Corruption War May Be Compromised -As Plot to Sack heads of Integrity bodies Thickens

The intent of President Joseph Nyuma Boakai to wage war on corruption may suffer a major setback as classified information garnered from sources have indicated that there is immense and sustained pressure being mounted on the President to remove heads of integrity institutions as a way to create vacancies in favor of those who voted for him.

According to one of the sources, President Boakai is not disposed to the idea of removing any of them “because the President does not want to rubbish his credibility in the name of bad politics that will rob the country from the services of competent hands”. The source said the President told some of those angling for the removal of the heads of the integrity institutions to come up with cogent reasons why he should effect the removal “beyond serving the selfish interest of those who are beyond the scheme”.

“The President knows the implications of removing the heads of the integrity institutions whose positions are tenured because it will be a direct contradiction of his desire to fight corruption. You cannot use corruption to fight and remove people who are genuinely doing their jobs, especially those who are working diligently and bringing credibility to the government.

What does it mean if the head of an integrity institution is not protected by tenure?

The job and workings of these individuals often call them to question and investigate those in positions of authority. The concept of tenure is a way to shield individuals from political actors and other persons in positions of power and allow them to pursue justice without the threat of reprisal. If this is removed, how will even the to-be-appointed official be protected in their fight against corruption?

“Besides President Boakai is also reading the negative implications of what the international community will think about his leadership after promising to make corruption number one enemy during his tenure and the international partners are keen to working with him from this perspective”, said a political pundit who did not want to be identified in the papers said.

The integrity institutions such as the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA), the Liberia Extractive Integrity Transparency Initiative (LEITI), Public Procurement Commission (PPCC), and the General Auditing Commission(GAC) are all protected by tenure.

The potential removal of heads of integrity institutions, as reported by classified information and other media outlets, poses a significant threat to the fight against corruption in Liberia. President Joseph Nyuma Boakai’s commitment to combatting corruption may be compromised if pressure mounts for the dismissal of these officials merely for political expediency.

The laws governing the removal of tenured officials, as enshrined in the legislations establishing them.  Removals must be based on specific grounds such as conviction of fraud, corruption, or other financial crimes, personal or professional misconduct, mental or physical incapacity, failure to satisfy terms and conditions of service, or other just causes following due process.

The concept of tenure serves to protect heads of integrity institutions from political interference and allow them to carry out their duties impartially. Removing this protection could undermine the credibility of these institutions and hinder their ability to effectively combat corruption.

President Boakai’s reluctance to dismiss these officials without valid reasons demonstrates his commitment to upholding the rule of law and preserving the integrity of Liberia’s governance system. Any attempt to remove heads of integrity institutions must be justified by concrete evidence of misconduct or incapacity, and due process must be always adhered to.

The credibility of Liberia’s anti-corruption efforts and its standing in the international community depend on the government’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting the independence of its integrity institutions. Any deviation from these principles’ risks undermining the progress made in the fight against corruption and eroding public trust in the government’s ability to govern effectively.

Comments are closed.