Contrary Details on Ex-LBDI Prexy Saga -Academic Awards Seemingly Vindicate Deo Delaney

MONROVIA – The last two to three weeks has been quite a nightmarish experience for the former President of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment, Mr. Deo Delaney, and generally for the LBDI family, following disclosures emanating from internet bloggers suggesting the banker had lied about his academic achievements. In an apparent attempt to save its name, Mr. Delaney’s employer, the LBDI, sought his resignation from the handsome job as it launched investigation in the credential-faking allegations against him. But before inks got dry on reports of his stepping aside, the ex-LBDI presidential is back with what appears to be authentic documented testament of his academic history, contrary to all the reports about him. He has come out in no small way with a rebuttal and exhibits, which apparent delayed cause him his job, The Analyst reports.

A Liberian banker who recently lost his job amid allegations that he used falsified academic credentials to get it is now out with riposte, describing the allegations as “absurd and ridiculous.”

Recently, Martin Kollie who claims to be advocate for the establishment of academic crimes and corruption court in Liberia took to his Facebook page and splashed at Mr. Deo Delaney allegations of faking his academic credentials to obtain the top job at the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment.

Martin Kollie’s Claims

Kollie had claimed that Delaney not only falsified his academic credentials but also failed the aptitude test and interview from the list of shortlisted candidate with 55.25% score, being the least of all the applicants Martin asserted that there were requirements for the job when it was advertised, among which is that the candidate should possess Master’s degree in Banking, Finance and Management, Economics or any Business Management field minimum and a minimum of 15 years of work experience in the Banking industry , at least 10 of those years must be in the Liberian Banking industry. He wrote: “Deo Delaney did not meet any of the 8 requirements. For example, he does not have any degree in Banking, Finance and Management, Economics or any Business Management Field. He has never worked with/for any bank before whether in Liberia or out of Liberia even for 1 month, let alone 10 years.” He continued: “In his CV submitted to the Recruiting Agency and the Interview Panel, He lied again about ‘postgraduate diploma in Investment Decision from Harvard University and M.A. in Global Business (Hons) from Oxford’. Both Harvard and Oxford have issued disclaimers to his false claims.

LDBI’s Action against Delaney

Perhaps attempting to ward off embarrassment, the Bank moved quickly to ask Mr. Delaney to step aside over the reports of credential falsification, promising to probe the matter further. In a statement, the Bank said: “In December 2021, the Board of Directors (Board) of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) engaged the services of a recruitment firm to search for suitable candidates for the position of President/CEO of LBDI. That exercise identified Mr. Deo Z. Delaney as a suitable candidate for the position, following which the Board selected Delaney as President/CEO. “Effective December 6, 2022, the Board has designated Mr. Mark Akwenah Nyeamene, Jr, the General Manager/DCEO, as Acting President/CEO of LBDI. The public is encouraged to accord Mr. Nyeamene the due courtesy in the performance of his duties while the Board takes the next steps to recruiting a new President /CEO”.

Contrary testaments

However delayed his reaction appears to be, Mr. Delaney has mustered the courage to issue a rebuttal against those claiming credential faking. In statement, he said: “Over the past two weeks, multiple allegations have been published via social media channels and in the Liberian press about me and my academic and professional the Liberian press about me and my academic and professional achievements. My silence and delayed response were due to me knowing that the allegations published were baseless. I also believed that the public and the people who know me would realize the mischaracterizations of my work experience were absurd and ridiculous.” According to Mr. Delaney the misstatements were part of a broad, organized and well-calibrated attack intended to undermine my hard-earned credibility and distract me from the job we were carrying out for the people of Liberia.

He said following my resignation, the allegations morphed into a targeted and sustained smear campaign built on falsehoods that included accusations of fraud, plagiarism and identity theft. “I take full ownership for the one error for which I resigned: the fact that I referred to my Master level diploma from Oxford (See Transcript) in Global Business as a Master’s in Global Business during my recruitment process, and thereafter. For that, I apologize to the Liberian people, my mentors, supporters, my family, friends, former colleagues and everyone who believes in me.”

Continuing his rebuttal, the former LBDI boss said that particular misstep was not one of the allegations highlighted in the social media campaign calling for his resignation, and that he was now writing a respond “to refute the misinformation about me and affirm that the following things are true: “My full name is Deogratias Zobon Delaney. Abbreviated, it is Deo Z. Delaney. I am a dual citizen of Liberia and Ireland. I shortened my name from Deogratias to Deo for practical reasons such as pronunciation and email handles. I graduated from the Cathedral Catholic high school in Liberia. I obtained my Associate of Arts Degree from the Mother Pattern College of Health Sciences and went on to enroll directly into a Masters’ Program at the institute of Law and Politics at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa in Italy, obtaining a Master’s degree in Human Rights and Conflict Management.”

He continued: “In 2012, I went on to study at the University of Oxford Said Business School, where I obtained with distinction a Masters-level, postgraduate diploma in global business. My dissertation for the program was awarded a distinction as well. My professional career humbly and proudly began here in Liberia at ADRA and then I moved on to UNMIL that many of us know and remember. I went on join the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn Germany. “I later moved to UNICEF Supply Division Vaccine Center in Copenhagen. Denmark. I worked with the European Commission External Action Service (EEAS) as part of the core team that established EUCAP Nestor, the EU anti-piracy efforts in the Horn of Africa. Thereafter, I joined the British Chamber of Commerce in Denmark — first, as Business Development Manager, and later, as Head of Business Development, EU and International Trade tasked with helping to promote trade and investment dialogue between Europe and the US. In this role I got the privilege of working directly with and hosting amongst others, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield; US Assistant Sec. Commerce Ted Dean; US Ambassador/ Chief of Protocol Rufus Gifford; President of Microsoft Brad Smith; Ignacio Garcia Bercero, EU Chief negotiator of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and EU Commissioner Vera Jourova.”

Mr. Delaney further said of himself: “I also authored and co-authored several publications on trade liberalization, data protection and investment protection. All of these writings are available and verifiable as my original work. I worked at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing, China. At AIIB, I facilitated Liberia’s Accession to the bank. Following, AIIB, I went on to join Accenture Technology in Amsterdam. “I was recruited to head LBDI with a mandate to repurpose the bank as the premier development finance institution of the country based on my international experience. I accepted the role because I am a strong believer in Liberia and its young people, and our ability to create the country we want to see for ourselves and our children. But part of repurposing LBDI was to collect millions of dollars in outstanding loans (which I started to recover aggressively). In parallel, I was initiating an independent audit of the bank, by an internationally reputable firm. I intended to clearly demonstrate to would-be investors the state of the bank I inherited. This is something I hope my successor will continue successfully.” He expressed the “trust this statement will provide some clarity and bring to permanent close the campaign of blatant and hurtful lies published about me across media platforms and channels.”

A Peep at Exhibits

The Analyst was privy to some of the documental testaments referenced in the statement released by Mr. Delaney. These include a certificate for Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education program in Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance, a May 2013 transcript from the Oxford University, and a horde of souvenir photographs. The “Certificate for Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education program in Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance” read: “This certifies that Deo Delaney has completed Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance – November 20 – 22, 2019. Deo Delaney’s Post-graduate diploma earned after completing a master-level post-graduate program in Global Business”. The Certificate from the Oxford University also bears the name Deo Delaney with inscription, “This certifies that Deo Delaney has pursued the approved course of study under the supervision of the Executive Committee of the Said Business School and on May 22, 2013 was awarded a distinction by the Examiners appointed by the University to examine in the subjects prescribed for the Postgraduate in Global Business.

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