Whistleblower, NOCAL Consultant Found Dead

first_imgWhat caused the death of Cllr. Nkrumah Michael Allison last Thursday morning at the beach on 4th Street is baffling police in Monrovia, who are bringing in a foreign pathologist to perform an autopsy to identify the cause of his death. His body was found on the beach, allegedly drowned, police said.Cllr. Allison blew the whistle that led to the on-going investigation by the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission, (LACC), and involving House Speaker Alex Tyler.  As NOCAL consultant, Cllr. Allison was expected to have received half of a US$25,000 consultancy fee from the nationwide legislative consultations regarding two draft oil bills, the NOCAL Act of 2013 and the Petroleum Act of 2013.  Over US$900,000 was allocated for the Legislature to conduct said consultations.Controversy surrounding the draft bills deepened when it was revealed that House Speaker Alex Tyler decided to pre-finance the project and made available a check in the amount of US$12,000, which piqued the interest of the LACC, who later launched an investigation into his actions.Cllr. Allison’s body was “discovered on the beach on 4th Street on Thursday February 12,” according to a release by the Liberia National Police yesterday.Cllr. Allison, son of the late Gray D. Allison, the most powerful defense minister in the Samuel K. Doe administration, was the head of the BRICS Legal Consultants that provide legal services for needy persons in Liberia, a source said.A release quoting LNP director Chris Massaquoi yesterday said, “This event revealed that during the evening hours of February 12, at about 1800hrs, Cllr. Michael Allison and his female friend (name withheld) were walking along the 4th Street beach when he got drowned.“He (Allison) allegedly told the lady in question that he was feeling warm and wanted to waste some sea water on his body.“It is further alleged that,” Director Massaquoi said, “he (Allison) then took off his clothes and walked into the sea at which time he allegedly drowned.”Police said Cllr. Allison’s remains are “deposited at the John F. Kennedy Hospital morgue, pending an autopsy.”“Meanwhile, arrangement is being made for a foreign pathologist to be flown into the country to conduct the autopsy to assist the police in its investigation,” says LNP sources.The police action supports, to a larger extent, claims in several quarters that Cllr. Allison’s death was not natural and the explanation of the “female friend” is not believable by the police, as the community has expressed utter shock about the young lawyer’s death.Family sources told the Daily Observer that Cllr. Allison’s role as a whistleblower, revealing contents of the draft bills, made him unpopular in political circles, and though our sources could not advance information that could reveal the cause of his eventual demise, they did not rule out foul play either.Though police are not talking or making conclusions, the position to fly in a foreign pathologist is an indication of police dissatisfaction with the explanation given by the “female friend” about Cllr. Allison’s drowning, leaving the public with mixed reactions.Cllr. Allison’s unpopularity emanated from his disclosure of negotiations taking place by NOCAL for the sale of oil blocks, which many believe should have been suspended during the heat of the Ebola epidemic, when all efforts were supposed to be focused on the Ebola fight.Another witness told the Daily Observer, “Cllr. Allison was a major figure in the frustration and shame that befell all those who were determined to sell the oil blocks during the worst period of the Ebola crisis.” Many expressed the view that his demise apparently originated from his role as a whistleblower.But did he drown as the “female friend” told police? The report indicated that the couple walked on the beach on Thursday night and when he allegedly drowned, she cried for help and a Brazilian with a speedboat came to her assistance.As family and friends and the country grapple with the cause of Cllr. Allison’s death, many appealed to the police to ensure justice for the victim.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Doctor ‘feel goods’ still serving the stars

first_img“It’s not easy to say no to a celebrity,” said Michael Levine. “History has taught us whether it’s Anna Nicole, Elvis or John Belushi, they can get what they want. It’s like water.” Monroe died at 36 from an overdose of sleeping pills in August 1962. She had been under a doctor’s care at the time, police said. Presley, who died in 1977 at 42, was known to travel with George Nichopoulos, a former physician who overprescribed drugs to clients, who also included rockabilly singer Jerry Lee Lewis. Members of the medical team who performed Presley’s autopsy acknowledged in 1990 that the singer was addicted to prescription medications and his death may have been hastened by “polypharmacy,” a reaction to mixing many drugs. Nichopoulos lost his medical license but was acquitted of related criminal charges. “Top Gun” producer Don Simpson was found dead of a drug overdose at his Bel-Air estate in January 1996. Traces of 21 drugs were found in his blood, and at least two doctors were investigated for overprescribing medications for Simpson. If a prescription needs to be filled in Hollywood, chances are celebrities can find a doctor to do it. Doctors have a long history of feeding the drug demands of the entertainment industry from Marilyn Monroe to Winona Ryder, Elvis Presley to Courtney Love. Now, California authorities are looking at a physician who reportedly prescribed methadone to Anna Nicole Smith under a fake name. The former Playboy Playmate died Feb. 8 after collapsing at a Florida hotel. The cause is under investigation. The allure of having a star as a patient can sometimes influence whether doctors follow the rules or break the law, one veteran Hollywood publicist says. More recently, celebrities have used fake names to get their vials filled. A 2002 probation report stemming from the shoplifting arrest of actress Winona Ryder showed that she used a half-dozen aliases when she sought prescription drugs. The report said Ryder went “doctor shopping” and had 37 prescriptions filled by 20 doctors over a three-year span. “It’s not uncommon for a high-profile person to get a prescription filled under an alias,” said Ryder’s attorney, Mark Geragos, citing a celebrity’s need for privacy. “It happens with great frequency.” The California Health and Safety Code includes several sections stating that no person who prescribes or dispenses a controlled substance may give a phony name or address or make any false statements on the prescription form. Geragos said the onus is on the doctor. In Ryder’s case, Jules Lusman pleaded no-contest to practicing medicine without a license and grand theft, and was sentenced to five years probation. This past week, California’s medical board opened an inquiry as investigators tried to determine if there was any misconduct by Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, who reportedly prescribed methadone to Smith. The celebrity news Web site TMZ.com said “Michelle Chase” was an alias used by Smith in a pharmacy receipt for a methadone prescription. Methadone is a popular narcotic painkiller that is used as part of drug addiction detoxification and maintenance programs. Methadone overdoses can cause shallow breathing and dangerous changes in heart beat. An attorney for Kapoor, a 1996 graduate of Boston University School of Medicine, said in a statement Friday that his treatment of Smith was “sound and appropriate” and he will cooperate with the state’s medical board. Levine said celebrities turn off their “psychological smoke alarms” and surround themselves with people willing to cater to their needs and who aren’t willing to intervene when problems arise. “We hopefully have friends and family who will step in and help us out when there are problems,” Levine said. “But people who don’t have the smoke alarms will be enveloped by fire at some point.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more