Liberia: Kanio Gbala Cleared of Corruption Allegations

Monrovia — The office of the President is in receipt of the Special Investigative Report into allegations of corruption involving Cllr. Kanio Gbai-Gbala, the Acting Chair of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission. The independent internal investigation, which was spearheaded by the LACC's Program Manager for Enforcement and Investigations, Baba M Boakai, was commissioned under the leadership of the Commission's former head, Cllr. Ndibusi Nwanudike.

The allegations against Cllr. Gbala, by the former Executive Director (ED) Mohammed Fahnbulleh, were three-pronged: double dipping, inability to account for Daily Sustenance Allowance (DSA) and Cllr. Gbala's alleged failure to proper account for money intended to cover a press conference.

Regarding the allegation of double dipping, the investigators found that "without proper due diligence on the part of the administration and advice of Cllr. Gbala as to his status of employment, and without the expressed authorization from Gbala, the administration paid into Cllr. Gbala's account two (2) months' salary amounting to U.S.$5,645.25 and L$267, 154.20"

But the investigators also uncovered that following "joint observation and reflection made by the Human Resource Officer and Cllr. Gbala in January 2020 on the employment status, he (Cllr. Gbala ) immediately instructed the HR Officer to correct the error by taking all necessary corrective actions in returning the monies paid into his account back to the LACC".

Regarding the DSA allegation, the investigators found that "all fuel supplied for Cllr. Gbala's trip to Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County were accounted for by the Transport Officer and turned over to the administration of the LACC". It further said that "though the five days DSA (50,000.00 Liberian Dollars) given to Cllr. Gbala was not immediately turned over to the administration, but said DSA was compensated and accounted for by him attending the last two Regional Consultations in Gbarnga, Bong County (3 days) and Buchanan, Grand Bassa County (2 days).

On the issue of the Money for a Press Conference at MICAT, the investigators found that the U.S.$500 was "not paid to Cllr. Gbala as alleged, rather the check was raised in the name of Mr. Garley Youlo for onward payment to MICAT for the purpose of distributing same to journalists who attended to cover the program".

The report concludes by emphasizing that the investigation established no criminal intent or wrongdoing on the part of Cllr. Kanio Bai Gbala in the discharge of his duties as Vice Chairman of the LACC as had been alleged in the three-count complaint of the former ED.

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