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GeneralLiberia news

LACC Chairperson threatens lawsuit

By Lincoln G. Peters  

Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) Executive Chairperson Cllr. Edwin Klar Martin has vowed to challenge the Legislature through the courts to protest the recent amendment of the Act creating the LACC.

The Legislature recently passed into law a new amendment to the LACC Act and inserted a clause that calls for the dismissal of the current LACC Commissioners.

The new law calls for applications which will be vetted by a committee established by the same law.

The amended Act calls for the re-establishment of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, which means the tenure of all the five commissioners currently serving the institution will be immediately terminated.

However, they will have the opportunity to apply under the new law. Following the application, a vetting committee comprising the General Auditing Commission (GAC), Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Liberia Institute of Certified Public Accountants (LICPA), and the Governance Commission (GC) will vet the applicants.

The committee will then submit 14 names to the President who will make a choice of 7 of the vetted candidates and submit their names to the Liberian Senate for confirmation.

But in interviews with some radio stations here this week, Cllr. Martin expressed unhappiness about this new arrangement. 

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The LACC boss believes that the passage of the new LACC Act is a clever attempt to abolish the fight against corruption in Liberia.

He threatened to file a lawsuit before the Supreme Court of Liberia against the government.

“We will ensure that every remedy within the law will be applied consistent with due process to make sure that those things that were not corrected … will be corrected by the higher court,” said Cllr. Martin. 

He claimed that the act of the Legislature is purely intended to make sure that the current commission does not exist.

“The current law was established to ensure that they prosecute corrupt officials consistent with law in a certain time frame if the Ministry of justice failed,” Martin explained. 

“However, the new Act passed by the … Legislature does not have the … authority,” he said.

He said by law, the Government of Liberia through the Legislature cannot amend, create and dissolve tenure positions at the same time.

To do what the Legislature did through the Executive branch, Martin argued, it’s a clearer attempt to witch-hunt the present administration of the LACC which he heads.

He contended that the only reason for this act is because his administration stands up for the truth.

“Mind you, history will judge us. Our integrity is on the line that today we have been persecuted because we stood up for the truth,” said Cllr. Martin.

“And come what may, nothing will deter us to ensure that those corrupt officials of government who are currently lashing and parading in government will be brought to justice,’’ Cllr. Martin vowed. –Edited by Winston W. Parley

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