The Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC) says Liberia as a signatory to the African Union Convention on Prevention and Combating Corruption as well as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption is under obligation to take steps to criminalize illicit enrichment under its domestic laws.
LACC boss, Frances Johnson Allison providing updates on efforts aimed at combating corruption at the level of the Commission at a news chat over the weekend said asset verification exercise is intended toward would-be perpetrators of corruption through illicit enrichment.
She defined illicit enrichment as the significant increase in the assets of a public official that he or she cannot reasonably explain in rations to his/her lawful income. Madam Allison said the verification process which concludes Phase II of the asset declarations process comprehends a random selection of public officials on the basis of the size of the budget controlled by the said officials.
Among the 77 public officials from 16 ministries, agencies and public corporations verified, the LACC placed them into categories which ranged from number of asset declarants booked for unexplained/questionable wealth accumulation; number of asset declaration not verified because official refused to cooperate; number of asset declarants with outstanding issues thereby impeding the verification process and number of asset declaration not verified because declarants could not be located and number of asset declarants verified and found to be truly stated.
The LACC named the institutions the verification process was carried out at as the Liberia Maritime Authority, the Ministrys of Public Works, Finance, Health and Social Welfare, Internal Affairs, National Defense, Justice, Education, LACC, NOCAL, LTA, LPRC, Liberia Fire Service, Drug Enforcement, LNP, and the BIN.
Group one dealt with unexplained wealth accumulation, material omission and questionable lump sum of cash deposit and in that category is Mr. Stephen Yekeson, Varney Ali Sheriff and former Internal Affairs Minister Blamo Nelson.
The LACC in its naming and shaming scheme; categorized group 2 members as those who have deliberately refused to cooperate with the team inspite of notices to those individuals to appear thereby hampering the verification of their declared assets.
Considering them as the ‘most dangerous’ group, Madam Allison identified them as T. Nelson Williams, Pete Norman, Chris Massaquoi, Brownie Samukai, St. Jerome Larbalee, Joseph Johnson, Robert E. Cooper, Danny B.B. Sartee, Broderick T. Nenneh, Rober Wleh Buddy and Randolph A. Wleh.
Others in said category are Henry D. Moore, Samuel T. Nimely, Miekee S. Gray, Darlington George, Freddie Robert Taylor, Oretha Snyder Davis, Daniel Warner, Benedict F. Sannoh, Hilary Siakor-Sirleaf, Henrietta Badio and Abraham Siafa Fahnbulleh.
Members of group three are those whose asset declaration process could not be completed within the reporting timeframe due to outstanding issues yet to be resolved and they are Angelique Weeks, Lamini Warity, Abdulah L. Kamara, Harry T. Yuan, Ranny B. Jackson, Neneh Kroyahn, Varney Sirleaf of Internal Affairs, Sam Foday Brown, Jefferson E.S. Witherspoon, Barbu Sao Varmah, Timothy Grandoe, and Abla B. G. Williams.
Others are Boakai Abu Nyei, Augustine K. Browne, Rose Stryker, Adolphus T. Dixon, Augustine V. Kimber, Margaret Ansumana, Emmanuel N. Reeves and Christiana Tah.
Yet group four members are officials whose assets could not be verified because declarants cannot be reached and they are Kadiker Rex Dahn, Henrique Wilson, Mator Kpangbai and Victor Sayon.
However, to every side, there are still others who stand up against the odds and the LACC team classified group five members as those whose assets declaration were verified and certified as truthfully declared.
Those officials of government are Henry Wilfred Benson, Etmonia Davis Tarpeh, Augustine Josiah, Mento Bendu Barclay, G. Warsuwah Barvoul, Victoria Sherman Lang, Olga R.C. Jallah, David K. Dahn, Amara Konneh, Sebastian Muah, Boom Wilson, Abraham S. Kromah, Joseph B. Flomo, Joseph K. Acqui, I, Cllr. M. Osman Kanneh, Cllr. Gladys K. Johnson and Cllr. J. Augustine Toe.
Others are Daniel B. Tipayson, Matthew T.K. Flomo, Vivian Cherue, Randolph A.K. McClain, Anthony K. Souh, Asatu Bah Kenneth, Benda F. Gayte and Samuel Kofi Woods.
Meanwhile, the LACC recommends that the verification process be extended with the needed budgetary support to ensure improvement of the exercise, that appropriate administrative and or legal actions be taken against those who disregarded the process as well as those booked for unexplained wealth accumulation and material omission while a division specifically responsible to perform asset declaration is set up since an ad-hoc inter-departmental team means divided attention and low productivity.