Liberia: ‘No One Will Be Spared in L$15bn Saga’ – Pres. Weah
Monrovia – President George Manneh Weah as assured Liberians that no one is going to be spared if they are caught in any financial malfeasance as it relates to the ongoing investigation of alleged “missing” billions of Liberia dollars brought in by the Central Bank of Liberia.
Report by Alaskai Moore Johnson, [email protected]
Few days ago, when FrontpageAfrica reported that the Liberian government was mum over at least L$9 billion, which had allegedly gone missing, the government, through the Ministry of Justice, issued a press statement few hours after the newspaper hit the newsstand on September 17, 2018.
In that release, which was under the signature of Justice Minister Frank Musah Dean, Jnr., the Liberian government confirmed the speculations about the moneys: “Initial findings indicate that the containers and bags of moneys allegedly arrived between November 2017, prior to the inauguration of the current government, and August 2018. Evidence available to the Investigative Team has established that the current administration was not informed about the arrival of the containers and bags of moneys into the country.” The release was intended to vindicate this administration from any wrongful acts as it pertains to the handling of the moneys.
However, on that same day, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf granted an exclusive interview with this newspaper and stated her disappointment with the initial findings of the government.
Former President Sirleaf suggested a sinister play was at work to impugn her legacy and that of her administration.
Madam Sirleaf: “I have been reliably informed that the Central Bank of Liberia has undertaken an internal investigation and by a directive from the Minister of Justice provided a full report to the police. The CBL has prepared a release that gives full evidence and clarification that refutes the statement of [Information] Minister [Lenn Eugene] Nagbe. This had been held for two days because the CBL Governor and the Minister of Justice have refused to approve the release. It is most unfortunate that the GOL would give false information that wickedly impugns the reputation of past officials and by extension the country itself.”
However, addressing the nation Friday night, President Weah asked all citizens to be patient and those involved in the investigation to be corporative.
He again confirmed that an ongoing investigation is underway into this alleged missing money that was brought in by the Central Bank.
The President again used the occasion to call on his fellow citizens to keep the peace which, together they have maintained for the last 15 years.
Below is the transcript of the President’s full address to the nation. (As delivered)
Fellow citizens over the past 15 years together we have achieved peace and unity. Let’s continue to build on this peace. I want to inform you that an investigation is ongoing into the circumstances surrounding money brought into the country by the Central bank of Liberia and we will not rest until the facts are established and your questions are answered.
I asked all citizens to be patient and those involved in the investigation to be corporative. I am confident that in the end, we will come to a logical conclusion into the circumstances surrounding this money and if anyone is caught in any financial malfeasance they will be held accountable to the full extent. I can assure you, my fellow Liberians, proper accountability of the money in question is vital to my government’s ability to improve your lives.
As we accelerate our investigation to which I have invited international partners to join in advising us to ensure transparency. Let’s us remain calm and have faith in the process.
I believe that the mandate I received from you is a mandate to end corruption in public service and I remain fully committed to this task. I promise to deliver on this mandate and I will not let you down.
God bless Liberia.