency for the support.
It can be recalled on May 10, 2022 President Weah instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs to invest circumstances surrounding the alleged discovery of a diplomatic passport, which was discovered with one Sheik Basirou Kante following a special operation conducted by personnel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the USA.
In his directive, the President ordered that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately stop the issuance of diplomatic passports to anyone unless otherwise authorized by him.
Since the setting up of the committee followed by ongoing works and up till press time, the public is interested in knowing what really happened, something Minister Kemayah told reporters that the truth will be revealed soon as they have nothing to hide.