Margibi County Electoral District #2 Rep. Ivar Jones says it makes no sense to exclude the House of Representatives from the ongoing investigation into alleged missing $15.5 billion Liberian Dollars.
In contrast to Speaker Bhofal Chambers’ earlier refusal to avail the Legislature to the probe into Liberia’s biggest financial scandal, Rep. Jones said on Monday, 22 October that immediate past members of the 53rd Legislature were the ones who passed a resolution for the printing of the $15.5 billion Liberian Dollars.
Some of those members of the 53rd Legislature were reelected in 2017 and are also members of the 54th Legislature.He told reporters on Capitol Hill Monday that the House cannot be exempted from the ongoing investigation, saying there is no way that Speaker Chambers can claim that the investigation cannot include lawmakers.
He explains that through protest, Liberians and the duly elected government called for investigation of the missing money and President George Manneh Weah honored the request by setting up an investigative committee.Besides, Rep. Jones notes that President Weah also invited the United States Government to help with the investigation, following which experts from USAID came
in to help in the investigation.
Given these events, Rep. Jones believes that it makes no sense to exclude the House from the investigation.Recently, the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives Mildred Sayon was summoned but Speaker Chambers said the House of Representatives will never allow itself to be
‘invited’ to an investigation from any institution.
The next day following Chambers’ defiant statement, ruling party CDC Rep. Moses Acarus Gray clarified that Speaker Chambers will not shield anyone involved in the scandal, but he would require that proper authority be written if any lawmaker or document are needed.
But according to Rep. Jones, the House of Representatives gave the Central Bank of
Liberia (CBL) authorization for the printing of coins and legacy banknotes.On the basis of this claim, Rep. Jones believes that if things gone wrong, the origination of the authorization should be quizzed thoroughly.
He adds that the recent statement of Speaker Chambers that lawmakers should not be questioned is totally out of order and must not be accepted by those who are conducting the investigation. He says the Speaker spoke on his own.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley