Liberia: The Senator’s Case: Who Should be on Trial?

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The admission by Senator Milton Teajay that he does not hesitate to ask for favors from people when they come for confirmation in the form of jobs for his people lays to bare the worse form of corruption.


By Dr. Abdoulaye W Dukule


We tend to look at corruption from a purely financial perspective but it goes far beyond that. In the scheme of things, putting people in position they are not qualified for poses greater danger to the national welfare than the exchange of money. An official taking cash bribe may only do that once to settle an issue, but having a relative or friend imposed into a position can cause irreparable institutional damage with unforeseeable consequences. The much-touted lack of capacity is more the result of such actions.

It’s rather ironic that a senator would admit buying favors for his protégés but would sue a newspaper for revealing that he accepted money in exchange of recommending a presidential nominee for confirmation. This is the highest crime of corruption, with many possible negative consequences. The fact that he was able to push someone through the doors of an important institution such as the anti-corruption commission should get the attention of not only the Senate but more importantly, the President and the entire executive. How many people has he settled in positions they are not qualified for over the years?

Nobody should expect any reaction because “it’s how things are done here.” It didn’t start with Senator Teajay and it may not stop with him. And the institutions will continue to be dysfunctional and corrupt and the nation will remain poor and mismanaged.

Rather than being kicked out of the senate and possibly jailed for act of corruption and sabotage, he runs to court to sue. This too is Liberia, as Tom Kamara would say. If this is not a case of corruption in high places, what will be?

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