Wednesday, 13 September 2023 10:21

Press Statement for Immediate Release Featured

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CENTAL Encourages New LACC Commissioners to Lead by Example and Be Robust    

Monrovia, Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Distinguished members of the press, fellow Liberians, and partners. We would like to appreciate Liberians for their largely peaceful participation in the ongoing campaign activities, which are key components of the ensuing Presidential and Legislative Elections. As the election date gets nearer, we would again like to remind the various political parties and candidates about their responsibility to uphold the Farmington Declaration, which was signed on April 4, 2023, demanding peaceful, free, fair, and credible elections. Also, CENTAL would like to remind Liberians about the need to properly examine the various Candidates vying for public offices. Voting for corrupt and bad leaders will mean stalling the development and progress of the country. So, be careful whom you vote for, as you will have to live with the consequences of your October 10, 2023 decisions/choices for the next six to nine years.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, on September 6, 2023, the Liberian Senate confirmed the seven (7) Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission’s Commissioners who were nominated by President Weah on June 8, 2023. Those confirmed by the Liberian Senate included Cllr. Alexandra Kormah Zoe, Chairperson, Mr. Ernest R. Hughes, Vice Chairperson, and Mr. Randolph E. Tebbs, Commissioner for Monitoring and Investigation. Dr. Miatta Jeh and Atty. Samuel F. Dakana were confirmed as Commissioners for Monitoring and Investigation, while Cllr. Oretha Snyder Davis and Cllr. David Wilson were confirmed as Commissioners for Prosecution respectively. 

CENTAL commends the government of Liberia, its partners, and Civil Society Organizations for their roles played throughout the process, which led to the vetting of these Liberians, their nomination by the President, and subsequent confirmation by the Liberian Senate. Essentially, also, we like to commend the outgoing leadership of LACC, especially Cllr. Edward Kla Martin and his team for bringing relative stability and sanctity to the Commission, after a turbulent past, as the Commission was largely in the media for the wrong reasons. The new batch of officials have an appreciable foundation upon which they can build.

Fellow Liberians, Liberia needs a robust, independent, well-resourced, and public-interest driven LACC more than ever before. This is particularly important as Corruption is becoming pervasive in Liberia, especially in the public sector. Government’s 26 score out of a possible 100 on the 2022 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of Transparency International shows the scale of the problem at hand. The lack of actions against public officials sanctioned by the United States Government for alleged significant corruption shows lack of will and major gaps in the Liberian government’s anti-corruption efforts. Thankfully, on the other hand, citizens are becoming more concerned and demanding accountability and transparency from their government.

Considering the criticality of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) in the fight against corruption in Liberia, we encourage the new corps of officers to tread cautiously and lead by example during the discharge of their duties. With the confirmation of these officials, the public expects to see a new, energized, and robust LACC, especially now that it has Direct Prosecutorial Power, which has since been lacking. The Country cannot afford to waste any more time in decisively dealing with her worst enemy: Corruption. While we acknowledge past efforts, they have not been enough to give Liberians the positive results anticipated, as public officials abuse public resources with so much Impunity.

The burden is on the new batch of Commissioners to change these negative narratives and give hope to Liberians by making impunity for corruption an issue of the past. CENTAL, the public, development partners, and other stakeholders will be keenly watching to see if this new LACC will live up to expectations by serving the Liberian people, instead of appointing authority or so-called big hands in government and other places in society. We urge the new leadership to endear itself to the public by robustly, timely, and impartially investigating and prosecuting alleged incidences of corruption, including those involving “big hands” in the government.

In conclusion, we call on the national government to provide adequate financial and logistical support to the Commission to operate robustly and independently. Meanwhile, we call on the Commission to forge meaningful partnerships with stakeholders, including civil society and citizens, if it must succeed in its work. Additionally, we call on development partners to provide financial and logistical support to the Commission to be fully operational. We firmly believe that the success of Liberia’s anti-corruption endeavors hinges on collective vigilance and collaborative efforts. CENTAL recommits to being a key partner in this regard.

Thank you.




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