Anti-Corruption Agency Blasts Liberian Govt Over It’s Exclusion From Investigation Into Missing Bank Notes

Philadelphia, PA- USA LACC

Liberia’s anti graft agency has criticized the decision of the Government to launch an investigation into allegations of the disappearance of containers and bags of Liberian bank notes without its inclusion.

In a Press Statement issued on Thursday in the capital Monrovia, the country’s Anti- Corruption Commission (LACC), however said, it, “… remains committed to probe the matter in keeping with its mandate under section 5.2a of the an Act establishing the Commission as an independent and autonomous agency of Government clothed with the authority to investigate alleged, perceived, or potential acts of corruption. Section 5.2 b of the LACC Act also gives the Commission the authority to investigate the conduct of ANY person, irrespective of office or status, natural or otherwise, if the conduct of the person(s) constitute corruption, the Press Statement said.

Map of Liberia

On Thursday the Liberian Government announced the setting up of a body which includes local religious, civil and legal society groups to assist with the investigation of the disappearance of containers and bags of Liberian Banknotes of about $16 billon.

IMF

The Government also requested the assistance of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the US Treasury Department and the International Monetary Fund )IMF).

There is no confirmation that the request to the US and the IMF has been accepted for consideration.

The country’s Ministry of Information, in a press statement issued Tuesday afternoon in Monrovia says the Government is taking the ongoing investigation seriously because of what it referred to as “national security implications.”

The LACC’s frustration is evident in its statement, since it was clearly sidelined by the Government that is pursuing the investigation of the matter but at the same time contravening the Act establishing its own anti corruption agency.

“ …In order not to confuse ongoing joint efforts conducted by various agencies of Government, the LACC is looking forward to receiving reports and documentary evidence, if any, from the Government’s Investigation to enhance its mandate,” the anti- graft body said.

In order to ensure a transparent investigation, and accountability, the LACC says it will collaborate with other entities and is in the process of seeking external funding.

In a separate matter, the Speaker of Liberia’s House of Representatives Mr. Bhofal Chambers says the legislative body will convene in a special session in the coming days to act on pertinent national issues which have attracted its attention.

House Speaker Bhofal Chambers

In a Press Statement issued on Thursday, Speaker Chambers said “… Among other issues for reconvening the Special Legislative Session are the legislations for needed pieces of law which are bordered on pressing national challenges.”

The Justice Ministry’s response to the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of the $16 billion Liberian bank notes will also be discussed, the House Speaker said

Liberian lawmakers are on their annual agriculture break but will be returning to the Capitol Building to discuss the issue.

By Emmanuel Abalo

West African Journal Magazine

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