Monday, August 16, 2021 – Monrovia – The Executive Chairperson of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) has assured the public that the Government of Liberia has guaranteed their support in the fight against corruption and believes in the Rules of Law and the Rights of the accused to a speedy investigation and prosecution.
Cllr. Edwin Kla Martin gave the assurance when he addressed a cross session of journalists on Monday in his first press conference since he assume the office of Executive Chairperson.
The Executive Chairperson informed the press of activities he has been involved in since taking over at the LACC.
He said that he has already held relevant meetings with the United States Ambassador accredited near this capital and has had Zoom Conferences with ECOWAS and the World Bank, all of which who pledged support to the LACC.
He told the press that there are 73 audit reports before the LACC and anticipates that all those captured in the reports will honor the Commission’s invitation when called for questioning.
Cllr. Martin noted that currently, the Enforcement Division at the LACC is conducting investigations into the National Transit Authority (NTA), the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation (LWSC), Roberts International Airport (RIA) and the Buchanan Port of the National Port Authority (NPA).
He dispelled rumors that the NTA Managing Director, Mr. Herbie McCauley was never arrested nor handcuffed but rather invited to the LACC.
The LACC Chairperson, stated that in 2021, the total number of persons who declared their assets is 59, representing 16% of females and 84% males. Cllr. Martin believes the low submission could be attributed to the COVID-19 epidemic. Because of this, he said the Commission has granted an additional two months for public officials to adhere to the grace period given.
Cllr. Martin announced that since his pronouncement on the voluntary restitution of public funds; a total of US$18,000.00 (eighteen thousand United States dollars) has been made through the court regarding the case of Munah Sieh and five others involved in the misapplication of funding for police uniforms. He said that the total sum is US$198,000.00 (0ne hundred and ninety-nine thousand, eight hundred United States dollars) of which each defendant is to pay US$39,9540.00 (thirty-nine nine hundred and fifty United States dollars).
He revealed that an account at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has been purposely opened for the voluntary restitution. He gave the account number as 160-200-3653 and the account title as Asset Recovery Account.
Chairperson Martin announced that the Commission has opened two toll free lines for citizens to report acts of corruption as such information will aid the LACC in ensuring the society is corruption free.
The numbers are 0555-395-728 or 40-48 on Lone Star cell and 0775-600-050 on Orange. He assured the public that persons reporting corruptible acts will be covered by the Whistle-Blower Act and protected from dismissal, punishment, administrative harassment among others.
Cllr. Martin assured the press that there will be regular briefing from the LACC and looks forward to a cordial relationship with the press.