SOURCE: BY: GUD D. JARPLOH
With many Liberians nationwide remain ever determined to continually insist that the momentum of the alleged missing L$16bn will in no way be watered down let alone be eclipsed under the rubric of ‘business as usual’ and by extension allow it to die naturally as being perceived by some whose quest is to see this embarrassing episode finds its own way out of sight.
In the wake of so many daily callers on the phone-in-talk shows on several radio stations mainly in Monrovia pressing much harder for the missing billions to reach its logical conclusion, this paper took a tour of some parts of the city sampling views about what hope they still have in realizing something authentic as a result of the investigation imbued with international dimension featuring the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
As much as some of those expressing their views were emotionally charged and wanting a rapid response from the FBI, most of them admitted that they would continue to suppress their ego and subscribe to the call by the US Embassy accredited near the capital that they should have patience as the team carries out its operation; and that a comprehensive report at the end of the probe will be published for all to see and know.
Another group in the Paynesville said they were satisfied once the FBI has been involved unlike the Alex Cuffy’s headed investigating team that promised that within six weeks, the people would be briefed on its operation and progress, something they said does not seem to be active in its drive, and moreover, there has been no update for the public to know how the local team is proceeding.
During the exercise, some expressed their unflinching confidence in the expertise of the FBI noting that the looming axe of the FBI will land on the necks of anyone culpable in the alleged missing billions and while the L$16bn is no small amount to shut the door on; as it has become a groundbreaking criminal disaster in the nation’s history; one thing that keeps renewing their hope and trust that the saga will receive the proper treatment of justice is based on what they considered that the FBI does not fail and will not fail the Liberian scenario because the hard facts of reality will be known.
Some group with total pessimistic posture alleged that with too many pressing state matters, ranging from the bad state of the economy; alarming unemployment; the reinvigorated impeachment of Associate Justice Kabineh Mohammed Ja’neh over what the party (CDC) has allegedly described as “proven misconduct, abuse of public office, wanton abuse of judicial discretion, fraud, misuse of power and corruption; the move through a bill advanced by President George M. Weah to the 54th Legislature for the cancellation of the Tenureaffair, are few of the unfolding developments that could require the serious attention and devotion of the government momentarily, thereby lending less notice to the required velocity of the landmark case rocking the core foundation of the Liberian society.
The same segment also wondered if the FBI is indeed working on the case as nothing about its operation is ever heard of and hope that if the international dimension of the investigation is not trapped in a passive pool.
However, report reveals that Liberia’s House Speaker, Dr. Bhofal Chambers has vehemently prophesized that the United States’ agents probing the missing L$16 billion will fail if they attempt to include members of the House of Representatives in the investigation.
Chambers stressed that the House of Representatives will honor no invitation from investigators as they are exempted from investigation – as provided by law, although he failed to specify the exact stipulation in the law.
“The people from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) know contemporary Democracy; they know contemporary constitution. They will never think of inviting the House of Representative for an investigation doing so will be a failure on their part,” said at a press conference recently on Capitol Hill.
Meanwhile, as foreign investigators continue their probing of the alleged missing L$16 billion chronicles, a veteran Liberian lawyer has called on President George M. Weah to take drastic measures against individuals who will be indicted following the release of the investigators’ report.
According to Cllr. John M. Togba II, President Weah should do everything in his power to bring relief to the Liberian people by breaking the chain of impunity that has long existed in the country’s political governance.
Cllr. Togba also wants the Liberian leader to upon the publication of the investigators’ report, create a fast-track judiciary process, which according to him, will allow those implicated into the missing billions scandal to have a speedy trial and be prosecuted if found guilty.
The veteran Liberian lawyer described the missing L$16 billion scandal as a complete embarrassment to the CDC-led government and is urging President Weah to take the necessary steps that will save the face of his government.
He intoned that if President Weah must successfully fight corruption, he must bravely take critical decisions against even his closest associate in government who might be linked or allegedly be accomplices of corrupt act.
“One thing I must say to our President, the issue of corruption must not be taken lightly; whoever that will be linked or implicated into this missing billions saga must be made to face justice,” Cllr. Togba told journalists recently at his Randal Street Office in Monrovia after he was honored as Liberia’s Most Outstanding Legal Luminary of the Year 2017- 2018.
“Liberians all over the world are watching what action the President will take against those individuals that will be implicated into the foreign investigators report and for me, I want the president to break the chain of impunity in this country by allowing all those involved to face the full weight of the law,” he added.
Since the United States Embassy near Monrovia announced that it has agreed to support a full scale investigation by hiring foreign investigators to probe the missing billions scandal, Liberians home and abroad have demonstrated huge emotional relief by quitting on their frequent social media posting about the matter.
Most Liberians, like Cllr. Togba are patiently waiting for the outcome of the investigation which will ultimately be determined by the George Weah-led government to execute.
President Weah in his inaugural address on January 22, 2018 declared that those chosen to serve (in his government) will and must be dedicated to the ideas of grassroots, social transformation. Any person looking to cheat the Liberian people through the menace of corruption will have no place in my administration.