By Mark N. Mengonfia
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Jonathan Fonati Koffa, has mandated members of that august body to declare their assets in the space of two weeks. The instruction by Speaker Koffa was given to members of the House of Representatives during the Third Day of Sitting on Thursday, January 18, 2024.
Cllr. Koffa giving the instruction, said as head of that body, they want to know what the lawmakers have acquired prior to being elected as members of the House of Representatives.
“We will ask the Chief Clerk to give you the assets declaration forms, we asked you to take it home and do your due diligence and report to the office of the Chief Clerk within the period of two weeks,” Speaker Koffa said.
Members of that body accepted the declaration mandate by the Speaker but when Nimba County District#7 Representative Musa Haasan Bility suggested that all their assets be published, it rose contentions among members of that august body thus causing them to deliberate the matter in open plenary.
Speaker Koffa told the lawmakers that the declaration was mandatory, but the publication of assets is discrimination, stating, “I myself planned to publish mine, but you are not required.”
Some of the lawmakers accepted for their assets to be published, while others objected to the publication of their assets.
After much discussion on the matter, the Speaker of that body asked Musa Haasan Bility to raise a motion either to publish their assessment or not. The motion was tested with over 30 lawmakers voting for their assets to be published so that their constituents know exactly what they had before becoming lawmakers.
After the voting, Speaker Koffa ruled that the assets that will be declared be published within a month