Special state prosecutor Cllr. Arthur T. Johnson says he has resigned as chairman of the Asset Investigation, Restitution and Recovery Team set up by the Government of Liberia to retrieve stolen public assets
He confirmed the information through mobile phone text exchanges with the Newdawn Newspaper on Wednesday, 4 March without giving any further details as to why he has resigned.
But there are others suggesting here that Cllr. Johnson says he has resigned to avoid risking his career and reputation on grounds that his anticipation and perception about the fight against corruption are not achieving their objectives.
He is quoted in some reports to have alleged that he expected that there will be ‘will’ in the fight against corruption, but he has now realized that his belief is an illusion.
The Asset Investigation, Restitution and Recovery Team which he headed is charged to investigate, restitute and recover funds that were allegedlyembezzled or misapplied from government.
The Team works along with anti – graft institutions including the General Auditing Commission, (GAC) and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), using reports of these institutions to go after embezzled state resources to possibly have suspects restitute them.
During his work with the Asset Recovery Team, Cllr. Johnson and prosecutors from the Ministry of Justice have worked together to try major cases including ongoing prosecution of former Defense Ministry officials over the use of money deducted from the salaries of officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) as compulsory savings for pension benefits.
Current Army Officials have testified in the case that President George Manneh Weah has committed his government to paying back the soldiers’ compulsory savings, but prosecutors are holding the former officials to account.By Winston W. Parley