19 September 2018

Liberia: Lawmaker Opting for Drastic Measures Against People Responsible Varnished Money

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(File photo).

Monrovia — Saga surrounding the alleged missing L$16 billion has not only drawn the concern of the public but some members of the House of Representatives, as well.

On Tuesday, September 18, the House of Representatives' Committee on Public and State Enterprise announced a scheduled hearing with relevant institutions for Friday, September 21.

Representative Zoe Pennue of Grand Gedeh County, District #1, in an interview with FrontPageAfrica, assured Liberians that he and his colleagues in the House will ensure full investigation and discovery of the alleged missing money; emphasizing: "Even Jesus' nephew will not be spared; they will be held liable. No joke about this. To other officials of government, let's stop filibustering and politicking with the Liberian people. We know how to get the information about this money."

The Grand Gedeh County lawmaker further stated that this coming Friday's hearing will be public. He disclosed that institutions that have been asked to come for the hearing include the National Port Authority (NPA), APM Terminals, the Roberts International Airport (RIA) and others.

Rep. Pennue blamed the political fight that ousted former House Speaker Alex Tyler as a distraction that allowed members of the executive to do what they wanted to do as they went contrary to the Legislature's instruction to print new bank notes.

In another interview with a former lawmaker of the 53rd Legislature under whose mandate the new banknotes were printed, he described the news as shocking and blamed it on "careless handling of the country money."

According to the former District #16 lawmaker, Mr.Edward Forh, the purpose of the mandate was to replace the mutilated banknote and the amount spent for the printing of the banknotes was US$53 million but up to his last days at the Legislature, there was no proof of printed money.

"Part of our opposition to the printing of the money was because we were in campaign time and as a senior member of the major opposition I felt if not controlled, it would have been used at the detriment of the opposition.

"I am careful with what Liberians say; if what the Information Minister said is true, I am shocked that such amount of money came into the country and was handled in such a sloppy way to go missing.

Forh, who now works as an administrator at a local college constructed by him, stated the difficulties he faces in paying his staff at the end of every month due to the shortage of the US dollars in local banks.

"It is sad that it will take us a week to get our own money from banks to pay our staff and I hope people in authority will ensure where this money, by their series numbers, is. I just can't factor this because I am not sure there is another country in the world that has reported container of missing money."

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