Former House Speaker Nuquay testifies
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emmanuel Nuquay, testified at Criminal Court C on Thursday July 16 that, at no time did the members of the House sign any joint resolutions to print the second batch of the controversial L$10 billion banknotes.
“I have absolutely no information on the printing of the L$10 billion banknotes by the Central Bank of Liberia” Nuquay claimed.
Several members of the board of directors of the Central Bank of Liberia are being tried for the commission of crimes including theft of property, economic sabotage, fraud on the internal revenue and misused of public money. They also claimed that the board members printed the second batch of L$10 billion banknotes without the Senate and House of Representatives ever passing a joint resolution in 2017 to replace the legacy banknotes that were by then in circulation.
In his testimony, Nuquay, who is currently the director general of the Liberia Aviation Authority, said during his tenure as speaker, then members of the House of Representatives had raised issue about mutilated local currency on the market after the CBL with the full authorization through a joint resolution had printed and brought in the country the L$5 billion banknotes to be infused in the market to replace the mutilated banknotes. Nuquay further testified that the issue at that time by the House of Representatives was to the effect that, after the CBL had printed the L$5 billion banknotes and transferred same to the country, the bank was still giving customers the very mutilated money, contrary to the intent for which the House of Representatives passed the joint resolution to print the money.
He alleged that the issue was brought before the plenary, the highest decision making body of the House of Representatives.
“We initiated the process of engagement through the plenary to ascertain from the CBL as to the real issue of which mutilated banknotes were still being given to the Liberian people by different banks,” Nuquay testified. According to him, at the end of the engagement process, the Legislature, through the chief clerk of the House of Representatives and the secretary of the Senate, wrote a communication to the CBL requesting the bank to do three key things, one of which was for the CBL to replace the legacy notes completely with the newly printed banknotes, so that there would be a single type of the Liberian currency that would facilitate proper control of money and supply.
Witness Nuquay also testified that the CBL was to introduce coins of lower denominations on the Liberian market.
“The request of the House of Representatives was predicated upon the information provided by the CBL that its former executive governor, Mills Jones, minted coins that were sitting in a vault of the bank,” Nuquay testified, adding: “To the best of my certain knowledge, there is no paragraph or provision in that communication that authorized the bank to print L$10 billion banknotes.”
Nuquay also testified that the Legislature requested that the CBL furnish them with the appropriate details of the volume and the denomination of the banknotes to be replaced, prior to the printing and the minting of the coins.
“Unfortunately the CBL did not act in accordance with the content of the paragraph contained in the letter sent to them,” Nuquay claimed in his testimony.
Meanwhile Nuquay will on today, July 17, be cross-examined by the defense team to test the credibility of his testimony.