Former Foreign Minister Monie Captan may have played key role in the infamous removal of President Joseph Boakai as Managing Director of the state-own Liberia Petroleum Refining Company about 32 years ago in 1992.
Then Interim President Dr. Amos Sawyer asked Boakai to step down as head of the refinery when Captan complaint to him after losing a bid for a petroleum contract.
Since Sawyer’s reason for relieving Boakai of the role was not made public, the President’s political rivals have used it to dismiss his professed competency and honesty credentials.
“Monie Captan’s resentment was manifested in a complaint he filed with Sawyer,” the President’s biographer explained in the book from Foya to the Capitol.
“The link between that complaint and Boakai’s tenure at LPRC was not clear, but after Captan’s complaint, Sawyer wrote Boakai to turn over.”
In 2021 before his passing Dr. Sawyer provided the following clarity: “Joe Boakai did not steal money.
He was never accused of stealing money. We were in a government that was fractional, and the support of that government depended on the support we received from all the parties.
One member of that government who was very influential wanted Joe Boakai removed from the position at LPRC and she engineered it because her son was in the petroleum business, and she harassed us until we made some changes which is unfortunate, and we take responsibility. So, that good man should not be maligned because of me.”
The President’s biographer would explained:
When Dr. Sawyer assigned Boakai to LPRC the latter’s mandate was to take over the corporation, “straighten it up” and after that Sawyer who find him something to do.. At LPRC Joe Boakai met people like Councillors Frederick Cherue, James Jones and Jerome Korkoyah. Once more because of his performance and uprightness, they developed enormous respect for him.
While Joe Boakai was at LPRC, Amos Sawyer requested 500 gallons of fuel from the corporation.
When Boakai asked when they needed the fuel, they said about two weeks ago. This was perplexing as Boakai had to put in a request to the suppliers. Anyway he quickly set out to find a supplier. Two petroleum companies GEPCO and Petrol 1, bided.
Before Sawyer’s request reached Boakai, the interim government had borrowed more than 250 gallons of petrol from GEPCO. This made GEPCO a logical source of the rest of the requested petrol.
However Monie Captan, former foreign minister in the Taylor government who was neither an importer nor a supplier but in private business wanted the contrat to supply the requested fuel.
His quoted price was almost identical to that of GEPCO’s. This was therefore a no brainer; GEPCO got the contract and of course Captan resented this vehemently. Monie Captan’s resentment was manifested in a complaint he filed with Sawyer.
The link between that complaint and Boakai’s tenure at LPRC was not clear, but after Captan’s complaint, Sawyer wrote Boakai reiterating Boakai’s established mandate; that is Boakai was sent to LPRC to straighten it up.
Sawyer stated that since that goal was established and that Sawyer had found someone to take over the corporation, Boakai was to turn over to that person.