-Senate Pro-tempore Chie discloses
Senate President Pro-tempore Albert Chie, discloses here that his leadership has received a formal complaint from Grand Cape Mount County Senator, Cllr. Varney Sherman, on recent United States government sanction placed on him (Sherman) for alleged bribery.
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, January 12, at the Capitol Building, Pro-tempore Chie said Senator Varney’s communication will be placed on the senate’s floor for deliberation and subsequent actions.
Late 2020, the United States of America, through its Treasury Department, placed Global Magnitsky designations on several individuals in Africa and Asia, including Liberian Senator, Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman, on grounds that he allegedly facilitated bribery in the judiciary and that, in one instance, he allegedly bribed his colleagues “to support impeachment of a judge who has ruled against him.”
In a release, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it is targeting corrupt actors and their networks across several countries in Africa and Asia, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, and targets perpetrators of corruption and serious human rights abuse.
“On International Anti-Corruption Day, Treasury remains fully committed to imposing costs on those who facilitate corruption at the expense of the people,” said Deputy Secretary Justin G. Muzinich in the release.
Pro-tempore Chie notes that the procedurals that led to placing Cllr. Sherman on sanction list lacks due process, arguing that Sherman was not talked and his side of the story was never heard; instead, information was forwarded to the United States government and the travel restriction was imposed.
He points out that it is not a strange for the US government to place people on sanction list, noting this is a normal routine.
Chie says the Liberian Senate and its members are very concerned about the situation and how the matter can be handled.Commenting on the resumption of the senate, he promises that the body will now keenly focus on oversight.
He adds the senate is concern about economy of the state, including lack of money in commercial banks, and that despite a fall in the exchange rate between the Liberian dollar and U.S. dollar, prices of commodities remain extremely high hence, a need to review all concession agreements during this sitting.
Pro-tempore Chie says he had anticipated that many of former colleagues that lost the senatorial by-elections would have returned but the will of the Liberian people was different. Currently, the senate leadership which comprises eleven persons has vacancies for six, as the result of the elections.
However the Pro-tempore is optimistic that senators, especially those who had worked before at the legislature, would be effective and forceful in meeting challenges that the country is faced with.
He also discloses plan to revamp the Ways, Means, Finance and Budget, and the Public Account and Banking and Finance Committees of the senate in order to actively diagnose problems plaguing the economy for proper remedy.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne