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Civil Society Group welcomes Cllrs. Gould, Livingstone’s nomination withdrawal

Independent Civil Society Union of Liberia applauds President Joseph Boakai for withdrawing the nomination of two junior ministers at the Ministry of Information over corruption rumors.

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Monrovia, Liberia, March 27, 2024 – The Independent Civil Society Union of Liberia (ICSUL) says it welcomes the withdrawal of Cllr. Bobby Livingston and Cllr. Lafayette Gould as Deputy Information Minister for Public Affairs and Assistant Justice Minister for Litigation-designate, respectively.

President Boakai’s recent nomination of the two lawyers sparked serious public reactions on grounds that they are among state prosecutors allegedly trading accusations of corruption in the US$150,000 saga surrounding the controversial trial of former Chief Justice Gloria Musu Scott and three family members for murder.

The Independent Civil Society Union of Liberia, in a release issued Wednesday, March 20, 2024, following the nomination of the two lawyers, argued that amidst the corruption controversy involving the name of Cllrs. Bobby Livingstone, Adolphus Karnuah, Lafayette Gould, and Montserrado County Attorney Swahilu Sesay, the best President Boakai could do was to ensure they face either the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) or the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to adequately account for the hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money they received under unexplained circumstances.

In its previous release, the group contended that nominating Cllr. Livingstone and any of his colleagues from the Justice Ministry, without first ensuring an accountability process to ascertain what happened to the huge sums of money dished out among them during the trial, approve and acquiesce to the apparent corruption that took place among people who are entrusted with the authority of state prosecution.

ICSUL noted that what was even more troubling is that the current fight over the usage of the controversial US$150,000 was preceded by the fining and suspension of former Solicitor General Nyanti Tuan by Criminal Court ‘A’ Judge Roosevelt Willie after he was found liable for breaking jury rules or attempted jury tempering.

The civil society group further asserted that it remains unclear whether part of the US$150,000 being fought over by Cllr. Bobby Livingstone and others may have used part of it to interfere with the Gloria Musu Scott case through possible jury tempering and other unorthodox means, as the defendants’ families have repeatedly expressed since the case’s conclusion at the lower court.

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The group, in its second release issued on the matter on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, following the withdrawal action, lauded President Boakai for withdrawing Cllrs. Livingstone and Gould signify that the current government is endeavoring to live up to its campaign promise of not doing public business as usual.

ICSUL is meanwhile calling on President Boakai not to stop at the withdrawal of the two lawyers but should also subject them to an investigation to allow them to clear their names.

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