Liberia: Rep. Frank Foko Commends Senator Pro-Tempore for Striking out US$30k Allotment to Lawmakers from 2022 Budget


Monrovia – Monsterrado County District Nine representative has written Senate Pro Tempore Albert Chie expressing his appreciation for the “decisive removal” of the budget line item labelled as “Legislative projects”, intended to distribute $30,000 to each lawmaker.

Representative Frank Saah Foko said the Pro Tempore’s decision was rational, especially at a time citizens are concerned about the negative impact the growing wave and variations of Covid-19 on their mental health and social-economic well-being.

“Your singular act of nationalism is commendable, instead of individual lawmaker enriching their homes with an elephantine $30,000,” he said. 

Foko took aim at Monsterrado County Senator Abe Darius Dillion, accusing the senator of “taking pleasure in receiving” $30,000 and doing nothing to benefit the people of the county.

“We’re aware that this steadfast decision taken by you doesn’t favor few of our colleagues, particularly my distinguished senator Abe Darius Dillion who finds pleasure in collecting money and doing nothing for the people of Monsterrado County,” he said.

“Hon. Pro Tempore, it can be recalled on November 24, 2021 on the Spoon Talk Show, Sen. Dillon publicly launched an advocacy in favor of the $30, 000, though to date, we are yet to see useful tangibles,” he said.

“For us, we consistently reminded you that the decision to give a whopping $30,000, whilst other basis needs within the sectors of our country are not being met was ill-advised. And as such, we are grateful that our advocacy for the prioritization of our people has been adhere to.”

Senator Dillon of Liberty Party who trumpeted himself as “The Light” when he scored a popular victory in the 2020 senatorial election, came under serious public scrutiny when he received his share of the $30,000.

He had vowed to be the eyes and ears of a nation that had lost trust in a national legislature that has become notoriously renowned for accepting brown envelops in exchange for passage of virtually every major legislation or anything of interest from the Executive Branch of government. 

It didn’t take too long for Senator Dillon to be embroil in controversy. Senator along with 29 other members of the Senate had received $US6,500 each as compensation for the passage of President George Manneh Weah’s COVID-19 stimulus package, the saga drew a wedge between the Senator’s supporters and critics alike.

 Addressing the issue, Senator Dillon told legislative reporters each lawmaker was given USD$ 6,500 from allotment made in the National budget as operational funds.

Senator Dillon insisted that the money was legal as it went through all the process of acquiring legal pay from government. 

“With all my big mouth about integrity, if I had taken bribe unearth by any news agency or individual, I would resign today but this is a legitimate money, as probably unfair and untimely it may have been this money is legitimate.”

The Montserrado County Senator explained that a voucher was raised and sent to the Ministry of Finance and a check was raised by the Central Bank of Liberia under the Senate operational fund budget. We received that money and have made intervention in the county by helping storm victims reroof their homes after they were destroyed by the storm.”