March 24, 2023

President Weah will respond to the findings appropriately, Smith Toby states

The Deputy Presidential Press Secretary has informed Reports231 that President George Manneh Weah is yet to receive the most recent corruption report from the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) on Agriculture Minister Jeannie Cooper and other individuals. According to him, despite the fact that the LACC released the report last Friday, the Office of the President is yet to receive a copy from the Ministry of Justice.

The Deputy Press Secretary, every time the LACC investigates a corruption allegation, protocol requires it to send findings to the Ministry of Justice. Mr. Toby stressed that after reading the findings, the justice minister would present the president with recommendations for the following measures.

Agriculture Minister Jeannie Cooper

Mr. Smith Toby asserted that despite the president’s desire to fight corruption; nothing can be done until he receives the report. He noted that when the president receives the report, he will carefully read it before acting. The Deputy Spoke Person of President Weah expressed that although the president is willing to combat corruption, he will not act until he has the report in hand.

Meanwhile, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) has announced that it has submitted several investigative reports to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) calling for the prosecution of several prominent government officials and local vendors for alleged acts of corruption. This has raised concerns that the move is only meant to demonstrate the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)-led government’s purported efforts to combat the problem in advance of the general and presidential elections in 2023.

The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) was established by an Act of Legislature on August 28, 2008, with the mandate to investigate and prosecute acts of corruption, as well as educate the public about the ills of corruption and the benefits of its eradication.

In various investigation findings that were made public, Cllr. Edwin Kla Martin, the executive chairperson of the Liberia Anti-corruption Commission, urged the prosecution of several public officials for corruption.

The Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services, the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, and the Planned Parenthood Association personnel, according to Cllr. Martin, broke the law while doing their official duties.

The nation’s anti-graft chief stated in his detailed conclusions that Agriculture Minister Jeanie Cooper gave contracts to her brother Zubin Cooper and diverted agricultural supplies for her personal use. Additionally, she granted contracts to Farbrar, a business in which she has a beneficial interest.

Francis Wreh, Wilmot Smith, and Lawrence George, the Director-General of the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services, are accused by the LACC of breaking multiple rules when they bought second-hand generators and tablets for the impending census.

With regard to the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, the LACC has accused Deputy Managing Director Moseray Momoh of Economic Sabotage of illegitimately selling off public property and using the proceeds for his own benefit.

According to the LACC Executive Chairperson, the officials from the four agencies will face legal action for economic sabotage, perjury, theft of property, abuse of power, and conflicts of interest.

The head of the nation’s anti-corruption agency vowed that his organization will keep up its efforts to combat corruption in Liberia, saying that doing so would enhance the nation’s reputation and draw in more foreign investment.

The Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led government of President George Manneh is under scrutiny from Liberians and other international partners to determine whether the most recent LACC investigative reports will be treated like others that have been dropped, minimized, or thrown in the trash, or if it is just another publicity stunt to suggest that the government is flexing its anti-corruption muscles ahead of the country’s general and presidential elections in 2023.

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