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Editorial: Selective corruption fight promotes partiality

The haste with which the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission is moving to prosecute the Chairperson of the National Elections Commission Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah and others for alleged conflict of interest and corruption while corruption cases of similar magnitude involving other officials of government, including the LACC own vice-chairperson Cllr. Kanio Bai Gbala and the Managing Director of the National Port Authority Bill Tweahway, among others, raise questions of selectivity and partiality in the government’s fight to minimize corruption in the public sector.

The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission thru its Executive Chairperson Cllr. Edwin Kla Martin on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, indicted Madam Browne Lansanah for alleged conflict of interest and corruption.  Report had it in November 2021 that the NEC under the supervision of Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah during the November 16, 2021 by-elections in four counties, rented thermometers from a company called Tuma Enterprises Inc., allegedly owned by her brother for over US$180,000 outside of government procurement regulations.

She is found to be in breach of Section 1.3.6. of the National Code of Conduct for public officials that prohibits conflict of interest; Part II, Section 2.2 of the LACC Act and Section 15.3 of Liberia’s Money Laundering Act of 2012, respectively.

Though Madam Browne Lansanah denied making admissions of guilty during her appearance before the LACC, the Criminal Court C at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia reportedly issued a Writ of Arrest last week against the NEC Boss for corruption.

Meantime a similar case of conflict of interest involving the LACC Vice-Chairperson Cllr. Kanio Bai Gbala, who is linked to a contract at the National Port Authority, and the Managing Director of the National Port Authority Bill Tweahway, who awarded port contracts to his (Bill Tweahway’s) brother is inconclusive.

We think the LACC proceeding to court against Madam Browne Lansanah without allowing the Ministry of Justice to look into the case, as required by Section 11.1 of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008, is not only being selective but impartial in the fight against corruption.

We call the LACC’s attention to a recent urge by the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia or CENTAL during the December 9th celebration of International Corruption Day for the Weah administration to be non-selective in the fight against corruption.

“As Liberia joins other countries to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the International Anti-Corruption Day, as the national chapter of Transparency International (TI), the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) would like to call on the national government to be sincerer, robust and non-selective in the fight against corruption”, said Executive Director Anderson Miamen.

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Miamen: “We urge the LACC to give the case involving its own the fullest attention, as the public awaits the logical conclusion of the matter, just as all other corruption cases before the body. How the Commission treats the case involving one of its own will send a very strong message about its preparedness, robustness, and impartiality in dealing with all cases and issues of Corruption in the Country.”

It is important that the LACC does everything in the fight against corruption not to be seen as being selective in which case to prosecute or not, in order to maintain public trust in its operations. In other words, there should be no sacred cows in the fight against corruption.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/in-nec-conflict-of-interest-case-lacc-proceeding-wrongly/

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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