20 February 2013

Liberia: Lawmakers Demand Probe Into Recording Saga

Montserrado County District #9 Representative Munah Pelham and District #13 Representative Saah Joseph are calling for probe into the secret recording of Rep. Edward Forh as recently claimed by Superintendent Grace Kpaan.

Rep. Pelham said via mobile phone Wednesday that though there was nothing to prove that the voice in the recording was that of Representative Forh's, an investigation is needed to establish the veracity of the recording. She described Superintendent Kpaan's action to secretly record the lawmaker as criminal.

"The Superintendent is in error to have recorded Rep. Forh secretly without his consent. We think that was very ugly on the part of the Superintendent, but we are not still convinced because we do not have sufficient evidence to prove that the voice in the recording was that of Rep. Forh's," said Hon. Pelham.

For his part Representative Saah Joseph of District #13 said, the recording is not a surprise as the act was an attempt by Superintendent Kpaan to destroy the good character of lawmakers in Montserrado County.

Representative Joseph confirmed that the voice behind the recording was that of Representative Forh's, but said it was a conservation between the Superintendent and his colleague (Forh), who both are officials of government.

"This issue about secret recording is only coming out now because Supt. Kpaan is being pressured to implement programs and projects for which money have been allocated in the national budget for the county," he said.

Joseph said members of the 53rd Legislature will not sit and allow county superintendents to misuse funds intended to benefit the greater public. The broadcast of a secret recording alleged to be the voice of Representative Edward Forh of Montserrado County District 16 has drawn the concern of some members of the county's caucus.

Several local radio stations, on Monday morning aired a secret recording, which Superintendent Kpaan claimed was the voice of a member of the county legislative caucus, soliciting bribe or portion of the county development funds.

In the recording, a voice purportedly of Superintendent Kpaan and a male lawmaker in dialogue suggested plan to allot a portion of the funds intended for the county development into personal accounts.

Few weeks ago, Superintendent Kpaan threatened to broadcast a recording she has on Representative Forh, asking her (Supt. Kpaan) to steal part of the money intended for the development of the county. But Hon Forh has challenged the Superintendent to broadcast the recording to authenticate the fact.

Addressing a news confidence on Thursday, February 14, 2012 Rep. Forh said: "We want to in this forum encourage Superintendent Kpaan and all her surrogates to come forth and play that tape recording where members of the Caucus solicited bribe from her. "

"Six weeks ago, we asked the superintendent to go ahead and play the tape, but up to the present time, she has not. Rather, she is using the allegation to blackmail members of the caucus. The caucus cannot be black mailed."

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