The Publishers Association of Liberia (PAL) is denouncing the House of Representatives’ act of selective justice by singling out few individuals for inquiry into the alleged missing LRD$16 billion, while other key state actors including ruling party Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) chair Mulbah Morlu remains untouched.
In a press release issued over the weekend, the PAL says the decision of the House to invite one of its member, Hot Pepper newspaper Publisher Philipbert Browne and certain individuals and leaving out major state actors that have also made straggling public revelations on the missing billions raise eyebrow.
The PAL says it is especially baffled and deeply troubled by the manner and form the House of Representatives is proceeding “by selectively inviting individuals” to appear to provide explanation and evidence concerning the missing billions.
It warns that the House’s action is counterproductive to tenets of transparency and accountability, which is now sending negative signal to the outside world, as witch hunt.
The PAL sees this scheme by the House as an attempt to impress the international community while the real state actors remain untouched in the alleged missing billions scandal.
Journalist Browne who runs local daily Hot Pepper was invited to provide evidence following his comment on OK FM last month that about 15 lawmakers were allegedly bribed to authorized the printing of 10.5 billion Liberian Dollars.
But the PAL says it believes that any investigation in such a grave national crisis should be a holistic process that would improve credibility of the country’s governance system instead of singling out few individuals to impress the international community.
The PAL strongly believes that other prominent individuals, who also made informed comments about the alleged missing money should rightfully form part of this investigation.
“It can be recalled that the National Chairman of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Mulbah Morlu is on record to have stated that he saw two pick-up loads of money leaving the compound of the Central Bank of Liberia, money he claims were some of the alleged missing 16 billions,” the PAL reminds the House of Representatives.
“While it is true that we cannot question the motive of the [Legislature’s] parallel investigation into this money scandal, PAL thinks it’s just fair to include everyone particularly key state actors,” the PAL release says.
It wants former and current officials along with those who have made public comments about their knowledge concerning the money scandal to be included in the probe rather than just going after journalist Browne simply because he mentioned the names of some members of 53rd Legislature who are within the 54th Legislature.
PAL also believes that in order to restore public confidence in these investigations, investigative reports such as the findings of the Special Presidential Investigative Team (PIT) set up by President George Manneh Weah to investigate the same case should be published.–Press release