MONROVIA – The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) says is deeply concerned about the alleged involvement of an additional four (4) high-profile Liberian Government officials in corruption and human rights abuses, against their mandates and the trust and confidence reposed in them to diligently and dutifully serve the country.
CENTAL, in a press statement issued today, said it wholeheartedly welcomes the courage and latest actions of the U.S. Government to impose sanctions on additional Liberian officials believed to have abused their offices by stealing from poor Liberians and engaging in human rights violations.
“We appreciate the visibly strong commitment of the Americans and other development partners to support efforts to defend democracy and fight against corruption and other crimes and abuses in the country. Therefore, we call on the US Government and other development partners to continuously take strong and decisive actions against public officials and other individuals believed to have abused human rights, engaged in corruption and undermined the country’s democracy,” the press statement release said.
Meanwhile, in line with the due process of law, the statement said CENTAL calls on the Liberian Government, through the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) and other relevant state institutions, to seek the support of the US Government to timely investigate and credibly prosecute current and previous government officials sanctioned/designated by the US Government.
“In part, this is important to ensure that those culpable for the allegations levied against them are made to fully account for their unscrupulous behaviors. It would be unfortunate that our partners are exerting efforts to deal with corruption while we who experience the devastating effects of corruption sit supinely and refuse to meaningfully act.”
“It is, therefore, high time that the LACC grabs the baton and takes this process forward. We conclude by calling on all well-meaning Liberians to join efforts to demand the Liberian Government to timely and credibly prosecute persons accused of corruption in the country.”
It can be recalled that on Monday, December 11, 2023, under Executive Order 13818, the Treasury Department of the United States of America designated Samuel D. Tweah, Minister of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) and Senators Albert Chie and J. Emmanuel Nuquay for their alleged involvement in corruption in Liberia.
The three designated high-ranking Liberian Government officials are accused of soliciting, accepting, and offering bribes to manipulate legislative processes and public funding, including activities in the mining sector.
Earlier, on December 8, 2023, the US Government similarly designated Monrovia City Mayor, Jefferson T. Koijee for his alleged involvement in human rights violations and corruption. Mayor Koijee is alleged to have engaged in corrupt acts, including bribery and misappropriation of state assets for private political movements.
Additionally, he is accused of controlling paramilitary organizations allegedly comprised of former combatants and recently releasing prisoners who are believed to have violently disrupted government critics’ demonstrations and opposition activities.
According to the United States Department of State, the sanctions underscore the United States’ commitment to holding accountable those involved in corrupt practices and human rights abuses globally. The US Secretary of the Treasury, Janet L. Yellen said the sanctions reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to promoting respect for human rights and holding perpetrators accountable, the statement concluded.