Liberia: Boakai’s Controversial Justice Minister Pick Declares Assets

LACC’s asset declaration reports say Kruah is worth US$1.9 million.

Counselor Cooper Kruah, the Justice Minister- and Attorney General-designate, on Tuesday, February 6, declared his assets with the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) worth US$1,942,240 plus LD$7.00.

The assets covered the period from 1980 up to and including February 2024, according to the LACC's Assets Declaration and Verification Section dated February 6, 2024. Kruah’s declaration comes just a day before he appears before the Senate for his confirmation hearing scheduled for Thursday, February 7.

However, Kruah is a controversial figure. In what seems to be a contradiction to President Joseph Nyuma Boakai’s campaign promises, his appointment of Kruah is a move that has ignited a storm of criticism and skepticism because of the nominee’s checkered past and allegations of corruption. Many fear that Kruah, if confirmed, will not be committed to fighting systemic corruption and promoting integrity and accountability in public service.

Critics argue that such a “tainted character” overseeing the prosecution of perceived corrupt individuals would compromise the very essence of the anti-graft campaign, and his presence in the government undermines Boakai’s anti-corruption efforts before they even start.

The Grievance and Ethics Committee of the Supreme Court found Kruah guilty and liable for theft of money in violation of the Code of Moral and Professional Ethics of lawyers in Liberia. The committee’s finding stated that Kruah had failed to account for money in his possession that belonged to a client, bringing into question his trustworthiness and ability to adhere to ethical standards.

In a September 2016 Amicus Brief by Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, who was appointed to the case, it was requested that Kruah be ordered to account for the money or face suspension from the practice of law.

Kruah also has a long history of being a forestry offender. Many believe his nomination contradicts the role of the Attorney General and undermines President Joseph Boakai’s expressed quest for accountability and the rule of law.

An investigative article done by The DayLight, which sourced its findings from research based on official records, United Nations reports and previous investigations, revealed that Kruah may not be the right person for the post—as he is a serial violator of forestry laws and has been successful in living with impunity, making no efforts to atone for his wrongdoings.

The Daily Observer Newspaper offers an asset-by-asset breakdown of Clr. Kruah's fortune.

  • Rehab Community Estate: US$80,000.00
  • New Georgia Estates: US$155,000.00
  • Tubman Boulevard Estate US$30,000.00
  • Kruah’s Village Tappita District, Nimba County: US$50,000.00
  • The Kruah’s Rubber Farm share: US$4,000.00
  • Cash and personal assets US$61,300 +LD$700.00
  • Rental Income: US$12,000.00
  • Attorney Fees /Legal fees: US$1,550,000.00
  • Kruah’s Net Worth (example 1980-2024: US$1,942,240 plus LD$7.00 

The declaration of his assets implies that Cllr. Kruah, this time around, is in compliance with the law. It can be recalled that in December 2023, the LACC advised government officials required to declare assets to visit its office in Congo Town to pick up the forms, visit the LACC website at www.lacc.gov.lr to download a form, or contact Patricia Barnaby at pbarnaby@lacc.gov.lr or at 0886498725 to collect forms or obtain more information on the declaration process.