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Sunday, July 21, 2024

IJG ACCUSES SENIOR LIBERIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, INCLUDING AMARA KONNEH AND EDWIN SNOWE OF CORRUPTION

Date:

In a significant development, the International Justice Group (IJG), a prominent United States-based human rights organization, has issued a strongly worded statement today addressing the state of affairs in Liberia. The statement takes direct aim at senior Liberian government officials and politicians, alleging widespread corruption and demanding legal consequences for those implicated.

Among the individuals named by the IJG are former Finance Minister Amara Konneh and Edwin Melvin Snowe, Senator of Bomi County, along with several others. The organization asserts that these figures, among others, have been engaged in various corrupt practices that have had a detrimental impact on the country.

Corruption has long been a pressing issue in Liberia, hampering progress and eroding public trust in the government. The IJG’s statement serves to bring attention to the alleged wrongdoings of these high-ranking officials, emphasizing the urgency of holding them accountable for their actions.

According to the IJG, it is imperative that those accused face the legal repercussions of their alleged involvement in corruption. The organization firmly believes that prosecuting corrupt officials is vital for promoting transparency, reinstating public confidence, and fostering a more stable and equitable society within Liberia.

At present, the Liberian government has yet to respond to the specific allegations put forth by the IJG. However, it is anticipated that these accusations will ignite public discourse and exert pressure on authorities to address the issue of corruption more rigorously.

The International Justice Group has a proven track record of actively combatting corruption and advocating for human rights. Their engagement in Liberia underscores their commitment to ensuring accountability and pursuing justice in countries grappling with similar challenges.

As this story continues to unfold, the responses of the Liberian government and the accused individuals to the IJG’s allegations will be closely observed. Both the nation and the international community will be watching intently to ascertain whether concrete actions will be taken to confront corruption and hold those responsible answerable for their misconduct.

Corruption is a significant issue in Liberia, hindering development and undermining public trust in the government. The IJG’s statement seeks to shed light on the alleged wrongdoings of these senior officials, emphasizing the need for accountability and justice.

According to the IJG, the accused individuals must be held responsible for their actions through legal means. The human rights group based in the Unuted States believes that bringing corrupt officials to justice is essential for promoting transparency, restoring public confidence, and fostering a more stable and equitable society in Liberia.

The International Justice Group has been actively working to combat corruption and human rights abuses globally. Their involvement in Liberia underscores their commitment to promoting accountability and advocating for justice in countries facing similar challenges.

As this story unfolds, it remains to be seen how the incoming Joe Boakai Government in Liberia and fhe accused individuals will respond to the allegations raised by the IJG. The eyes of the nation and the international community will be watching closely to see if concrete actions are taken to address the issue of corruption and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

See full statement below:

THE NEW LIBERIA: WE ENVISAGE JUSTICE, ACCOUNTABILITY AND PUBLIC SECTOR INTEGRITY 

New Liberia

Liberia is a state of transitioning from prolonged conflict and war to sustainable peace, democracy, and national development. The transition process which began with the inauguration of President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf initiated the burgeoning democracy process which continues even up to the election of the outgoing Weah Administration and now the incoming Administration of His Excellency President Joseph Nyumah Boakai.  

The Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) identified the root causes of the Liberian civil war being or connected to corruption, violations of human rights, and the policy of exclusion which alienated other Liberians from the democratic and political process by marginalizing political opponents, human rights violations and  other exclusionary policies bordering on ethnicity, regionalism, religion or political affiliations.

Transitioning Liberia (THE NEW LIBERIA) entails the following:

  1. Strengthening the rule of law that guarantees justice and respect of fundamental human rights and civil liberties.
  2. Sustaining Liberia’s burgeoning democracy by frequent credible elections, broadening the democratic space to achieve greater democracy.

                                                     -2-

  1. Guaranteeing the tenets of open society in which freedom of speech, of the press and civil liberties will flourish in a nonthreatening socio-economic and political environment.
  2. The triple evils of corruption, impunity and disregard for the rule of law MUST be countered by instituting justice, accountability and adherence to the principles of the rule of law.

Accountability and Justice

  1. All officials, of government, former and current, who have been sanctioned by Agencies of the United States Government, MUST be prosecuted, removed from public offices, and punished for their crimes including jail time or sentences.
  2. A system of periodic audit of systems and resources must be instituted to guide against waste, pillage, and theft of public resources in advancement of the public interest.
  3. Actions must be taken to act on available audit reports, which shall include prosecutions, restitutions of stolen resources, confiscation of unclaimed assets and repatriation of overseas assets, amounting to fruits of the crime committed.

Immediate actions against bad actors in Government – Amara Konneh

1.AMARA MOHAMED KONNEH – From July 2014, Amara Konneh was appointed Liberia’s first Minister of Finance and Development Planning, having previously served concurrently as Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs and Minister of Finance from January 2012 to June 2015 in the Government of Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – 2012 – 2015.

  1. An elaborate embezzlement scheme was undertaken to siphon hundreds of millions of united states dollars out of the public treasury.
  2. Several shell (fake) companies were registered to facilitate the scheme such as IKE BUSINESS, OR I MAY INC, SAROSA, RED TRACK PROFESSIONAL,DUKE ENTERPRISES, PRIMARY INC., Even though these fake companies were registered with the Liberian Business Registry, they evaporated into thin air once the scheme was halted after investigators were closing up on them.
  3. James Kollie, Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs, and the Comptroller General, Mr. Sekou Sannoh were authorized signors of elaborate amounts such as US$3m, 1.1m, US$0.5M, LD$21M, LD$43.5M, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
  4. Millions of US Dollars checks were authorized and signed by Dr Joseph Kollie; while Mr Amara Konneh did not sign these vouchers and checks, he acquiesced as head of the Ministry of Finance to this fraudulent scheme executed under his watch, without doubt with his tacit consent, approbation, and approval.  

                                                    -2-

  1. On a lighter side, The EU Commissioned a project to access and mitigate potential legal risk associated with the robust auditing work of the General Auditing Commission of Liberia (GAC). Out of a competitive bidding process, Clllr Jerome J. Verdier was selected to execute this project for a period of two years for a contract cost of US$8,000 in fix salary monthly and US$2,000 in benefits and travel allowances and vacation, hence, US$105.00 per annum approximately. Ministry of Finance was the depository of the funds to get the government engaged in the process as a bilateral grant between The European Union and The Government of Liberia for the benefit of the GAC.
  2. Cllr Verdier completed the task for the first year and declined to continue for the second year because of the initial 12 months period of the Contract executed with the GAC, Mr. Amara M. Konneh disbursed US$8,000 for the first month, January only, and declined further disbursement for the reminder of the November to December 2010 even though the contract was fully executed for the first year January 1 – December 31, 2010.
  3. This has incurred unnecessary liabilities for the Government of Liberia in over US$300,000 because Cllr Verdier intends to sue the Government of Liberia when he returns home shortly.
  1. EDWIN MELVIN SNOWE, JR – Former Managing Director of The Liberian Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) and Son in Law to former President Charles G. Taylor. He Is a Liberian politician who is currently a Senator in the Government of Liberia from Bomi County. And at one time Speaker of the House of Representative of Liberia from January 2006 to February 2007.  Prior to that position he served as the Managing Director and Secretary of the Board of Directors of the LPRC. He also served as Deputy Managing Director for Operations and Coordinator of the Product Storage Terminal (PST) at the LPRC.
  2. Edwin Snowe and team was accused of stealing of US$1m (UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONE MILLION) of public funds with glaring evidence of fraud but later said to have been acquainted by a court of law in Liberia.
  3. A UN Panel of Experts along with , the auding firm of Ernst and Young, Mombo and Company investigated the allegations based on a Resolution of the LPRC Board of Directors which accused Mr. Snowe and his team.
  4. Mr. Snowe was acquitted by a Liberian court but the allegations need to be properly probed and Mr. Snowe made the subject of a “life style audit” to hold him properly accountable for the funds he is accused of embezzling.

INVESTIGATION CONTINUES.

ISSUED BY AUTHORITY:

THIS 18TH DAY OF January 18, 2024

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