JOSAI to petition Legislature over increase of corruption
By Lewis S Teh
The Joint Civil Society Anti-corruption Initiative (JOSAI) has announced that beginning today, 31 May 2022, it will hold a major march to petition members of the Legislature on what it terms as an increase of corruption cases in the country.
“JOSAI will tomorrow hold a March for transparency to call for serious efforts against corruption, including the passage of anti-corruption bills that are before the Legislature,” the group said.
JOSAI in a news conference held Monday, 30 May 2022 at the Center for the Exchange of Intellectual Opinion (CEIO) on Carey Street in central Monrovia, said the march is meant to reawaken the dying spirit of accountability and transparency in Liberia.
Reading the three-page Press Statement, the head of Secretariat of JOSAI, Dax Elliot said JOSAI will petition the Legislature to treat the passage of anti-corruption bills with urgency.
He pointed out that last week, JOSAI received a disturbing report that the Senate failed to concur with the House of Representatives on the passage of anti-corruption bills.
He said it is JOSAI’s anticipation that such disagreement must lead to further strengthening of those instruments.
According to him, upon arrival at the Legislature, the group will present a petition with six bills that he says need to be passed.
They include the Draft Whistleblower bill, the Draft Witness Protect bill, the Draft Bill to Revise the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) Act, the Draft Amendment to the Code of Conduct, and the Draft bill to Create a Corruption Court.
“We are very much concerned that a government that ascended to the presidency on the basis of changing the country for the better would engulf itself into rampant corruption,” the group alleged.
The JOSAI head of the Secretariat added that the passage of those anti-graft instruments will immensely support and impact the fight against corruption in the country, stressing that the whistleblower bill when passed into law will allow State prosecutors to receive crucial information on acts of corruption.
Most importantly the bill will protect the identity of that reporting corruption, thereby impacting the quality of evidence that would be used to successfully prosecute cases of corruption.
Elliot further said amending the LACC Act will give the institution direct prosecutorial powers instead of the current regime, which places the Justice Ministry as the arrowhead for prosecution.
He used the occasion to commend the anti-graft institutions for their tireless efforts aimed at fighting corruption, waste and abuse in the public space by demanding adherence to the rule of law.
Elliot noted that there’s still a lot that needs to be done, urging those anti-graft institutions to remain steadfast and unwavering in the fight against corruption and abuse of state resources.
Elliot also extended profound appreciation to the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) and its partners for the support given to the organization.