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Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

No threats will thwart asset recovery 

--Gov’t tells CDC

Since the formation of the Assets Recovery and Properties Retrieval team by the new administration under President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, former officials of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) have been issuing threats to scare their successors from recovering stolen government assets.

By Lincoln G. Peters

Monrovia, March 26, 2024: President Joseph Nyumah Boakai’s Assets Recovery and Properties Retrieval Team has warned officials of the former ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) that no level of threats will thwart the government’s assets recovery efforts.

Assets Recovery Taskforce Chairperson Cllr. Edwin Kla Martin issued the warning in Monrovia following consistent threats by CDC Secretary General Jefferson Koijee that his party would resist asset recovery.

Koijee and several officials of the past regime led by former President George Manneh Weah are on U.S. sanctions for acts of corruption and serious human rights abuses, among others.

Worst still, some of the former officials are said to have looted their offices and taken away government vehicles, further compounding public perception of the high level of corruption allegations they face.

Koijee has projected himself as the ringleader in resisting accountability after the CDC-led government declined to hold accountable officials of the Sirleaf-led administration, which succeeded.

Recently, Koijee loosely declared that no member of the CDC will subject themselves to the assets recovery task force.

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“We like to inform Mr. Boakai that no member of the CDC will subject themselves to that so-called asset recovery task force,” he said.

Reacting to Koijee’s threats, Cllr. Martin warned him to desist from any unlawful act, stating that the government would use the law to prosecute corrupt officials and compel restitution of stolen funds belonging to Liberia.

“You say that former officials will not submit to this process; we are fearless, and we have no issues about that,” said Cllr Martin. 

“We are strong and robust. No one will think they can thwart or frustrate this process by issuing threats. That cannot move us,” he continued. 

Martin noted that he worked in the system before and he survived despite threats.

“Now that we are not in the system, and it does exist and now working under a transparent system, no threat can move us,’’ he vowed. 

According to him, some laws govern the punishment of criminal acts across the country, and so they will act through the court. He reminded CDCians that the executive always assists the Court through the Liberia National Police (LNP).

Martin formally chaired the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) during former President George Manneh Weah’s rule.

However, he did not end his tenure when a new LACC Act passed by the Legislature and signed by President Weah ousted him from his role.

The former LACC boss disclosed that nobody will see him in the street to go and carry out an arrest. 

However, he said the appropriate action would be taken through the court, and the LNP would execute that action.

“Nobody is above the law, whether past or current government official. Therefore, the law will be used to restitute the Liberian people’s money stolen,” said Cllr. Martin. 

He said their responsibility is to ensure that the objectives and functions are addressed properly. 

“I can assure Liberians that we will ensure the task is achieved. We will act in accordance with the law because there will be no arms twisting and nighttime calls,’’ said Martin.

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