‘NEC Don’t Vet Candidates on Corruption’ – Electoral Commission Reacts to Abu Kamara Corruption Allegation

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Monrovia – The National Election Commission (NEC) says they have no jurisdiction to remove the name of the ruling party candidate Abu Kamara from the ballot paper regardless allegation of his involvement of corruption.

Kamara is on the ticket of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in the upcoming Monsterrado County’s District No. 15 by-election.

Henry Flomo, Communications Director of NEC, says candidates will meet the requirements before their names are posted on ballot papers. 

“We can’t comment on it and we are not into corruption investigation because it does not involve NEC,” Flomo said.

The CDC is yet to release an official statement on the corruption allegation hovering its candidate.

It can be recalled the LACC established that Mr. Kamara received double salaries while serving as Deputy Managing Director of Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) and from his previous job as Deputy Minister of Post and Telecommunication.

The LACC’s investigative report shows that Mr. Kamara consented to receive US$ 8000. 00 and L$200,000 and promised to restitute the amount. But in May of this year, Kamara expressed guilt to the allegation by the legal division of the LACC.

The legal division put out a restitution plan in the total amount of US$8,164.70 and L$271,114.74 including an interest of 14 percent accumulated over three months, October-December.

On June 25, 2019, the first payment of US$500.00 was paid by Mr. Kamara and since then no payment has been made.

If he fails to restitute the amount, Mr. Kamara will be charged with theft.

The LACC on Friday confirmed that Kamara was held for defrauding the government of the said amount but rectifies that the investigation was not based on political reasons.

At the same time, some residents of the district have called on Kamara to step aside from the race since his integrity has come under scrutiny.

Cecelia Fahn, 34, a businesswoman, said Mr. Kamara’s decision to “pay the money back in full” should not be a condition for him to stay on the ballot. 

“The fact that he committed fraud is enough to void his candidacy. Abu Kamara should be under investigation right now rather than talking about his candidacy. He defrauded the Liberian people and he should be dealt with accordingly,” Fahn said.

Tyrese Brown added that “Liberia is a sad country, most things that happened in Liberia can’t happen in other countries”.

“I was stunned to hear his partisans in the communities singing and saying, even he is a rogue or he steals he’s the one we want. It is just hard to get it to wrap around my head that our people are gullible and ignorant, they can be easily used,” he said.

On the other hand, Theresa Toe, a constituent of the district, says she is not bothered by the investigation but hoping that he changes his behavior when he wins.

“I don’t have a problem with the report but I hope that if he wins, he wouldn’t do the same thing, but, I am voting for him.”

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