Liberia News: TIME TO ACCOUNT!

By Mark N. Mengonfia

Monrovia-March-7-TNR:What seems to be a time for accountability is insight, as President Joseph N. Boakia has issued an Executive Order setting up a committee to recover all government of Liberia’s assets in and out of the country.

When the Liberian leader was elected, he told Liberians that his government will not do business as usual.

Also during the commissioning ceremony of his cabinet, President Boakai warned them to stay clear of what does not belong to them as his stance on corruption was strong and as such, those who will work in his government should differentiate their salaries from public money or properties.

With the warning and promised of fighting corruption in Liberia, President Joseph Boakai has taken one step by setting up the office of assets recovery.

The Liberian leader is seems to be fulfilling some of his campaign promises as he has set up a committee to recover government’s assets and at the same time, pushing for the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court in just a week.

According to an Executive No 126 issued in Monrovia, Wednesday, March 6, 2024, President Boakai said, “I, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, President of the Republic of Liberia, hereby issue this Executive Order #126, with an intent to immediately take steps to retrieve, recover, restore and reinstate our fixed and liquid assets from within and out of our borders that have been converted to private use by government officials and employees that were placed in positions of trust.”

The President provided a direct mandate of the taskforce which include, to identify and trace all of Liberia’s stolen and suspicious assets within and out of the borders of Liberia, they are to constitute investigative panel to probe into Liberia’s stolen and suspicious assets as well as constitute an effective and robust legal, research and investigative team to procure and prepare tangible evidence.

Additionally, the President said initiate immediate criminal prosecution and civil litigation where applicable on behalf of the Government of Liberia, upon adjudication, return confiscated assets to Liberia.

One of the strong and straight points in the Executive Order calls for placing a travel and other restrictions on all individuals identified as suspects while undergoing investigation for stolen and suspicious assets, employing diplomatic and Interpol means to extradite individuals identified as suspects that are outside the bailiwick of Liberia in order to bring them under the jurisdiction of the investigative team.

The Liberian president mandated the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to with immediate effect allocate and disburse funding based on the budget presented for the full implementation of this exercise.

When the Executive Order #126 was announced, Liberia’s third person in the chain of command, Speaker Jonathon Fonati Koffawelcomed the President’s decision. He took to his official Facebook page and said, “We welcome the President’s Executive Order on Asset Recovery.”

The House Speaker called on the Legislature to move quickly to establish the Corruption Court to hold past and present individuals responsible who robbed the state and citizens of Liberia valuable resources to account.

He said, “Concomitant with the House’s passage of the War and Economic Crimes Resolution of March 5, the end of impunity in Liberia is near.”

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