LACC Commissioners Escape Assets Declaration,As Senate Plenary Mandates New Leadership to Declare Assets Before Government Transition

By: Laymah Kollie

Monrovia -December 5,2023-: Officials of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), an Institution clothed with the responsibility to enforce the declaration of assets of Government officials is said to be in violation of its own duty and responsibility.

In Senate’s Plenary on Tuesday December 5,2023, Lawmakers in chambers confirmed the failure of the new leadership of LACC to fully declare their assets before taking on offices.

The leadership confirmation which took place during the heat of the campaign gave rise to lawmakers ignoring adequate criteria set up by law in the confirmation of public officials.

The Commissioners confirmed on September 5,2023 are: Cllr. Alexandra Kormah Zoe, Chairperson; Ernest R. Hughes, Vice Chairperson; Randolph E. Tebbs, Commissioner – Monitoring and Investigation; Dr. Miatta Jeh, Commissioner – Monitoring and Investigation, and Atty. Samuel F. Dakana Commissioner, Monitoring and Investigation.
Others are Cllr. Oretha Snyder Davis, Commissioner – Prosecution, and Cllr. David A. B. Wilson, Commissioner, Prosecution.

Part 10.1 of the National Code of Conduct for all Public Officials and Employees of the Government of the Republic of Liberia captioned: Declaration of Assets and Performance Bonds provides that “Every Public Official and Employee of Government involved in making decisions affecting contracting, tendering or procurement, and issuance of licenses of various types shall sign performance or financial bonds and shall in addition declare his/her income, assets, and liabilities prior to taking office and thereafter. This also provides that at the end of every three years, on promotion or progression from one level to another, upon transfer to another public office, and upon retirement or resignation.”

The declaration process will involve providing a comprehensive list of assets, including but not limited to properties, financial holdings, investments, and any other relevant financial interests.

Addressing plenary on Tuesday, Sen. Abe Darius Dillon of Montserrado County pleaded plenary indulgence to mandate the newly confirmed commissioners of LACC to fully declare their assets before the transition of national government.

Senator Dillion noted that if the body responsible to tackle corruption cannot examine itself through the legal process, it will be difficult to hold others accountable.

“The LACC new commissioners need to declare their assets to this plenary before the transition of government. You can’t say you are holding others accountable and you are not accountable too” Dillon said.

In affirmation of Senator Dillon’s statement, Dr. Henrique Flomo Tokpa of Bong County and Chairperson on Committee on Autonomous Agency at the Liberian Senate confirmed to plenary the failure of the commissioners to declare their assets.
“ I personally didn’t see their assets, only few receipts and other papers that said they declared their asset” , Sen. Tokpa lamented.

Meanwhile, based on the confirmation of Sen. Dillion’s statement by other Senators in session, Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Chie mandated the Senate Secretary to inform the leadership of LACC to submit its assets in the soonest possible time.

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