-Calls for speedy passage
The acting Chairman of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) Kanio Bai Gbala, has welcome the new anti-graft laws proposed by President George Weah, which is awaiting passage by the National Legislature.In his 2020 and 2021 State of the Nation Addresses, President Weah promised to introduce legislations that would empower the LACC to be more robust in fighting graft here.
The LACC last month submitted the draft legislation to the office of the President for onward submission to the National Legislation following the conduct of a broad based validation process.
The bill includes an Act Granting the LACC full prosecutorial powers for acts of corruption, an Act Granting the LACC full responsibility for the collection, collation and verification of Assets declared by public officials, an Act Establishing a Fast Track Corruption Court as well as Acts to Protect Whistleblowers and Establish a Witness Protection Program.
Speaking to reporters over the weekend, Cllr. Bai Gbala described the submission of the bills by President Weah as the practical demonstration of political will to fight corruption in the country.
He pointed out that majority of the hurdles currently encountered by the LACC in the execution of its mandate will be removed upon the passage of the aforementioned Legislation.
He further explained that when pass in to law, the new legislation would see corruption cases being fast track instead of the current slow pace of corruption cases on the dockets of the courts. The acting LACC boss also narrated that the passage of the new bill will fast track the verification process of assets of public officials as well as the prerequisite to wait upon the Ministry of Justice for 3 months before proceeding to litigate corruption cases.
Cllr. Gbala, was however, noted that since the legal frameworks were now falling into place it was necessary for the Liberian government to provide the LACC with the needed resources to that would energize that body in the fight against corruption by increasing budget support for investigations, prosecutions and the recruitment of skilled human resource assets.
He further called on well-meaning Liberians including members of the legislature to support the speedy passage of the LACC bill in order to bolster the fight against corruption.