Liberia: LACC Arrests NTA Managing Director, Mr. Harbie Macaulay, For Questioning After Workers’ Protest And Allegations Of Financial Impropriety
MONROVIA – The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) on Thursday picked up the Managing Director of the National Transit Authority (NTA) following allegations of financial impropriety by workers of the NTA who staged a protest on Wednesday in demand for four months’ salary arrears and called for his removal.
Mr. Harbie McCualey was escorted to the headquarters of the LACC by investigators of the Anti-Corruption Commission and officers of the Liberia National Police after he was picked up from his offices in New Georgia on Somalia Drive.
FrontPageAfrica gathered that his arrest and interrogation is part of an aggressive drive to preemptively enforce financial regulation across government as opposed to waiting to investigate.
The LACC will, accordingly, now follow the money as it is being spent, FrontPageAfrica gathered.
In this regard, the government through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning is developing a new expenditure tracking system that would enable the public to follow public spending in real-time.
The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission would, henceforth, be digging into funds flow management to check for potential breaches to existing regulations and move in to clamp on wrongdoing.
The NTA employees accused Mr. McCauley of corruption, nepotism, and bad labor practice at the NTA and stressed the need for the President to remove him as head to further save the entity and the image of the government.
Employees of the NTA expressed excitement over his arrest by the LACC.
Speaking to FrontPageAfrica Thursday at the offices of the LACC, some employees on the scene said they were happy that their boss was arrested for questioning.
“For me, this is a great step by the LACC, and if they continue this in this way it will give whistleblowers the courage to report all corrupt officials in government, I can’t wait for him to be prosecuted, these are guys who are planted in government destroy the image of the government,” a conductor identified as Morris told FPA.
Another worker of the NTA said it was mere bluff by the LACC to have arrested his boss, saying, “If you know how close my boss and the President are you guys will not bluffing around here saying your arresting people like McCauley who can see the President anytime,” Nora Gray Benson of the NTA said.
For his part, one of the operators on the NTA buses wants the government to seize all of the belongings of his boss and freeze his account until he’s cleared by the LACC.
“Let him even be disgraced publicly like what we can see in Kenya and other East African countries because we cannot continue with this mess from our public officials, if they steal let them be punished or repay and prosecuted,” he said with anger.
The arrest of the NTA boss is the first major action taken by the newly appointed boss of the LACC Cllr. Edwin Martins as was inducted the same day of the arrest of McCauley.
Cllr. Martins declined to speak to journalists on the arrest of his fellow officers of government on grounds that the arrest was the first step and preliminary investigation. He, however, wants the public to be calm and trust the new LACC.