President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s recent decision to suspend three senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been welcomed, but many Liberians believe that the President needs to be more robust in dealing with some of her lieutenants, especially senior ministers who have refused to submit to the LACC asset declaration.
The Three Officials who were suspended recently by the President were alleged to have been involved in financial impropriety. They will be turned over to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) for further investigation. But more than this, the LACC has released categories of individuals who have fully complied with the Commission’s asset declaration, those who partly declared, but are yet complete. Regretfully, there are those who have refused to submit to the asset declaration process. Some of these officials continue to challenge the authority of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) despite numerous warnings for them to come forth.
The LACC Lists more than 40 presidential appointees, public officials or civil servants, whom the Commission says have not declared their incomes, assets and liabilities up to June 2014 as required by Executive Order #55. The LACC also released the listing of those public officials who have not re-declared their incomes, assets and liabilities, although have met partial requirements. President Sirleaf is amongst a long list of public officials (some of whom are senior cabinet members) who have declared and re-declared their incomes, assets and liabilities as of January-June 2014. However, in spite of the openness demonstrated by President Sirleaf and some of her officials of government, including Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, Finance & Development Planning Minister, Amara Konneh, Information Minister Lewis Brown, II., Liberia Maritime Authority Commissioner, Binyah Kesselly, just to name a few, huge number of them have been recalcitrant.
We Believe The exercise is part of the corruption fight and to ensure transparency and accountability that have been the advocacy theme of some critique of government. Therefore, it is mandatory that the other officials submit to the LACC process. If President Sirleaf can submit to the LACC process, there should be no excuse for anyone.
President Sirleaf Must be resolute and compel her officials to submit to the LACC process even if there are family ties or camaraderie she may have had with some of these individuals who are refusing to come forth.
The Liberian Leader should help to accelerate the process in order to avoid allegation and suspicion from certain camps that she’s attempting to shield a particular group or officials from submitting to the LACC exercise. It would be grossly unfair if one group of people submit to the LACC process while others continue to enjoy the luxury of some influential folks in government.