By: Varney Dukuly
MONROVIA: The Joint Civil Society Anti-Corruption Initiative has called for the prosecution of five top Liberian officials who were sanctioned by the US government for acts of corruption in public offices.
The group, on Wednesday, staged a peaceful protest and also petitioned the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), to utilize its prosecutorial power against all US sanctioned officials in the country.
Among other things, the Joint CSO Anti-Corruption Initiative named Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman, Senator of Grand Cape Mount County; Prince Y. Johnson, Senator of Nimba County; Nathaniel McGill, former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs.
Others are Mr. Bill Twehway, former Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA) and Senator-elect of Rivercess County; Cllr. Sayma Cyrenius Cephas, former Solicitor General of Liberia as individuals who must be prosecuted for allegedly siphoning state finances and other resources.
Reading the petition, an official of the group, Alfreda Joe, called on the LACC to request from the United States Government all information related to corruption allegations involving persons sanctioned between December 9, 2020 to August 2022.
JOCSAI, according Ms. Joe, holds the belief and takes resolve from the fact that, when the fight against corruption is buttressed by the effectiveness in the application of the laws that appropriately applied, victory is certain and citizens’ welfare is prioritized.
“Whereas, despite these efforts, the fight against corruption in Liberia remains challenged and undermined by several factors,” the petition stated.
The petition also highlighted issues it views as factors underpinning the fight against corruption in Liberia.
“Low budgetary and logistical support to public integrity institutions, weak enforcement of anti-corruption laws and policies, the absence and limitation of key laws and institutions for dealing with corruption in Liberia,” the petition stressed.
It added that the limited political will to decisively act against public officials and other individuals at the center of allegations of corruption that undermine Liberia’s democracy and citizens’ interest.
Speaking further Ms. Joe said conducting speedy and thorough investigation in cases of alleged corruption involving the five sanctioned government officials of Liberia is critical to ending the culture of impunity for corruption in our society.
According to the petition, the move will maintain the public trust in the justice and accountability systems of the country.
JOCSAI: “Launch a timely, robust and an impartial investigation into corruption allegations as well as prosecute the concerned officials in line with the Commission’s mandate of investigating and prosecuting all allegations and incidences of corruption in Liberia.”