Allegations that the National Port Authority’s Managing Director was behind the mysterious death of four government auditors have not only troubled his spirit but also tormented his family.
Speaking for the first time since he filed damage suits against Henry Costa, a US-based Liberian talk show host who publicly made the allegation, Bill Twehway said the defamatory claims have caused his daughter in the United States to be bullied by her friends in school. Without giving details as to how his daughter is being intimidated at the hands of her schoolmates, Twehway said the situation has damaged nearly everything he has worked for.
According to Trocon Freeman, a roving PR officer, Mr. Twehway, speaking to journalists upon his return to Monrovia from the presidential nationwide tour said that he had been receiving calls from people believed to be family members to the deceased auditors, threatening to come after him.
Mr. Twehway dispelled the notion that his lawsuit was intended to silence critical voices against his public service record. Freeman quoted Twehway as stressing that the court was the best place to establish the truth from defamation.
The NPA boss recounted that since holding the fort at NPA, Costa and others have published lies against him without a rebuttal or any action from him.
He said he ignored all of the “gibberish” said about him because he believes in free speech. But he said the claim that he took the lives of reputable people in the Liberian society could not be taken lightly.
“It is criminal and a dangerous lie that must be dealt with in a court of competent jurisdiction.”
The NPA managing director who filed the complaint against Costa welcomed the financial contribution recently made to Costa’s legal defense by some Liberians in the diaspora.
He said some people contributed money to ensure that Costa gave no excuse of a legal defense “so as to go to court and for once prove his allegation against me since many of them too had been a victim of such lies but never had the courage to stand up. It is their way of pushing to know the truth.
On the other hand, he said there were others whose contribution was motivated by hate against the government. “They are unable to separate his private lawsuit against defamation and the government. For example, Ben Sanvee, former chair of the opposition Liberty Party and others who claimed to stand for the truth only contributed to such a rally “because of their dislike for the government and so would hope to make it appear as if our personal lawsuit is one of the government.”
Twehway however rejected the notion in the Diaspora that the case was between Costa and the government. “It is wrong for another person to create such long lasting lies on another person, which puts their families in perpetual harm and shame.”
The NPA chief indicated that his lawsuit was his way as a citizen seeking justice against falsehood and threats against one’s life as well as creating a culture that people should be held liable for what they say and do to others.
On Feb 22, Mr. Costa announced on his Facebook page that Mr. Twehway’s legal team in the US State of Delaware had filed a lawsuit against him for allegedly defaming his character over the mysterious death of four government auditors. The auditors were reportedly poised to expose financial malpractices in certain government agencies.
Costa accused Twehway of being behind the death of Internal Audit Agency Director-General James Nyeswa and three auditors of the Liberia Revenue Authority.
Gifty Lama, Alfred Peters, George Flahnboto and Nyeswa, died last October under mysterious circumstances. Autopsy reports determined their deaths were “unnatural.” There were no arrests.
According to the complaint in which Twehway seeks an order to compel Coats to retract his “derogatory” claims, Costa’s allegations were false and reckless, only intended to cause injure his reputation.
The legal team of the NPA boss also wants a judgment against Costa awarding the plaintiff compensatory damages, including attorney’s fees and punitive damages against Costa.