LIBERIA: No One received Money to sign WECC …Speaker Koffa opens Up On Hearsay Venture

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House Speaker Jonathan Fonati Koffa has described as an affront to members of the Legislature, rumors in the public that the Legislators were influenced and bribed by agents of Western Powers who are interested in the establishment of a war and economic crimes court for Liberia to pass a resolution.

Having earlier being passed by the House of Representatives some three weeks ago, the full Plenary – highest decision making body of the Senate on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 unanimously signed the Joint Resolution calling for the establishment of War and Economic Crimes Court in the country to end the culture of impunity.

The august body overwhelmingly passed a decision with 28 of the 29 members of the Senate affixing their signatures to the document. Maryland County Senator James Biney was the only person yet to sign the document but said when certain clarities are made that clear all constitutional doubts he could pen onto it.

But there have been gossips in some quarters of the Liberian society and the social media that lawmakers signed through influence of a huge financial package provided by westerners who are so interested in the court through their agents.

But speaking at a news conference held at his Capitol Building Office, Speaker Koffa said the 55th Legislature is made up of people with independent minds, who believe that Liberia is only peaceful when there is social justice for all.

“We believe that we cannot move on as a country unless we have accountability and justice. And so any rumor that we got money to do the job which we were elected and paid to do, I think it’s disgusting and affront to the Legislature. No one received a dime to sign resolution and no one threatened us to do so.”

“By this, no one will go to war because someone is being made to be accountable for what they did. For the record, this is not a Nimba or Grand Gedeh issue, it’s to give justice to the country. We can’t dig the graves of people who were mercilessly killed during the war; someone has to talk for them. There has been no NGO funding the work of the Legislature.”

Speaking further, the House Speaker frowned at the conduct of the Asset Recovery Team constituted by President Joseph Nyuma Boakai.

“I was one of those persons who welcomed the Asset Recovery, but it has turned into a witch hunt organization. It should not be done from an economic freedom fighter approach. The President was ill-advised to name a period. It should have been open ended process. It must be taken to a more professional level and not seen as a group hunting the taxis of Finda Bondo based on rumors. That’s not professional and the President needs to reconstitute the mandate. We have to get the wheels of government going. Asset Recovery Team must start from GAC Audit Report.”

Commenting on the recently submitted draft National Budget by President Boakai, Speaker Koffa stated that the budget is too little and is not able the running of the government.

Based on this, he assured that the Legislature will make some adjustments to fit major areas captured in the ARREST Agenda of the President.

“We want to make sure that the budget captures all volunteer teachers and healthcare workers. We have to return to the system of legislative projects. If we don’t have legislative projects, counties with big votes will take the lion share of the national cake. We will vigorously advocate for legislative project in the budget.”

Speaker Koffa also explained to the media the different strides that have been made at the House of Representatives in the areas of transparency and reforms.

“We have signed the engagement letter for system audit and payroll audit for the House of Representatives. There are people who don’t work here but are placed on payment. We want to transform this House into a transparent more fashion. Also, we will be able to have our activities digitized because accountability and transparency are needed. An internal audit section will be created here also.”

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