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Gov’t Orders Bong Corruption Proceedings Halted

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The Ministry of Justice has ordered a halt to corruption proceedings against two former officials of Bong County. The two are former Superintendents Ranney Jackson and Lucia Herbert.

The directive which was issued by Solicitor General Wilkins Wrights, instructed the Bong County Attorney not to proceed with the corruption case involving the two former Bong officials.

Last month Bong County Attorney Juma Karnley wrote Police Director Chris Massaquoi asking him to disrobe the local county Police Commander Morris Teamah for refusing to conduct preliminary investigation into the corruption case involving the two former officials as was mandated by his office.

But in his letter to the County Attorney dated September 28, 2012 a copy of which is in the possession of this paper, Cllr. Wright ordered the county attorney to discontinue his mood in the case.

Cllr. Wright said his directive was based on a communication he had received from Mr. Jackson, now Deputy Minister for Operations at the Ministry of Internal Affairs informing him (Cllr. Wright) that he has been ordered arrested.

Cllr. Wright further quoted Mr. Jackson as saying his arrest order was also based on a communication from civil society members in the county asking for court action in the corruption case.

His letter to the local county attorney further stated that the above explanation by Mr. Jackson and the attachment of pleadings from the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court indicates that said arrest should not be executed.

Mr. Jackson had earlier taken his former Development Superintendent Lucia Herbert to court for what he calls damaging his character before the latest order from the Solicitor General.

However, the local county attorney had said that the state is not concerned about the civil aspect of the case, but rather the criminal aspect. Lucia Herbert who took over from Mr. Jackson accused him of taking away county assets and cash while leaving office.

She made the allegation when members of the Bong County Legislative Caucus asked her to return a generator she took from the Superintendent’s Compound when she was dismissed by the president.

Meanwhile, civil society members in Bong County have expressed serious dissatisfaction over the letter written by the Solicitor General, describing it as a step to encourage corruption.

Members of the civil society who have been seriously pushing for the court action want the Solicitor General to allow the county attorney do his job and should not be acting based on complaint from Mr. Jackson who is accused of taking county properties and cash for his personal use.

They have promised to pursue the matter to ensure that the two former officials are taken to court to exonerate themselves from the corruption allegations.

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