The NEWS (Monrovia)

20 December 2012

Liberia: U.S.$50,000 Presidential Gift in Bank Account

Police authorities have reportedly deposited the US$50,000.00 check recently presented to them by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as Christmas bonus for junior officers.

President Johnson-Sirleaf presented the money last Saturday when she attended a general assembly of the Liberia National Police.

During her presentation of the US$50,000.00 check, she cautioned Police Director Chris Massaquoi and his deputies that the money is not intended for senior officers but instead, those who stand under the sun and rain daily to provide protection for the people.

As the amount is in LNP's account, there are meetings being held as to how the money will be distributed, and how much each of the officers will receive.

A source hinted this paper that everything is being done to disburse the money in the individual accounts of junior officers before the Christmas celebration next Tuesday.

However, the source said no decision has been reached on a specific amount that will be given to each officer, but added that a list of a total number of officers has been requested from the Human Resource Department to enable authorities do the necessary calculations.

"Even if each of the officers will get five dollars, they can be assured that they will receive their money," the source who begged not to be named, said.

The Liberia National Police have approximately 4,000 officers and with the US$50,000, each officer including top brass will walk away with at least US$12.00, but if the senior officers are left out in keeping with the President's mandate, then, each of the junior officers will take home between US$20.00 and $25.00.

During the presentation of the check, this is what President Sirleaf said: "The money should be used for the men and women that are seen in the sun day and night and not for the top brass of the force; this little token is for you who are in the sun and rain providing security to your people to buy your cold water and soft drink."

It is not known why President Sirleaf was cautious when she presented the US$50,000 check, but it can be recalled that early this year, she gave US$25,000 as appreciation for police officers, an amount that was divided with zones and depots to have what the police called "country cook".

When contacted for comment, Police spokesman Sam Collins promised to call this paper back to provide information but failed to do so up to press time.

Investigation continues.

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