Opposition Liberty Party (LP) stalwart Darrius Dillon has rejected claims by the Central Bank of Liberia that no money is missing here, demanding the bank to “show us the records.”“We will demand to know what happened to our money. The Liberian people need answers,” he said Tuesday, 2 October on local broadcaster OK FM, adding that the money was not printed for political parties including UP, LP, CDC, ANC, ALP or an individual.
Mr. Dillon’s comments were provoked by a statement released by the CBL on Tuesday, 2 October informing Liberians and partners in progress that there is no L$16 billion Liberian Dollars missing, as has been reported in the media here.The Central Bank says according to its records, the total money that was printed and placed in the vault of the CBL was L$15.5 billion for the period of 2016 to 2018.
In its statement, the Bank says it has concluded its internal assessment on monies printed and brought in Liberia between 2016 and 2018.But Mr. Dillon notes that based on the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Chair Mulbah Morlu’s alleged account that there were loads of pickups “with our money from the Central Bank,” he believes that some people were feasting on the country’s money and infusing it into the economy so that they can own the US Dollars.
Mr. Dillon argues that if no money was missing, Central Bank would have indicated it the moment reports of alleged missing money came about.The LP stalwart argues that it should not have taken the Central Bank almost two months to come back to the public to say all its records were in tight.
“Your records in tight and they’re placing people on restriction? Your records in tight … the conflicting statements coming out of the one Central Bank and the Government as a whole? It’s not true. It can’t be true,” Mr. Dillon argues.
Besides, Mr. Dillon notes that the first statement that came out of the Ministry of Justice on 17 September surrounding this money issue was that the Government through President George Manneh Weah had constituted an investigative board on 8 August.
“From the 8th of August while you were doing in – house investigation, if there was any, Central Bank didn’t know that no money missing to tell them so that when it comes to the public already they’ll be prepared to say this information is false?” he wonders.
He demands the CBL to “show us the record” or the investigation, the serial number of the money that was brought into the country, how it entered the vault, how it was infused into the economy and what the balance is today.Mr. Dillon alleges that the CBL went in panic mood the first time the information was revealed to the public that money was missing or diverted.
He says the Bank gave Liberians the impression and the reason to believe that something had gone wrong.He maintains that a credible independent investigation will produce a credible outcome with the involvement of the international partners.
But he is concerned that the FBI hasn’t even come yet for the purpose of this investigation, and President George Manneh Weah and the Central Bank are saying no money is missing.He was buttressed by Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson who says he is totally disappointed and down – hearted for the Central Bank to make such pronouncement that no money got missing.
“So it means that they know what happened with the money. It means that they know who took the money,” Sen. Johnson says.President Weah on Monday, 1 October ruled out the possibility of money being missing under his regime, saying maybe it was during former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf’s administration.
The media reported the disappearance of alleged nine billion Liberian Dollars, but Mr. Weah’s government chief spokesperson Information Minister Eugene Nagbe said the money in question was about L$16 billion.Further Mr. Weah’s Finance Minister Samuel Tweah argued that no money went missing, but noted that the money printed was L$15 billion and brought into the country.
This new regime has persistently cast blames on Mrs. Sirleaf’s government for the alleged missing money, compelling the former President to demand the Weah regime to release a Justice Ministry mandated – internal investigation from the CBL to the public.
By Winston W. Parley