15 January 2014

Liberia: Senate Ready to Probe Secret Recordings

Members of the Liberian Senate are gearing up to thoroughly investigate the secret recordings of officials of government, especially Defense Minister J. Brownie Samukia and Police Director Col. Christian Clarence Massaquoi.

The former Managing Director of the Roberts International Airport or RIA, Madam Ellen Corkrum, indicted by the government here for alleged corruption, secretly recorded several officials, including heads of the country' security agencies caught on tape gossiping President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Senator Armah Jallah of Gbarpolu and Cletus Wotorson of Grand Kru counties respectively, have written the plenary of the Liberian Senate, expressing concern that the secret recordings on the security institutions have created a serious credibility crisis on the two individuals.

"We believe as a government, such information and admittance to these recordings by our security heads is worrisome and we think the Liberian Senate should come in [in line with] its role of oversight to get details and reasons why they (Samukai and Massaquoi) chose to take this path in our young democracy.

Besides; we're also of the conviction that the both individuals should be key factors in the investigation by assisting in the process as members of the Liberian Senate conduct an in-depth probe of the secret recordings," the Senate's communication read.

According to the communication, which was read in plenary during its Tuesday sitting, both Minister Samukai and Director Massaquio should help with the investigation, and that they as lawmakers, are seriously worried about the affairs of state amidst secret recordings which have exposed two officials of the government aiding and abetting someone suspected of defrauding the government coffers.

The Government of Liberia indicted Ms Corkrum and is subsequently seeking her extradition from the United States for allegedly squandering about half million dollars from the coffers of the Roberts International Airport.

She has admitted that she has recordings on several government officials, including, Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, Police Director Chris Massaquoi, Presidential Affairs Minister Edward McClain, and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, among others.

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