For decades running, the fight against corruption continues to receive so many kinds of clandestine overs, political impunity by several leaders, with some even classifying the national menace by names in stages based on their sincere lack of the political will-power to deal corruption a decisive blow and purging its protective cover.
In the former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration which spanned for 12 years numbering two conservative terms, she, being paralyze by the, often harbored influential and persuasive tentacles of political or other connections; called the scourge names like public enemy number one; vampire and later cancer without allowing the real corrupt big fishes being dragged to court to exonerate themselves.
Predicated upon such a demonstrated political weakness to deal robustly with individuals allegedly hooked into corruption web, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa has disclosed that for the most part, until someone is caught on a video tape in a corrupt deal, it’s going to be difficult to fight corruption in Liberia.
In a conversation with some journalists at the OK FM Radio Station on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 in Monrovia, when a wide range of national issues were discussed, Cllr. Koffa noted that in Liberia, a corruption case is only a corruption until one can catch the person stealing In a video tape, and we need to move from that stage if corruption is to be dealt with..
The Deputy Speaker also pointed out that the Sable Mining Company taught him a lesson. He said after spending so much resources including huge sum of money and traveling abroad to gather evidences, and having targeted people to testify; those involved will get a no guilty verdict.
Deputy Speaker added that it is not the matter of having people being indicted to be prosecuted because the Ministry of Justice and the court must be sure that the evident adduced is cogent enough and there must be substance and credibility in the things we do which must ensure that there should be no doubts in the mind of the court.
He also stressed the reflection of cost, benefit and analysis in the work done, is indeed very important. He further explains that in the Sable Mining Case it was a case of best evident that he had ever seen, but in the end, he lost it. According to him, the Sable Mining Case had one of the best evidences that he had seen and despite thousands, if not millions of dollars spent, only to find out at the end that it receives not guilty verdict.
He also wondered just how many corruptions cases the nation has not had, and this will have to be considered a conversation in the judiciary regarding the significance of evidence.
It can be recall that a grand jury in Liberia indicted on Thursday the chief executive officer of the London AIM-listed Sable Mining, Andrew Groves, in connection with an alleged bribery scandal involving several senior Liberian officials, the head of a special task force said.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ordered in May an inquiry into Sable’s attempt to acquire an iron ore concession in northern Liberia after the watchdog group Global Witness made accusations of wrong-doing in a report.
A grand jury indicted a former head of the National Investment Commission of Liberia, Richard Tolbert.
Groves and Tolbert “are to be arrested and brought to this jurisdiction wherever they can be found”, Fonati Koffa, head of the special taskforce set up by Sirleaf, said during a press conference in Monrovia.
Four people, including House Speaker Alex Tyler, chairman of Sirleaf’s Unity Party Varney Sherman and Deputy Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy Ernest C.B. Jones, were indicted in that case along with Sable Mining.
They are accused of having used their positions to amend Liberia’s public procurement and concessions law.
The prosecution said there was not enough evidence yet to indict former Sable Mining chairman Phil Edmonds, but said it believed it would be the case soon.
“All that it takes to get all of those involved in criminality in our country, including getting them through Interpol and or extradition, will be considered”, Darkue Mulbah, the lead prosecutor for the government said.
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