Consistent with his 2020 and 2021 State of the Nation Addresses, President George Manneh Weah has submitted several groundbreaking anti-corruption bills to the Liberian parliament.
The bills submitted by the Liberian leader to the Legislature include an Act Granting the LACC full prosecutorial powers for acts of corruption; an Act Granting the LACC full responsibility for the collection, collation and verification of Assets declared by public officials; an Act Establishing a Fast Track Corruption Court as well as Acts to Protect Whistleblowers and Establish a Witness Protection Program.
The President in his 2020 and 2021 State of the Nation Addresses, promised to introduce legislation empowering the Liberia Anti-corruption Commission (LACC) to deal more robustly with the scourge of corruption.
Upon President Weah’s promise, the LACC went to work and prepared the draft legislations, conducted a broad-based validation session and about a month ago submitted same to the office of the President for onward submission to the National Legislature.
Speaking to reporters over the weekend, the Acting Executive Chairperson of the LACC, Cllr. Kanio Bai Gbala intimated that the submission of these bills by President George Weah is manifest demonstration of the political will to fight corruption which has never before occurred in Liberia.
Cllr. Gbala further pointed out that a majority of the hurdles currently encountered by the LACC in the execution of its mandate will be removed upon the passage of the indicated Legislations.
Such hurdles, he explained, included the slow pace of corruption cases on the dockets of the courts, the inability to properly verify the assets of public officials as well as the prerequisite to wait upon the Ministry of Justice for 3 months before proceeding to litigate corruption cases.
Cllr. Gbala stressed that now that the legal framework was falling into place, it was necessary for the Liberian government to provide the LACC with the needed resources to actively energize the fight against corruption by increasing budget support for investigations, Prosecutions and the recruitment of skilled human resource assets.
He concluded by urging all well-meaning Liberians including members of parliament to support the speedy passage of the various legislation in order to bolster the fight against corruption.