Liberia: House Speaker Taunts #BringBackOurMoney Campaigners
Monrovia – House Speaker Bhofal Chambers has taken a jibe at those involved with the #BringOurMoneyBack campaign by asking them to lead investigators to where they know the money.
Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]
This newspaper had reported on September 17, 2018, that the Liberian government was tight-lipped on at least L$9 billion that had allegedly gone missing. Few hours after this publication hit the newsstand on the same day, the Liberian government issued a press release.
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 the same day, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf granted an exclusive interview with FrontPageAfrica and stated her disappointment with the initial findings of the government.
But at a press conference over the weekend, Speaker Chambers, who is the third most powerful person in the country, said he is asking the #BringOurMoneyBack campaigners because information available to him is that no money missing as it is being alleged.
According to him, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Mr. Milton Weeks, has confirmed that there is no money missing and that the money in question came before he resigned as governor from the Bank.
According to him, since the former governor had allegedly admitted that the money can be accounted for, his only concern now is who authorized the printing of additional L$10 billion.
“This legislature never gave any authorization neither did it entered into any contract with any institution to print 10 billion Liberian dollars. What is being said about this legislature is unpatriotic; it is empty and has no substance,” he quipped.
He also added, “So, people who are saying ‘Bring back our money’ can to lead us to where the extra money is. We want to thank the President for his magnanimity to invite in the FBI that will bring to this investigation some logical conclusion.”
The Speaker used his press conference to inform the media that there is an established document to show that the Legislature gave the authorization for the printing of only five billion. According to him, his assertion is backed by testimonies from former members of the 53rd Legislature including former Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay.
“We have called people who have helped us in the discussion. It is fair to understand that only the fact can lead us out of this. There may be statements that may be twisted only to paint a negative image of this government and legislature.
“This Legislature has been able so far to establish that the communication that some people are relying on lacks basis of logic. The letter addressed to former Central Bank Governor Milton Weeks on July 19, 2017 was to give him the legal authority to print five billion new Liberian banknotes,” he emphasized.
Responding to question about comments made by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on the Voice of America (VOA) on the saga of the alleged missing money, Speaker Chambers, who is a long time critics of Ellen, said, “The former President’s statement lacks measurement and perception. But what I can say is that the former President is a Person of interest and I think she can help their process because it was under her administration these things took place.”