Liberia: Senate Concerned About Reports of Corruption in Govt

MONROVIA — Senate Pro-Tempore Gbenzongar M. Findley has called for the prosecution of government officials accused and indicted of corruption charges in Liberia. Senator Findley said the Liberian Senate was gravely concerned about reports of corruption in government, and therefore, officials involved in corruption must be prosecuted by the Government of Liberia (GoL).

He said the issue of corruption remains a “major problem” in every sector of the Liberian society. According to him, the total eradication of corruption is not attainable in any nation adding that, “corruption is not unique to Liberia alone.”

The Grand Bassa County lawmaker made these assertions recently at his regular monthly news conference held at the Capitol Building in Monrovia.

The Capitol Building is the seat of the Legislature.

Recently, the Liberian Government through the Special Grand Jurors for the County of Montserrado County, Republic of Liberia indicted the former Managing Director of the Liberia Airport Authority(a regulatory authority of the James Spriggs Payne Airport and the Roberts International Airport (RIA) , currently resident in the United States of America, Ellen K. Corkrum, Musa Bility, Chairman of the Board of the Liberia Airport Authority of the City of Monrovia and others with the crimes: Economic Sabotage, Theft of Property, Criminal Conspiracy and Misapplication of Entrusted Property.

According to the indictment, a copy of which is in possession of this paper, the accused did conspire to, and did do and commit the crimes of Economic Sabotage in flagrant violation of Chapter 15, sub-chapter “F”, Sections 15.81(a)(b)(c) and 15.82(b)(c), Misapplication of Entrusted Property in violation of Chapter 15, Sub-Chapter “D”, Section 15.56, Theft of Property in violation of Chapter 15, Sub-chapter “D”, Section 15.51(a)(c), Criminal Conspiracy in violation of Chapter 10,Sub-Chapter “D”, Section 10.4(1)(2)(3)(4) of the New Penal Law of Liberia.

But Sen. Findley told legislative reporters that the Liberian Senate is critically “looking at the Code of Conduct” for passage to help curtail some of the issues of corruption in the country. It can be recalled that the Code of Conduct for public officials was passed by the House of Representatives and forwarded to the Senate for concurrence.

He said the Senate “wants people held accountable for misuse of public funds” prosecuted based upon audits in line with the laws of Liberia.

He pointed out that the Senate’s Committee on Public Finance and Audit would very shortly commence public hearings on “past audits conducted” to help address some of the issues of corruption involving past and present government officials.

“The issue of corruption is a concern to all of us. We, as a nation, has a problem and right now, the Senate is looking at the Code of Conduct and we are pushing that very hard. We want to see more prosecution of people who were held accountable for misuse of public funds through the audit process. We are concerned about corruption,” he stated.

Speaking further, the Senate Pro-Tempore stated that corruption cannot be eradicated, but can be minimized through the collective efforts of every Liberian.

He said the “equity division” of Liberia’s resources would help address and minimize the issue of corruption in the country.

“We will continue to work and we are not going to be deterred. I don’t again that people say the system is so corrupt that we cannot fixed it from inside. I believe that we can minimize corruption. Eradicating corruption; I cannot see that happening in any country in the world because it is not possible.

Corruption is the basic fundamental of human principles and I think that together, we can be able to address and minimize it,” he stated.

Senator Findley added: “We have come through a lot and I believe that Liberians can overcome this. We need to provide more opportunities for our people. The Senate will be holding public hearings on audits that were done in the past. So, we have begun to flex our muscles a little bit on how we can address most of these issues of corruption.”