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Rep. Koung opens a can of worms

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Just as lawmakers on Capitol Hill are desperately fending off accusations of receiving bribes from the Central Bank of Liberia and sharing money at the T-Five Academy in Paynesville, which could indict them in the ongoing investigation for the missing 16 billion Liberian Banknotes, a member of the House has conceded here in fresh claims that indeed, some of his colleagues from Nimba County did receive bribes from the two sources as was previously asserted by Liberian Journalist Philipbert Browne, publisher of the Hot Pepper Newspaper.

Nimba County District One Representative Jeremiah Kpain Koung openly accuses several of his colleague lawmakers from the county of receiving bribe from Central Bank officials prior to the printing of the new Liberia Banknotes of which 16 billion reportedly went mission in the country.
While appearing on a community radio station, Radio Kergheamahn [94.5FM] in Ganta, Nimba County, he specifically accuses one of his colleagues from the county, Representative Larry P. Younquoi and others whose names he did not mention of demanding and receiving huge amount of money from the Central Bank prior to giving approval for the printing of the new banknotes, but distances himself from the alleged bribery.

Representative Younquoi dismisses claims of bribes taking by Rep. Koung as false though he discloses that he headed the House’s budget committee under the leadership of criminally indicted former Speaker Alex Tyler during the 53rd Legislature.

He confirms they wrote the Central Bank of Liberia to print the new banknotes, but those who replaced him on the Ways and Means Committee were the ones who received the alleged bribe without mentioning names.

Members of the House had denied involvement in any bribery and cited publisher Browne to substantiate his claims. Browne is currently out of the country, attending an Olympic conference.
However, the latest claims by Representative Koung clearly indict the House, and seem to corroborate Publisher Browne’s assertion of bribery among some members of the august body. It therefore goes without saying that Browne should be vindicated of any contempt charge by the House.

We believe rather than going after Browne along for his assertion, the House should equally call in one of its own, Representative Koung to help in identifying the rest of his colleagues from Nimba, who he says did receive bribes.

This should start the real investigation of the role lawmakers played in the printing of the new banknotes and the reported missing 16 billion. Any other action apart from this latest allegation by one of the sitting lawmakers is nothing but attempts to silent patriotic whistleblowers on the missing money issue and the alleged associated bribery.

Representative Koung has unsealed a can of worms, and we believe the House should do the honorable thing by examining all of the bits and pieces rather than trying to bully well-intentioned voices into silence, as the current campaign on Capitol Hill appears to indicate.

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