The Campus-based Vanguard Student Unification Party (SUP) at the state-run University of Liberia, has termed the recent Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission report as another testament to how common criminals and fortune hustlers have taken over the Liberian state, welcoming the LACC report and demanding the immediate suspension or dismissal of officials of the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Service indicted in the report.
The group supports the LACC report and has called on the government of Liberia for the immediate suspension or dismissal and subsequent prosecution of LISGIS Director General Prof. Francis Wreh and his deputies Lawrence George and Wilmot Smith.
The Liberia Anti-corruption Commission (LACC) has charged and forwarded to court several officials of the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Services for financial improprieties and corruption.
LACC disclosed that Mr. Francis F. Wreh, Mr. Lawrence George, and Mr. Dominic Paye allegedly knowingly and willfully authorized the withdrawal and expending of the cumulative amount of USD$70,000.00 of the Census fund (intended for census-related activities) and failed to fully account for some percentage of the said amount in violation of the laws.
The LACC boss said the three men allegedly willfully withdrew and squander the amounts of USD$4,700, USD$1,500, and USD$2,640 (USD$8,840.00) out of the Census account and paid themselves and other staff extra compensation for performing tasks for which they were hired to do by law, and for which they are being duly paid through monthly salary paid by the government of Liberia.
LACC Chairperson Edwin Martin in the report noted that Mr. Francis F. Wreh, Mr. Lawrence George, and Mr. Dominic Paye, Germue Gbawoquiya, Emmentry Kpoeh, allegedly knowingly and willfully also withdrew and expanded the total sum of USD$4,250.00 out of the Census account for which they cannot justify and account for and must therefore be charged and prosecuted under subchapter D of the Penal Code titled Theft and Related Offenses.
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, July 7, 2022, at the Capitol Hill Campus of the University of Liberia, SUP Chairman Mustapha N. Kanneh noted that the recent LACC report clearly opened their eyes to the high level of corruption scandal at LISGIS which all but hooked LISGIS boss and his duties for organized corruption something he said prompted the concern for their call of the immediate suspension or dismissal by President Dr. George Manneh Weah.
Chairman Kanneh said that the LACC report is not just yet another testament to how common criminals and fortune hustlers have taken over the Liberian state but also exposed individuals in the menacing act of corruption but also the rottenness of the Coalition for Democracy Charge regime and the systematic decadence in the public service under the leadership of Mr. George Weah.
He disclosed that they are concerned about the continuous wave of reports bordering on unrepentant acts of corruption that have engulfed several public entities especially LISGIS at the determent of the good governance and public trust as exposed by the LACC report and subsequent forwarding to court for prosecution in line with the finding and recommendation of the report.
The group Chairman said they have observed that LISGIS has failed continuously to conduct the second post-war census as the constitutional mandate after ten years, adding that such constitutional violation is amongst the many acts that have exposed the ineptitude which is characterized by poor leadership at the country’s statistics office under the governing Administration.
At the same time, Chairman Kanneh threatened unspecified revolutionary action if the government of Liberia do not suspend, or dismissed all those in connection with the allegation of the LACC report, mentioning that SUP will not rest and will go to any length to ensure a forceful action is implemented to restore the lost value of LISGIS and Liberia at large.
“We informed President Weah that the Liberian people will not accept anything than the comprehensive conduct of the National Population Census in 2022 because it believes that if this is not done to ascertain the proximal numbers of inhabitants in the country, the government will use the absence of the conduct of the census as a clever attempt to steal or rig the upcoming election.
However, we will resist any attempt for this government to again delay or suspend the conduct of this year’s census’’, he said further.
Reported by: Stephen G. Fellajuah