By: Stephen G. Fellajuah
As a consequence of an investigative report from the General Auditing Commission (GAC) audit, the Liberia Anti- Corruption Commission (LACC) has indicted several past and present public officials of government for this August term of Court. The ex-officials were indicted for forgery and counterfeiting, theft of property and economic sabotage (misuse of Public Money, Property or Record).
Those indicted include, Dr. Marcus T. Jones, former Director General of the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI), Paulette Findley, former Administrator (CARI), David Kermue, former Warehouse Supervisor and Dr. Walter Wiles, former Director General of CARI.
Others are Oblayon B. Nyemah, former Director General of the Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA); Luna M, Harmon, former Comptroller at LIPA; and Beford Quie, Accountant at LIPA. They were also indicted on charges of Theft of Property, Economic Sabotaged (fraud on the internal revenue of Liberia), Misuse of Public Money, Property or Record, and or illegal disbursement and expenditure of public money, Criminal Facilitation and Criminal Conspiracy.
Cllr Edward Kla Martin, Executive Chairperson of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission who spoke at a press conference yesterday, Monday, said the LACC will continue to be engaged with the Liberian people on the issues of Corruption.
Meanwhile the LACC boss also spoke about media report alleging conflict of interest at the LACC against the Vice Chairman of the Commission, Cllr Kanio Bai Gbala. Cllr Martin said has mandated the Division of Investigation and Enforcement at the LACC to move swiftly to investigate the allegation.
The LACC Chairman averred that on the morning of August 30, 2021, the Commission awoke to news reports in FrontpageAfrica about alleged conflict of interest involving several individuals including the reported involvement of the Commission’s Vice Chairman, Cllr. Kanio Bai Gbala.
“I am pleased to inform you that the Commission has commenced investigation of this grave report that has the propensity to derail the progress we have made as a Commission in the last weeks,” Chairman Martin noted.
He said, “We have no problem with these reports as long as they are done professionally and within the ambit of the laws of our dear Country.”
The LACC boss confirmed that Vice Chairman Gbala filed his Leave of Absence at a formal Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting to allow investigation to proceed, which Cllr. Martin said was accepted by him as Executive Chairperson, stating that Cllr. Gbala has accepted to cooperate fully with the investigation in the matter why on his leave.
At the same time, Cllr Martin disclosed that the NPA investigation is ongoing and all those allegedly involved are cooperating. He however added that all those that escaped under the cover of darkness will be extradited in keeping with Law.
He also used the occasion to call on the Press Union of Liberia, Civil Society Organizations and the General Public to aid the Commission in driving its mandate through, asking the public to make use of the following hotline numbers including 0555-395-728, and 0775-600-050 to report any acts and signs of corruption:”, Cllr Martin maintained.