Monrovia — Former Bomi County Senator Sando Dazoe Johnson says the 'strange phenomenon' of setting up payment plans for current or ex-public officials found guilty of embezzling state funds that has engulfed the justice system of Liberia is undermining efforts towards the fight against the menace.
It can be recalled that in February 2021, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), in a statement issued, said it has finally cleared Montserrado County district # 15 Representative Abu Bana Kamara following months of restituting monies he (Kamara) "criminally" received from the Government of Liberia (GOL),
The LACC's action stemmed from an investigation it launched in May 2019 into a report that Representative Kamara was criminally and clandestinely receiving double salaries and benefits while serving as Deputy Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) and from his previous job as Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.
In the agency's leaked report which went viral on the social media at the time, Representative Kamara was accused of receiving the amounts of US$$8,164.70 and LD 271,114.74 as salaries for the portfolio of Assistant Minister for the Ministry of Post, including a 14% interest which amounts to US$1,002.68 and L$33, 294.90.
But in a "TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN" clearance dated February 21, 2021, a copy which is in the possession of FrontPage Africa, the LACC pointed out that it has concluded investigation into the allegations of acts of corruption including double emolument and fraud involving Mr. Abu Bana Kamara, the former Assistant Minister for Administration of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications and has cleared him because, he has finally completed the payment of the funds fraudulently taken from the Liberian government.
"In view of the above and as per agreed upon restitution plan, Hon. Kamara has fulfilled all payments in the amount specified above and is therefore cleared of all financial obligations to the Government of Liberia in line with the restitution plan. In view of the foregoing, and given that the said investigation has been concluded, we are pleased to inform you that the investigation found no criminal liability on the part of Hon. Abu Bana Kamara in relations to the allegation levied" the clearance signed by Baba V. Boakai, Program Manager of the Enforcement Division at the commission stated.
Though the commission at the time argued that it action was in line with its restitution program which commenced in 2014, there has been no record of the LACC requesting former or current officials accused of stealing public monies to restitute in government's coffers when found guilty by its investigation.
Few weeks after he was declared the victor, the Supreme Court of Liberia in February 2021, upheld a March 2020 ruling from Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay of Criminal Court 'C' against Mr. Brownie Samukai and two other co-appellants and sentenced them to two years in prison each for misapplication of US$1.1 million intended for the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).
Mr. Samukai and former Deputy Minister for Administration and James Nyumah Dorkor, former Comptroller of the Ministry of Defense were found guilty of the crimes theft of property, misuse of public money and criminal conspiracy.