…Speaker Rubbishes PJY’s Claims

By Mark N. Mengonfia

Monrovia-April-15-2024-TNR: House Speaker, Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa has dismissed claims that members of the House of Representatives received kickbacks to sign a resolution to establish a criminal tribunal in Liberia.

Recently, Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Jhnson who himself signed the resolution establishing the War and Economic Crimes Court alleged that President Joseph Nyuma Boakai received over US270 million to establish the court in Liberia.

Senator Johnson who was recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for committing atrocities during the country’s nearly 14 years of civil unrest further alleged that President

Boakai gave position of the US$270 million to members of the House of Representatives to sign the resolution.

But Cllr. Koffa speaking Thursday of last week said, “Nobody received a dime to sign any resolution here.”

The 55th House Speaker said those who signed the resolution, signed it at their convictions and not because they received money.

He said members of the Legislature remain committed to the process of ensuring the establishment of the court stating, “So, there was no one paying us to do that which we believe we are up to give and do for the Liberian people.”

He said, “If you put 50 War Crimes Court resolutions on the floor, this House of Representatives will pass it.”

On Thursday, of last week, the House of Representatives concurred with the Liberian Senate on a resolution to establish a tribunal to try perpetrators of war and economic crimes in Liberia years after the civil war ended.

House Speaker, Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa at a press conference said, “Peace is better than war because life is better than death.”

Speaking about threats by some politicians that the establishment of the court might cause instabilities, the House speaker said, “Nobody will go to war no war because somebody has been made to be held accountable for something he/she did in the past.”

Cllr. Koffa, whose father-in-law was killed during the Civil unrest, said, “The peace of Liberia will continue, and nothing bad will happen to this country.”

The House of Representatives concurred with the Senate version of the resolution, with majority voting for the Bill.

The version that was concurred with on Thursday gives the lawmakers willingness to create an extraordinary Criminal Court’ to be established to be known as, “UN-backed Special War Crimes Court for Liberia.”

The instrument came from the Liberian Senate on Tuesday with 28 of the 29 members of the Senate affixing their individual signatures to the document except for Maryland County Senator, James Byrne who abstained while over 40 two-third of 72 lawmakers signed.

The instrument has been sent to the President of the Republic of Liberia for his willpower.

Since the passage of the instrument, many Liberians have discredited it as a step to end the culture of impunity in Liberia years many years after the civil war ended in Liberia.


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