Liberia: LACC Says Its Comptroller Resigned for 'Fear' of Audit

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George Weah campaign poster.

Authorities of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) say it comptroller, J. Bernard Nagbe, resigned to escape being entrapped in a pending audit at that anti-graft entity.

"The LACC is shocked and astounded by the abrupt, and unprofessional nature of the resignation of its former Comptroller, which occurred at the commencement of a financial and institutional audit being conducted by the General Audit Commission (GAC)," the LACC said in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Attorney Mohammed Fahnbulleh.

It can be recalled that in his letter of resignation, dated on November 25, 2019, Nagbe cited delays in the payment of his salaries and benefits as reason for his resignation from the government.

"I am constrained to tender my resignation on grounds of uncertainty with my salary and benefits. I am not receiving my remuneration on time and my service to the government and the people of Liberia is not for free. I owe my life, career and service to my country, but ultimately my family comes first.

"I have never had this experience in my professional life and never am I prepared to endure this nonsense. I cannot and will never work without pay. Henceforth, I can no more continue this useless sacrifice to the LACC, the Liberian people and the government

But in sharp contrast to Nagbe's statement, the LACC said their former comptroller did not resign over delayed salaries and benefits, but because of an "ongoing financial and institutional audit the GAC is conducting."

Atty. Fahnbulleh's statement added, "The LACC, by this medium, emphatically clarifies to the public that all its employees, including its former comptroller, have consistently received their salaries up to September 2019."

He said despite the "unprofessional and unethical" nature of Nagbe's resignation, the Board of Commissioners of the anti-corruption Watch dog, has accepted his resignation, with conditions.

"Giving the critical nature of the role previously occupied by Nagbe, a role indispensable to the completion of the pending GAC audit, the BOC strongly advises its former comptroller to remain in-country, and to truly cooperate with the GAC for the speedy completion of the ongoing audit.

Considering this, the LACC further represents that Nagbe's action smacks of sabotage, subterfuge and ingratitude to the LACC given that he was one of the first employees of the Commission, since December 2008, and has for 11 consecutive years, received salaries, benefits and logistics as a senior staff of the Commission in a timely manner to date," Atty. Fahnbulleh said.

Meanwhile, the LACC has called on the public to know that as a government institution, it is not immune to the effects of an ailing economy.

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