By: Stephen G. Fellajuah
The Senate recently concurred with the House of Representatives on the passage of an Act to Amend And Restate An Act To Establish The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission And To Re-Establish The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission. This bill is currently before the President of the Republic of Liberia, George Manneh Weah.
Speaking on the matter, the Executive Chairperson of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) Cllr. Edwin Martin has condemned the action of the National legislature to amend the Act creating the LACC. Cllr. Martin meanwhile has vowed to seek redress through the court.
Cllr. Martin in interview with the Voice of Liberia ‘’Day breaks Africa’’ over the weekend and Spoon Talks on Monday July 25, 2022, threatened to take a law suit against the government through the Supreme Court of Liberia, saying the Legislature do not have the power to create, amend at the same time.
“We will ensure that every remedy within the law will be applied consistent with due process to make sure that those things that were not corrected and those things that were invaded will be corrected by the higher court. I plan to go to court and so if you ask me if I plan to go to court, my answer is definitely. We have to take the appropriate remedy in law’’ he noted.
The Senate recently debated and passed into law, a new amendment to the Anti-Corruption Commission law that calls for the dismissal of the current commissioners of the LACC. The new law calls for application which will be vetted by a committee established by the same law.
The amended Act by the Liberian senate calls for the re-establishment of the Liberia Ant-Corruption Commission which will see all of the five commissioners currently at the LACC tenure be immediately terminated.
The commissioners however will have option to apply under the new law, a vetting committee comprises the General Auditing Commission (GAC), Press Union of Liberia (PUL), LICPA, and the Governance Commission (GC) who will vet and submit 14 names to the President, where the President will make a choice of 7 to be submitted to the Senate for confirmation.
But, according to Chairperson Martin, the government of Liberia through the National legislature by law, cannot amend, create and dissolve tenure position at the same time therefore, to do what the Legislature did through the Executive Branch is a clearer attempt to witch-hunt the present administration of the LACC headed by him because they stand up for truth.
‘’Our integrity is on the line that today we have being prosecuted because we stood up for the truth and come what may, nothing will deter us to ensure that those corrupt officials of government who are currently lashing and parading in government will be brought to justice’’ the LACC boss assured.
Lamenting further he narrated that since his ascendency to the LACC, he has in no way committed himself to any form of pressure when infact everything that he is doing at the LACC is straightly in consonant with the law consequently, they will pursue with adherence to every detail as the Liberian people follow to the end.
“As I speak to you currently my whereabouts now is not known. My security is straightly with myself. I have made this known to the Minister of Justice Cllr. Frank Musa Dean that there is troubling time of my security. I do not want to disclose to you the nature of my security because since I assumed this office only one police have being assign with me’’ Cllr Martin told Spoon Talks.
Speaking further he mentioned that he has communicated with the Ministry of Justice that there are troubling times of his security in this process, noting that he wants the Liberian people to know he is in the interest of justice and to ensure corrupt are brought to justice.
He added that since his ascendency as Chairperson of the Commission, they have acted consistently with the provision of the 2008 Act to ensure that public officers that were involved in the act of corruption were brought under the spotlight for prosecution by the Ministry of justice.