Jewel Comments On Investigative Reports – Applauds Pres. Weah’s Statement of Fairness & Transparency
Just a day before the International women’s Day, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor expressed her candid opinion on how she viewed the two investigative reports that were released by the Presidential Investigative Team (PIT) commissioned by President Weah and the Kroll & Associate Inc. sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that have conducted investigations in the alleged missing 16bn Liberian dollar; The ANALYST John Dennis Weah, Jr. reports.
The Liberian deputy chief executive told journalists that she is thankful to the US Government for the intervention they have made to support the exercise to an appreciable level. VP Taylor said that the process must take a holistic approach as it proceeds and it becomes the responsibility of the government to ensure that the process is free, fair and transparent.
She however said the current situation is about money that belongs to the Liberian people and President George Manneh Weah has made an official statement that whosoever that is responsible will be liable.
Already, the government has arrested five high profile individuals for their roles in the money saga. Those arrested include Deputy Central Bank Governor Charles Sirleaf – son of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Central Governor Milton Weeks, Dorbor Hagba and two others; all of the past regime.
The incumbent regime has accused them of being responsible for the over printing of Liberian banknotes amounting to almost L$18billion, an excess of three billion Liberian dollars that was printed by the Crane AB, an American printing house based in Sweden.
Those arrested are also being prosecuted for their roles in securing the printing of the money without legislative authorization.
But the arrest of the former officials has been the basis for debate and acrimony between critics of the government who said the arrest of the past officials signifies selective justice, since most of the printed materials were received by the present regime while supporters of the government, on the other hand applauded the government for the bore step of apprehending those who flouted the laws.
The PIT and Kroll reports spelled out that more than 15 billion Liberian dollars was printed and delivered to the Liberian authorities between 2016 to 2018.
Besides, the investigative reports found discrepancies in the mop-up of Liberia dollars from the market using US$25 million which was said to have been used with discrepancies as the distribution did not involve registered banking institutions.
Accordingly, some of the critics of government, including the four opposition Collaborating Political Parties namely, the All-Liberian Party (ALP), Alternative National Congress (ANC), Liberty Party (LP) and Unity Party (UP) have promised to organize a series of MASS ACTIONS across Liberia if Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah and Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Governor Nathaniel Patray along with all other individuals connected to the present monetary and economic scandals are not immediately arrested by the Weah-led administration.
The opposition collaborating parties also indicated that it will be provocative for President Weah and his administration to ignore the fact that US$25m (about LD$4,000,000,000bn) ordered from our national reserve to facilitate a so-called “mop-up” exercise last year was handled in a bizarre and criminal manner.
The four collaborating parties made their demands on March 6, 2019, at the Headquarters of the ALP on the Old Road in Sinkor where they issued a joint position on reports by Presidential Investigation Team (PIT) and Kroll & Associates, Inc.
The opposition collaborating parties emphatically noted that upon receipt of the USAID sponsored report by Kroll Associates, Inc. and a local parallel report by the Presidential Investigative Team (PIT) released last week that they have analyzed both and concluded that the past and the current governments are culpable in the brazen and shameless looting of public funds.
Accordingly, the opposition collaborating parties have said Samuel Tweah must be arrested because he chairs the Technical Economic Management Team (TEMT) of the Weah-led government while, Nathaniel Patray must be arrested as the custodian of monetary policies and transactions for the government of President Weah.
But the government’s supporters have argued that the issue of US$25 million is not the real issue and is still subject to further investigation and should not be used to cause confusion.
Howbeit, the debate for transparency and fairness in the money saga remains as some former officials are wrapped in the dragnet of financial scandal concerning the alleged missing 16 billion Liberian money saga.