Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission Assures Independent Investigation into US$25M Mop-up Exercise
Monrovia – The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) said it will begin inviting people of interest in the ongoing US$25 million investigation.
However, the LACC’s Program Manager, Investigation and Enforcement Officer, Baba Boakai, failed to name some or all of the individuals they have on mind to be invited.
In an interview with FrontPageAfrica, Boakai said the anti-corruption agency and the General Auditing Commission (GAC) are jointly reviewing reports.
“As you may be aware, the GAC came out with reports; they gave us copies of the reports. We are jointly reviewing those reports and we will start to invite people of interest by next week.”
Speaking on the issue of expiration of tenure of the LACC commissioners and their independence in ongoing investigations, Boakai said the LACC is made up of four divisions, which are run by the Secretariat, and headed by an Executive Director; adding: “So the issue of tenure expiration has nothing to do with the investigation.”
“As it relates to staff in the LACC, we are all permanent employees; we are not afraid of any job security. The commissioners are Presidential employees.
“We have four divisions that are supervised by the secretariat that is headed by the Executive Director. So the issue of expired tenure is in no way affecting the ongoing investigation. We investigated the 16 billion Liberian dollars case; we investigated the bribe case at the National Housing Authority (NHA); so we are not afraid that at some point in time, our jobs will be at risk for doing what we are supposed to do.”
In February 2018, a scoping report delving into allegations of the disappearance of new Liberian Dollar banknotes Report and US$25 million announced as measures by President George Manneh Weah to mop up the excess liquidity of Liberian dollars, prepared for the United States Agency for International Development by Kroll Associates, Inc, recommended a full-scale forensic audit of disbursements from the Central Bank of Liberia for the period January 2016 to December 2018.
Months later, the Liberian government is yet to sanction that forensic probe. Instead settling for a General Auditing Commission’s Report of Factual Findings in the application on an Agreed-Upon Procedures of the US$25 million mop-up exercise conducted by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), as mandated by the Technical Economic Management Team (TEMT).
Weeks later, the Weah-led government through Attorney General Frank Musah Dean, commissioned the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) to commence yet another investigation into the US$25 million mop up exercise.
That communication in possession of FrontPageAfrica to Mr. Charles Gibson, acting head of the LACC, reads:
Dear Hon. Gibson,
We present compliments and herewith submit to you, for a full scale investigation, matters and issues emanating from the General Auditing Commission’s (GAC) Audit Report dated May 2019, entitled “On Applying the Agreed Upon Procedures of the US$25M Mop-up Exercise conducted by the Central Bank of Liberia(CBL) as mandated by the Technical Economic Management TEMT).Considering the sensitivity of matters and issues associated with the said audit report, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) requests that you conduct this investigation in the shortest possible time.The MOJ assures you of its continued collaboration as the LACC proceeds with the matter
In a separate communication to Mr. Nathaniel Patray, Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, the
Attorney General wrote:
Dear Hon Patray,
We present our compliments and by copy of the attached letter, wish to inform you that the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission(LACC) has been requested to conduct a full scale investigation into matter and issues emanating from the Audit Report entitled: “On Applying the Agreed Upon Procedures of the US$25M Mop-up Exercise Conducted by the Central Bank of Liberia(CBL) as mandated by the Technical Economic Management Team(TEMT).Considering the sensitivity of matters and issues growing out of the Audit Report, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ)has requested the LACC to conduct the investigation in the shortest possible time.
This letter comes to request that the CBL cooperates with the investigation. Please do not hesitate to contact us if need be.