By Patrick Stephen Tokpah
Gbarnga, Bong County- Over alleged financial scandal in the corridor of Bong County, Electoral District#3 Representative Hon. Josiah Marvin Cole has reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring that Superintendent Esther Walker and the Minister of Internal Affairs, Varney Sirleaf account for finances allegedly withdrawn from the County’s account without the approval of the Caucus.
It can be recalled that on Thursday July 15, 2021, Representative Cole wrote the plenary of the House of Representative alleging that Minister Varney Sirleaf approved the withdrawal of$86,000 USD from the County’s account without the knowledge of the Caucus.
According to Representative Cole, the Internal Affairs Minister, the Superintendent, and the Project Management Committee Chair Stephen Mulbah on April 13, 2021, allegedly signed more than thirteen cheques to withdraw money from the County’s coffers with no account.
He said after signing the cheques, more than $86,000 USD was withdrawn from the account and allegedly placed in their individual accounts and some was used to increase the Project Management Committee (PMC) Chair’s salary and pay drivers.
The Bong County District #3 lawmaker said the action of the Superintendent and the Minister is a complete violation of Chapter: 9(I) of the Budget Law, claiming that the money was allegedly withdrawn outside of the 2018 County Sitting’s resolution.
He claimed that the Minister of Internal Affairs is involved, because he has the clearance cheques which authorized the bank to allow withdrawal for the County.
However, the accused should have appeared before plenary of House of Representative on Tuesday July 20, but failed due to Abraham’s Day celebration.
But, speaking via telephone from the Capitol Building in Monrovia on July 20, 2021 on a local radio station in Gbarnga, Bong County Representative Marvin Cole reiterated that his request for accountability in the County remains unbending, despite the division among members of the Caucus.
According to him, with his presence in the Bong legislative Caucus, no one will misappropriate the County’s fund and go scot-free.
He indicated that the withdrawal of funds from the County’s account without their approval as Caucus, violates the Budget Law of Liberia.
Meanwhile, Sup. Walker and Minister Sirleaf could not speak to the media despite calls to them.