Inner City Press

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYTAzerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER
 More: InnerCityPro

MRL on Patreon

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

On UN Bribery, ICP Asks Why Indictee Gadio's Spouse Silent on Coup Bid in E. Guinea, Cover Up

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, ICP in HK

UNITED NATIONS, January 3 – On November 20, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York issued an indictment against former Senegal foreign minister Cheikh Gadio and the head of the UN ECOSOC accredited China Energy Fund Committee Patrick Ho, accused together of bribing Chad's President Idriss Deby - as well as, for Ho, of bribing former UN President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa, now as then the foreign minister of Uganda. Now while the UN continues to tell Inner City Press it has yet to even begin any audit, Gadio's wife as the UN's Resident Coordinator in Equatorial Guinea has had not a word to say about the attempted coup claimed by the decades-long rules of that country. On January 3, Inner City Press made the link and asked UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: the President of Equatorial Guinea, President [Teodoro] Obiang, has now said formally that there was an attempted coup in the country and that, quote, mercenaries were stopped.  And I was wondering… I was looking everywhere to see whether the UN, which has a presence there, has had anything either to say about this coup attempt.  Mostly be… I know I'd asked before about Coumba Mar Gadio.  She's the Resident Coordinator and also the spouse of Cheikh Gadio, who has been indicted for bribery inside the UN.  Is she still in her position?  And, if so, what does she say about an attempted coup in the country in which she's the Resident Coordinator of the UN? Deputy Spokesman:  Well, we have not made any particular comment on recent incidents, but I'll check with our colleagues in the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and see if there's any particular reaction to make on that." Nine hours later, nothing. The UN is covering up. In Uganda not only parliamentarians but implicated President Yoweri Museveni himself have ordered investigations of Kutesa. This Ugandan publication reports that "Museveni met Kuteesa at his Kisozi farm [and] in the meeting Kuteesa distanced himself from this bribery scandal but confessed to have met the said Chinese investors but said he never got any single money from them on the pretext of taking it to fund president Museveni’s presidential campaigns." On December 14, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Farhan Haq, video here, UN transcript here, Inner City Press: there's a report in Uganda that the President, Museveni, is calling for an investigation of  the material in the indictment of Patrick Ho and Cheikh Gadio regarding Mr. [Sam] Kutesa. It's $500,000 bribe paid in connection with him being PGA [President of the General Assembly].  Maybe you won't comment on that, but is there any update on the UN itself doing, at a minimum, an audit, if less than investigation, of the way in which the material in there, which has the UN is throughout it, you'd said that DESA [Department of Economic and Social Affairs], just based on, I guess, reading the indictment, suspended. Is there any move toward having an audit, or is the Global Compact, for example, conducting any inquiry into the source of the funds to the NGO from its member China Energy Fund Committee? Deputy Spokesman:  Well, as Stéphane [Dujarric], I believe, mentioned some days ago, the UN is continuing to look into the matter.  If there is anything further to say about an audit, we'll mention it at that point.  But we do continue to review what further action is needed from our side. Inner City Press: Is it OIOS [Office of Internal Oversight Services] looking at it or OLA [Office of Legal Affairs]?  When you say the UN, which… who's looking at it? Deputy Spokesman:  Like I said, once we have something further to announce on that, I will.  But we are continuing to explore the matter." We'll have more on this. How long can the UN of Antonio Guterres and Amina "Rosewood" Mohammed hide from this scandal and not even launch an audit? We'll have more on this.  Inner City Press has zeroed in on a November 21 event, after the indictment, in which UN DESA used $1 million from CEFC. On November 30, after many rounds of questions from Inner City Press, UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric answered that DESA has suspended work with CEFC pending the outcome of the U.S. case(s). Periscope here. He could not, however, explain why the $1 million went out the door on November 21 nor why there is yet to be a UN audit. On December 13 Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: On China Energy Fund Committee, you'd said on Monday that DESA [Department of Economic and Social Affairs] had gone forward on 21 November with the million dollars because they hadn't… they hadn't yet read closely.  At least I took that to… Deputy Spokesman:  That's not what I said. Inner City Press:  They had not yet digested the indictment.  What changed then?  We'll go back to that. Deputy Spokesman:  What I said is that the invitation and the event had been organised well before the indictment. Inner City Press: But, I said, why then after… thereafter they decided to suspend their business with this company that's in the indictment for bribery?  So I said, what changed in terms of the UN's knowledge of the company between 21 November and the date at which DESA stopped doing business with them? Deputy Spokesman:  They reviewed their dealings with the organisation, and they came to that decision. Inner City Press: if DESA reached that conclusion, I'm wondering why the UN Global Compact, which one would actually think has a higher standard and since it's a… the vehicle for companies to espouse human rights and anti-corruption, why the cen… the 100 per cent funder of the NGO and the beneficiary of the alleged bribing scheme is still a member of the UN Global Compact.  Can you explain what standards are being applied by the Global Compact? Deputy Spokesman:  Well, that is a matter for them to review.  If they come to a decision to make a change, they'll make that change. Inner City Press: is it just the director?  Who makes the determination? Deputy Spokesman:  No, the Global Compact reviews all this.  It has its own Secretariat." We'll have more on this.  On December 1, Patrick Ho appeared in the Arraignment Part, Courtroom 5A at 500 Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan and applied for bail, which Gadio had gotten on November 27. But this time, following a Pre-Trial Services recommendation that bail be denied and Ho continue in detention, Ho was denied bail. At the UN, there are photos of Ho with the Secretary General, the Under Secretary General of DESA, and many others. There's more. On December 4, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, Periscope video here (2d half), UN transcript here: Inner City Press: So on Friday in federal court, he was held over.  Bail was denied based on the seriousness of the charges.  Since then, you've… there's been some back and forth on why there's no audit.  But it appears that he was put onto something called the UN High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport (see here), was a member of that.  I've seen an interview he did in the building with UN Radio about presenting a report, that report, I believe, in October 2016 to Ban Ki-moon.  So it seems like he had much greater UN penetration even than Ng Lap Seng did, which triggered an audit.  So I'm wondering, has the UN, whether audit or not, can it say how many times, for example, one issue that came up in the bail hearing was how many times he was in the US in 2017.  So have you… has the UN determined the extent of this now-indicted briber's contact inside the UN, and was he, in fact, on an UN High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport? Spokesman:  "I will check on that.  If I have more to share, I will." This is called a cover up. Where does the US decided to cut off the prosecution? Inner City Press has submitted a Freedom of Information Act request, on which the government has at least for now denied expedited processing, stating only "Your request for Expedited Processing for the FOIA request EOUSA-2018-000784 has been denied. Expedited Disposition Reason: Does not meet standard." This is substantially less detailed that the reasoning, even on the disposition sheet, for Ho's denial of bail. We'll have more on this. During the December 1 hearing Prosecutor Daniel Richenthal said, Google the press coverage of this case and from Hong Kong you'll find articles saying it's political. Inner City Press has covered the case daily since November 20, and asked the UN Spokesman on each business day (it did a TV interview after the court decision, and Periscope video here) - but it is the UN connection which the UN tries to hide. Ho's lawyer said he's been to the US seven times this years. The prosecution said, five times. But how many times has Ho come into the UN? The UN keeps track of this. But will they disclose? Ho's defense lawyer, after a long oral decision against him, said he will appeal. Watch this site. Hhours before Patrick Ho's bail hearing, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about Gadio's bail being paid, in part, by his spouse the UN's Resident Coordinator in Equatorial Guinea. Dujarric bristled that he hoped his spouse would pay his bail, but then when Inner City Press asked how Gadio got into the UN building for the bribe moves described in the indictment, whether it involved his wife's position as a senior UN official, Dujarric said it would be looked into. Really? Then why has Antonio Guterres not even commissioned an audit, as Ban Ki-moon did after the indictment of Ng Lap Seng? We'll have more on this. Inner City Press has zeroed in on a November 21 event, after the indictment, in which UN DESA used $1 million from CEFC. On November 30, after many rounds of questions from Inner City Press, UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric answered that DESA has suspended work with CEFC pending the outcome of the U.S. case(s). Periscope here, video forthcoming. He could not, however, explain why the $1 million went out the door on November 21 nor why there is yet to be a UN audit. On November 21, Inner City Press had already asked about the indictment, and Antonio Guterres in a typical half-way measure canceled his photo op about the event, but the money was still used. Deputy SG Amina Mohammed never changed her schedule, but the UN now insists she did not speak. The UN also on November 29 declined to confirm to Inner City Press Patrick Ho's role on the steering board picking the winner of the UN DESA Energy Grant. But now even as of November 30 Ho is still listed and pictured on the UN DESA Energy Prize Steering Board, along with former UN official Warren Sach and current UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, who refused to answer Inner City Press' questions about any post-John Ashe indictment reforms at UNDP ostensibly out of respect for the dead. Reform at the UN is a dead letter. We'll have more on this. After Inner City Press on November 29 asked the spokesman for the President of the General Assembly, this: "The Spokesperson was asked if the President had attended an award ceremony entitled “Powering the Future We Want/UN DESA Energy Grant” on 21 November.
The Spokesperson replied that the President had not attended or participated in any way." But it was still on his schedule as of noon on November 28. What happened? Who decided that backing away, but still taking the money, was OK? If the UN had a Freedom of Information Act, as it should, the answer would be easy. But we will get it nonetheless. Watch this site. UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric on November 27 insisted to Inner City Press that the indictment does not involve enough UN links for oft-traveling Antonio Guterres to order any UN audit, as even Ban Ki-moon did after Ng Lap Seng was indicted; Guterres' DESA even went forward with $1 million from CEFC after the indictment. But beyond other obvious UN links, "CEFC China Energy Company Limited" is a member of the UN Global Compact, click here to view, on which Guterres cannot pass the buck to ECOSOC or to member states generally. CEFC China Energy is the 100% funder of its namesake CEFC of Patrick Ho; signing its UN Global Compact letter was Ye Jianming, who Sam Kutesa made a Special Honorary Adviser to the UN President of the General Assembly, press release and photo here.  When will Guterres' evasions end? Watch this site. Dujarric on November 27 also insisted to Inner City Press that the case does not involve any UN staff member, that no audit (even of the kind done under Ban Ki-moon of Ng Lap Seng's Sun Kian Ip Foundation) is needed. But beyond CEFC's money used by Guterres' UN on November 21, after the indictment, consider this: Gadio is being bailed out by the UN Resident Coordinator in Equatorial Guinea. What did this UN staff member know about what is alleged in the indictment, and when did she know it? Gadio, after having not gotten bailed out on November 22, appeared on November 27 before Federal Judge William Pauley, represented by Debevoise and Plimpton, and obtained conditions for bail. It was Debevoise and Plimpton's counsel who in seeking to get Gadio released made a point of saying that the other Doctor Gadio is a senior UN official, in Equatorial Guinea. Inner City Press now reports: the Resident Coordinator in Equatorial Guinea, and listed owner of 4210 Sugar Pine Court in Burtonsville, Maryland, 20866: Coumba Mar Gadio. So why did Dujarric say so insistently and rudely, this involves no UN staff member? There is more, but we'll start with this -- watch for the UN to try to hide behind family values, as it uses and pollutes the sustainable development goals to cover up the illegal export of natural resources. This is today's UN. Pre-hearing Periscope video here. In the courtroom on November 27 was Senegal's Consul General, who shook his head when the prosecution said that a "Chinese energy conglomate" -- CEFC -- or paradoxically Uganda might help Gadio flee. It emerged that Mrs. Gadio, also a co-signer on the bond and on a $700,000 bank account with Cheikh Gadio, works for the UN in a high position in Equatorial Guinea. Still the UN claims this case has nothing to do with it, and that there is nothing for it to audit. This, from the UN, is a cover up. Post-hearing Periscope here. Earlier on November 27, Inner City Press asked the spokesman of both UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres - whose DESA used $1 million from CEFC after the indictment - and of President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak what has been done at the UN in the week after the indictment. Nothing, it seems. Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric told Inner City Press that he did not read in the indictment anything for the UN to follow up on, contrary to the UN audit conducted under Dujarric's former boss Ban Ki-moon after the indictment of Ng Lap Seng. Lajcak spokesman Brenden Varma told Inner City Press to contact ECOSOC and so it has, with these questions: "Today the PGA spokesman Brenden Varma told me I can only asked ECOSOC. So here are Inner City Press' questions, on deadline: What vetting of CEFC was done before it gained the status is has with ECOSOC? What have been CEFC's activities and appearances with ECOSOC?  Following the indictment of Patrick Ho and the material in the indictment, what steps is the ECOSOC President or other listed on ESOSOC's contact page taking? On deadline." While Inner City Press was afterward told to also email one Paul Simon, this bounced back, slip-sliding away. The first went through, and ECOSOC is on notice, like Guterres and Deputy Amina J. Mohammed. Watch this site. Gadio's role, described in the indictment, was in bribing Chad's long time president Idriss Deby to the tune of $2 million. Now amid calls in Uganda for Kutesa to resign, see below, in Chad they have turned out 2,000 to chant in favor of Deby, channeled by Radio France International. Some ask, $2 million divided by 2,000 is how much, minus the vig? In the U.S. this is called Astro-turf, an artificial surface for a sports stadium, fake grassroots. Similar moves are afoot for Gadio. What is the French connection? We'll have more on this. Contrary to the indictment which says Kutesa stepped down as Foreign Minister during his year as UN PGA, Inner City Press asked him on September 14, 2015 and Kutesa said, "I am still foreign minister." Scoop here, video here. While the UN of Secretary General Antonio Guterres, even after the indictment and Inner City Press' public questions went forward on November 21 with CEFC's money, see below, in Kampala members of Parliament are calling for Kutesa to resign as foreign minister. "President Museveni and Kutesa should resign and give Ugandans a chance to cleanse their country,” Gerald Karuhanga, Ntungamo Municipality MP, said. Joining the call for resignation(s) are
Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo, John Baptist Nambeshe (Manjiya County), Nabilah Nagayi (Kampala Woman Representative), Patrick Nsamba (Kassanda North), Monicah Amoding (Kumi Municality), Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga West) and James Kaberuka (Kinkizi West). Meanwhile the UN, implicated, canceled Guterres' photo op involving the CEFC money but went forward and used it, while the event remained on the schedule of Guterres' Deputy SG Amina J. Mohammed, embroiled in a scandal involving the signing of 4,000 certificates for rosewood illegal logged in Cameroon and Nigeria and already in China. Ironically, she will be delivering the "Nelson Mandela" address. We'll have more on this.   On Thanksgiving eve November 22 at 4 pm in an otherwise empty courthouse at 500 Pearl Street, bail was sought for Gadio, so he could spend Thanksgiving in Maryland. Federal Defender - assigned counsel - Sabrina Shroff lambasted the prosecutors for delaying. She said that unlike Ng Lap Seng, the billionaire Macau-based businessman now still under house arrest despite six guilty verdicts in connection with UN bribery, her client is not a billionaire. Notably, he has said he is financially unable to retain counsel. Judge Marrero did not set him free on bail, setting the matter over for Monday after Thanksgiving. On the elevator down the prosecution was accused of "white man-splaining;" reference was made to Daniel Richenthal, as prosecutor in the Ng Lap Seng trial as well, and to the UN International School. We'll have more on this - and another of Gadio's roles that brought him to the UN Press Briefing Room in October 2015, as "Special Envoy of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for the Central African Republic." The UN, increasingly, is corrupt. It is alleged that Chadian president Deby took bribes for oil concessions in Chad, and that 2014-15 UN President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa took bribes for oil concessions in Uganda. Kutesa's predecessor John Ashe died under indictment; the depths of the UN's corruption extend into 2017 with the signing of dubious rosewood export certificates in Nigeria by Secretary General Antonio Guterres' Deputy Amina J. Mohammed and set-aside UN employment for the German Ambassador's wife, via Guterres' chief of staff. At noon on November 21 Inner City Press asked Guterres spokesman Farhan Haq about the indictment and CEFC and its $5 million grant program with UN DESA, transcript here and below. Guterres had a 5:45 pm photo op with the "Winners of the Annual Award of the UN Grant on Sustainable Energy" - which seems to have been funded by China Energy Fund Committee, under the heading "Powering the Future We Want."  He "canceled," photos here, but his Deputy Amina J. Mohammed was still listed giving remarks for / at the event at 1 pm, though at 5:30 pm those remarks were not on her website unlike later 2:30 pm remarks. On November 22 Inner City Press asked their spokesman Farhan Haq, who argued that the indictment is only of "Doctor Patrick Ho" personally, so it was fine to keep and go forward with CEFC's money. (He said Amina J. Mohammed did not speak.) But Ho founded and chairs CEFC, here is a photograph of Ho with UN DESA's former chief. Apparently things are more and more lax under Guterres: even Ng Lap Seng's Sun Kian Ip Foundation's money was returned. (Kutesa was also in the Ng Lap Seng case). Is the UN more hard up? The corruption is not past but current. From the UN's November 21 noon briefing transcript: Inner City Press: there was an indictment yesterday by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York that's very… I would say… call it UN related.  A company called China Energy Fund Committee was… as alleged, funnelled $500,000 bribes to Sam Kutesa, former President of the General Assembly.  The indictment describes the meetings taking place not… on this very floor, on the second floor, setting up these bribes.  And so I have a couple of questions.  One is… and these were… these… mentioned in the indictment is the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, who is… as you know, is a mediator on the Burundi file.  So, I wanted to know, number one, after this indictment, what is the UN's office of OIOS [Office of Internal Oversight Services] doing to look at the… the… the UN persons that may… that… implicated in it?  Two, is China Energy Fund Committee still affil… accredited by ECOSOC [Economic and Social Council]?  And they seem to have a project with DESA [Department of Economic and Social Affairs], a $5 million project with DESA.  And, three, what does this mean for… for the… Mr. [Michel] Kafando's and the Secretary-General's view of the Museveni role in the Burundi mediation? Spokesman:  Well, regarding the question of Burundi mediation, obviously, he has a role separate and apart from the work of our envoy, Michel Kafando.  You just heard a briefing from Mr. Kafando yesterday about what his work is on that.  Regarding Mr. Kutesa, we don't have anything particular to say about his dealings as the Foreign Minister of Uganda.  Obviously, he has served as a General Assembly President, and we want to make sure that all officials of the UN, including the General Assembly President, abide strictly by norms avoiding corruption and bribery.  Obviously, how that is enforced is an issue for the specific Member States, so we would refer you, in this case, to the Member State of Uganda, which is responsible for Mr. Kutesa.  And regarding the CEFC that you just mentioned, yes, they have accreditation at ECOSOC.  We're checking with our colleagues in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs about the nature of their projects and what the status of that is. Inner City Press: There's a $5 million project that's online, which I guess… what I'm saying is, coming after the Ng Lap Seng/John Ashe case, it seems some sort of consonant with it.  Basically, you have a big NGO [non-governmental organization] using UN access to purchase a… if the allegations are true, a PGA [President of the General Assembly].  And so, I guess I'm wondering, from the UN side, beyond referring to the Ugandan mission or whatever else, are there any reflections, number one, on how this process… what due diligence did DESA do before… before linking up with this NGO that's clearly a subsidiary of a Chinese oil company that was paying bribes in Chad, as well? Spokesman:  "Well, the information about them paying bribes is something that's come out today.  The ECOSOC accreditation came out sometime prior to all of this.  So, that's a separate issue.  Regarding the sort of probity we expect from officials, including General Assembly presidents, of course, we know that they belong to Member States, but we want them to uphold the high standards.  This is something we made clear during John Ashe's time.  This is something we're making clear now.  And, of course, I believe my colleague Brenden will have more to say about the presidency of the General Assembly regarding this.  But, again, these are issues that the Member States themselves will need to take responsibility for.  These are officials of Member States.  These are not staff of the United Nations. " The Kutesa scam began in long meetings in the UN PGA's office on the UN's second floor - where the UN now requires investigative Inner City Press to have a minder, unlike other correspondents - between Kutesa and China-based NGO China Energy Fund Committee led by Patrick C.P. Ho. The scheme involved Kutesa naming Ho a "Special Adviser to the PGA," and hosting an NGO meeting in the UN in April 2015. Kutesa traveled as PGA to China as part of the scheme. Ho's approach was through Kutesa's chief of staff Arthur Kafeero, whom as Inner City Press exclusively reported in August 2015 Kutesa tried to plant in the UN's Department of Political Affairs. See Inner City Press scoop here; note that the UN evicted Inner City Press for its corruption coverage in early 2016 and has kept it restricted since, even as UN corruption continues, even grows. And what do the member states do? On November 20 Inner City Press asked UK Permanent Representative Matthew Rycroft about the scandal and he said, "I'll look into that and get back to you." Video here. Update (no comment, cite to SDGs, here). From the US Attorney: "HO caused a $500,000 bribe to be paid, via wires transmitted through New York, New York, to an account designated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda, who had recently completed his term as the President of the UN General Assembly (the “Ugandan Foreign Minister”).  HO also provided the Ugandan Foreign Minister, as well as the President of Uganda, with gifts and promises of future benefits, including offering to share the profits of a potential joint venture in Uganda involving the Energy Company and businesses owned by the families of the Ugandan Foreign Minister and the President of Uganda.  These payments and promises were made in exchange for assistance from the Ugandan Foreign Minister in obtaining business advantages for the Energy Company, including the potential acquisition of a Ugandan bank." We'll have more on this. Sam Kutesa had offshore accounts in the Seychelles, to receive funds from Enhas, a company of which despite the UN denying it to Inner City Press is listed as doing business with the UN's mission in the Congo, MONUSCO. The accounts, but not the UN / MONUSCO connection, have been revealed the leaked Appleby / Paradise Papers. Inner City Press on November 7 asked the spokesman for the President of the General Assembly about it, yielding only an answer that the current PGA is striving to make public his disclosure form but will not speak to former (or clearly, past) PGAs. Video here. But how then can the UN be said to have cleaned up after PGA John Ashe, RIP, was indicted for bribery? We'll have more on this.


Feedback: Editorial [at]

Past (and future?) UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA
For now: Box 20047, Dag Hammarskjold Station NY NY 10017

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

 Copyright 2006-2018 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for