In the political history of our country, Emmanuel Shaw is noted for vacillating and swinging his pendulum whenever opportunities for him to use a political class to make millions are swept away! From 1971 -1975, he worked with Stephen A. Tolbert at the Ministry of Finance where he saw the brother of the President made millions as the results of giving the Tolbert’s Family business (Mesurado Group of Company) lucrative government’s contracts.
Thus, Shaw developed the penchant for becoming a millionaire like his boss who did so at the expense of state’s coffers, while the masses of our people were left to wallow at the bottom of the economic scale. When Stephen A. Tolbert died in 1975 in a tragic plane crash, all hope of Shaw using the Finance Ministry as a source for realizing his dream was consigned to Utopian land. He languished for a while until President Tolbert appointed him as a Junior Minister at the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs. While working in the office of the President, Shaw influenced major decisions of President Tolbert, gaining prominence not only in the True Whig Party but also in the entire country!
When President Tolbert was overthrown and brutally killed by Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe and sixteen other non-commissioned officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia on April 12, 1980, Shaw and many officials of the Tolbert’s regime were arrested and thrown into jail at the Monrovia Central Prison. Weeks after the coup and the execution of 13 officials of the TWP’s oligarchy, due to pressure placed on the military junta, all former officials of government in jail were released. Shockingly, when the bloods of the thirteen men were still pouring after their demise, Shaw reappeared on the political scene, serving as Senior Economic Adviser to the government of a man who did not only mercilessly killed his boss on April 12, 1980 but also gruesomely murdered stalwarts of his (Shaw’s) party—the TWP. Shaw longtime dream of becoming Minister of Finance to make millions was in sight. Suddenly, he was appointed by President Doe as the head of government’s fiscal affairs in 1988.
As Minister of Finance, Shaw colluded with the President and other key officials of government to defraud the state of millions of US dollars. His ploy to swindle the state was hatched when he founded the Liberia National Petroleum Company (LNPC) in 1989 with an undercover 60percent share in the company. The rest of the shares belonged to President Doe’s Justice Minister Jenkins Scott and other private businessmen. Shaw managed to hoodwink the Ministry of Justice and the LPRC, making his company the LNPC to have the monopolistic right to supply petroleum products to the LPRC, something that led to an artificial hike in the price of gas, fuel, and other petroleum products.
When it was cleared that time has caught up with the implacable tyranny of Samuel K. Doe, prompted by the insurgency of the NPFL, Shaw resigned as Minister of Finance. After he resigned, he criminally wrote a letter which was backdated, requesting the government of Liberia to pay the LNPC over 28million USD as an arrear the government owed his company for the supply of petroleum products. After he also resigned, the former justice Minister Jenkins Scott wrote a backdated letter waving the right for Liberia not to be sued outside of its territorial boundaries. When Taylor was raging havoc on Liberia in 1990, at the time Liberia was stained with thousands of innocent blood, Shaw heartlessly sued the Liberian government in London for failure to pay over 28million owed his company (LNPC).
Against the backdrop that the interim government did not have the capacity to defend the government in London, the court ruled in default, and told Shaw to sell Liberian assets to raise his money. Shaw took the Liberian Presidential Jet that was grounded in London and sold it for 8. 4million. The jet had taken the family of Doe to England to prevent them from being eliminated by the NPFL or INPFL rebels of Charles Taylor and Prince Johnson respectively. Being successful in swindling the Liberian people, Shaw decided to use similar tactic in the United States where he filed another 20million USD lawsuit against the government of Liberia. This time around he met his waterloo, the very capable Justice Minister Philip Banks who represented the government of Liberia tore Shaw to pieces, calling him the plunderer he is. The court read through Shaw and flushed his case through the legal sewage.
Soon after the electoral victory of another career criminal in Charles Taylor, Shaw resurfaced in Liberia as a close confidant to President Taylor – the man who started the insurrection which led to the slaughtering of the boss of Shaw by Prince Johnson of the INPFL, a breakaway faction of Taylor’s NPFL. During such period in our country’s history, Shaw was deeply involved with Taylor’s blood diamond trade with the RUF of Sierra Leone. Also, he was part of the gun smuggling deal with Gus Kovehoven, the Dutch illegal gun smuggler who is rightfully serving a jail sentence in the Netherlands for the role he played in the Liberian conflict. The national pariah in Shaw was also one of the chief founders of Lonestar Telecommunication and the Oriental Timber Company. Shaw managed to ensure that (OTC) got a bogus concession agreement to illegally export Liberia’s forest resources in exchange for arms and ammunitions that were used by Taylor’s death squad in the ATU and SOD.
Shaw left Liberia after Taylor was pressured to step down in August, 2003. Later Taylor took asylum in Calaba, Nigeria. Courtesy of by LURD, MODEL and the International Community. Fast forward, when Former President Sirleaf won her second 6year mandate in 2011, Shaw was appointed on the board of the Liberian Airport Authority (LAA). An appointment which was later rescinded by Madame Sirleaf as the result of pressure from the Liberian opposition which was headed by the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) of President George Manneh Weah. The CDC was convinced then that Emmanuel Shaw was a menace who should come nowhere near public service in Liberia.
Today, the Emmanuel Shaw who was an unacceptable political commodity in the eyes of the CDC and many Liberians, including this writer, is now the Senior Economic Adviser to President George Manneh Weah. Unlike this writer and some other conscious Liberians, CDCians are ceaselessly hailing Emmanuel Shaw. Probably to them, he has passed through a political refinery or a Pauline Conversion. For us, it would take something superstitious to make us share such thought with overzealous CDCians who run with the belief that President Weah doesn’t do wrong!
It is not even six months, we have started seen the poisonous handiwork of Emmanuel Shaw. The US536.4 million dollars loan agreement with the struck off (closed down) Singaporean Eton Finance Limited is indeed a signature trademark of the man Shaw. It is being reported by individuals in the inner cycle of the Weah regime that Shaw headed the Liberian delegates as the deal was negotiated with Eton in Hong Kong. The deal could not be negotiated in Singapore because Eton Finance Limited, a company with no website, no history of loaning a dime to any country, was struck off in 2017 and will require after six years to be reactivated in Singapore through a Singaporean court order. It was just recently in March that the company was established in Hong Kong presumably for the sole purpose of the US 536.4million loan agreement with the Liberian government.
As if the controversial 536.4million loan is not enough, Shaw is on record for arranging a US$ 420.8million pre-financing road contract between the government of Liberia and Group EBOMAF- a company owned by Mr. Mohamadou Bonkounguo, the Burkinabe business man who gifted our President with a private jet to facilitate his foreign travels. Thanks to Emmanuel Shaw who introduced President Weah to Mr. Bonkounguo in Mali during the 2017 electoral campaign. So in exchange for the private jet and campaign finances, Mr. Bonkounguo will be given a sovereign guarantee backed by state’s assets to go anywhere in the world and use the sovereign guarantee as a collateral for a US$ 420.8million. Afterward when the money is being found, EBOMAF will then construct over 260 kilometers of road in Liberia.
CDCians, blinded by the government of Liberia’s propaganda of road construction are all over the place condemning citizens who rightfully oppose the bogus agreements that are being orchestrated by Emmanuel Shaw. Some CDCIANS are even saying they don’t care where the money is coming from, once it is geared towards road construction, President Weah should take more loans even from Lucifer. No Liberian, knowing full well the challenges the citizens go through as the result of bad road network, would be against the government taking loans to construct roads. What we frown on is not only the history of the chief architect of the present loan agreements but also the terms and conditions of these agreements.
There are reputable multilateral and bilateral institutions that the government can engage to get loans for the implementation of its infrastructural program. China is one of those bilateral partners that is willing to loan Liberia any amount for road projects. The Chinese Ambassador to Liberia recently asserted that the Chinese are willing to give loans to our country were the government to carve plans outlining the productive use of the money that would ensure repayment. For Emmanuel Shaw and his likes who surround President Weah, going to China is a taboo. Because the loan will be given in a way that officials of government like Emmanuel Shaw will not have the opportunity to get 10-25percent share of the funds. Therefore, going to bogus companies that would assure such is the last scene in the tragic drama.
Liberia is not the personal property of the CDC. This country belongs to all and sundry. Each and every Liberian has a stake in thisrepublic. If it gets plunged into the abyss, we all will bear the full weight of the consequences thereof. And like he did to Tolbert, Doe and Taylor, Emmanuel Shaw, with millions in his oversea accounts, will dump President Weah and the poor mass of the Liberian people and wait abroad for another opportunity to prey on the republic. CDCians, Liberians, beware of Emmanuel Shaw! A hint to the wise is quite sufficient!
Wisseh, B. N, Is that Emmanuel Shaw Again?: The Perspective, May 24, 2018
Kennedy, IV, S.B, His main Occupation was Stealing – Emmanuel Shaw: The Mail and Guardian Newspaper, December 19, 1997
Parrot News Editorial, The Plane, Eton Deal, NPFL: The Parrot News, May 31, 2018
About the author
Moses Uneh Yahmia is a student of the University of Liberia. He studies Political Science and Economics. He is also a staunch member of the Movement for Social Democratic Alternative. He can be reached via [email protected] .