At Tubman University, Barnes Dismissed, Woods Suspended Without Pay

HARPER, Maryland – The axe of Tubman University’s President Edward Lama Wonkeryon has finally fallen on two senior staff involved in receiving bribes from GBECCO, a construction company that was under contract with the university.

Those affected include Roland T. Barnes, the former assistant vice president for administration and head of campus operations, and Johnny Woods, who held the positions of chief of staff and board liaison in addition to interim vice president for administration.

A Bush Chicken investigation triggered the actions taken against Barnes and Woods. The investigation revealed that they were involved in receiving kickbacks on contracts awarded to GBECCO.

Tubman University is yet to release findings from a committee set up to investigate Roland and Johnny since the end of August 2016, even though the institution initially promised to.

But according to a highly placed source at the university, Barnes was dismissed after it was established that he received bribes on several occasions from GBECCO. Those funds were intended for the institution’s projects.

According to the source, Woods has also been suspended indefinitely and submitted to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission for investigation after denying the bribery allegations against him.

The source said Woods would not receive salary from the university until he was exonerated from the corruption allegations.

Further, the informant said in addition to the allegations published by The Bush Chicken, the investigation committee found evidence of additional offenses by Barnes and Woods. He said GBECCO employees “corroborated all of what were published by the Bush Chicken.”

Barnes has already removed his belongings from the university’s campus.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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