LACC Chairperson Vows Robust Fight

MONROVIA-The new Executive Chairperson of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) has vowed to fight corruption beyond all borders throughout his tenure at that institution.

He called for a collective strive to ensure that the society is protected from all forms of corruption.

Speaking Thursday, July 22, 2021, at event marking the official taking over, Cllr. Edwin Kla Martin said he will ensure that the LACC doubles its efforts so as to build a robust fight against corruption which he said is eating the nation.

Cllr. Martin indicated that corruption is a vampire and a cancer that has destroyed the Liberian society ranging from infrastructure development to the development of the human capacity.

He mentioned that anyone, past and present that has invalidated the actual definition of corruption will not be exempted from prosecution.

To effectuate this, Martin has instructed the division of enforcement and intelligence of the LACC to conduct immediate investigation into government’s ministries, agencies and commissions (MACs) private individuals and business houses who have willfully selected to waste public money for their selfish gains.

The LACC boss added, “If found culpable, such person or persons will be immediately arrested and charged in accordance with the law.”

He went on to say, “Today as I takeover, the war on corruption has begun. By that, I am asking all those previous and present public officials who have mismanaged, misapplied, misused and stolen public funds to voluntarily restitute same with immediate effect,” Martin requested.

He asserted that all those undergoing investigation and charged with corruption that left the country or escaped, his leadership will work with the courts to ensure that an extradition proceeding be legally effectuated in order for them to face the full weight of the law.

“My leadership will also work with friendly countries in making sure that regulations regarding extraditions are reviewed and revised. This will further give us the power to extradite individuals charged with corruption” he said.

According to the 2008 act of establishing the commission part 2, section 2.1, corruption is defined as “any acts, decisions or use of public resources by a public or private official in the discharge of official duties and responsibilities which, in order to satisfy the selfish desire or interest of the said official or other person or persons, natural or legal, ignore the established laws, regulations, and thereby, denies, deprives, and prevents, the state or person or persons natural or legal from receiving entitlement, consideration, or treatment.”

It further described corruption as, “Bribery, embezzlement, extortion, fraud, influence peddling, insider trading, misuse of entrusted public property and vested authority, and any economic and financial crimes, which are now provided for under the penal code of Liberia, or may, thereafter, be defined and enacted.”

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