CENTAL Calls for Punitive Action Against Senator Teahjay

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Head of CENTAL Mr. Miamen seated as he addresses journalists on national issues at a news conference on held in Monrovia

The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) has called on the Liberian Senate to take appropriate punitive actions against Sinoe County Senator J. Milton Teahjay for practicing interest of peddling and bribery by soliciting jobs for his family members, friends, and confidants as a basis for confirming presidential nominees.

CENTAL’s call follows a FrontPage Africa July 10, 2020 video wherein he was heard saying, “It is his traditional form of corruption.”

Addressing journalists at a news conference in Monrovia on July 16, 2020, the head of CENTAL, Anderson Miamen, said his organization strongly detests the recent statements attributed to Senator Teahjay as counterproductive to the fight against corruption.

“In that recording, the Senator alluded to what he coined as ‘his traditional form of corruption’ before and after the confirmation process of nominees for particular positions before the Liberian Senate, especially the Standing Committee on Autonomous Agencies from which he was recently replaced,” Mr. Miamen said.

Mr. Miamen termed this as a clear violation of relevant Liberian Laws, including Section 9.6 of the Code of Conduct of 2014 and the 1986 Liberian Constitution. He also used the occasion to call on the leadership and members of the Liberian Senate to timely and thoroughly investigate the reported payment of US$20,000 by Cllr. Ndubusi Nwabudike, the current head of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Corruption, to be confirmed as Chairperson of the National Elections Commission.

Mr. Miamen noted: “This act of political and official corruption, which has led to the recruitment of incompetent individuals in strategic positions in government, is one of the key contributors to the increasing level of poor performance in many government ministries and agencies in Liberia.”

He said if the senator can unduly solicit jobs for family members, supporters, and cronies, it is equally possible that he requests for monetary rewards in the performance of his duties.  Furthermore, those recommended for employment could be required to commit portions of their salaries as a precondition for their consideration by the senator and his committee.

He recalled that the same senator, in the Case R.L. Vs. J. Milton Teahjay, which took place at the 14th Judicial Circuit of River-Cess County in 2018, was found guilty of violating the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) guidelines and procedures in the awarding of contracts for the implementation of county development projects, while serving as Superintendent of Sinoe County, and was accordingly fined US$50,000 to be paid within the period of nine months in government’s revenue.

“Such continuous misrepresentation and abuse of public trust and confidence by the senator is totally unacceptable and should have no place in the Liberian society, especially public service,” Mr. Miamen said.

Mr. Miamen encouraged the national Legislature to do more to enhance public confidence in its work and activities. “At the moment, the public perceives the Legislature as the weakest link in Liberia’s governance process, a view Senator Teahjay’s actions tend to validate.”

He said as Liberia strives to regain its position among the comity of nations, it is incumbent upon those serving in positions of public trust to exert every degree of particularity and nationalism in ensuring that the system works better for all. And the Legislature, as the first branch of government and direct representation of the people, must lead by example on this.

In another development, CENTAL’s attention has been drawn to a recent media publication, which speaks to the discovery of an alleged fraudulent situation at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) involving some ‘unscrupulous individuals.’

It may be recalled that on Monday, July 13, 2020, a media report was published indicating that six employees at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) were arrested for an alleged criminal cartel. The scandal, which was unearthed by the Comptroller and Accountant General of the Republic of Liberia, Mr. Janga Kowo, pertains to illegal withdrawal of L$6M from an account owned by the MFDP.

“This incident further exposes loopholes within the financial management system, which needs to be identified and addressed to prevent abuse of public resources by unscrupulous individuals in an already impoverished country like Liberia,” Mr. Miamen stated.

Meanwhile, CENTAL appreciated the MFDP for its initial stance in uncovering the said plot, and also informing the public about the situation.

The organization further calls on the relevant state actors, especially the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, to robustly and impartially investigate the incident. “And the outcome of such investigation must be communicated to the public and fully implemented, including the prosecution of those who masterminded and perpetrated the act,” said Miamen.

Mr. Miamen: “We urge the Government of Liberia to be more decisive and pragmatic in dealing with corruption in the country, including timely investigation and prosecution of all reported corruption scandals/cases.”

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9 COMMENTS

  1. It is a shame for a public official, a senator to go as low as engaging himself in a corruption of this nature. The senator is obviously too dumb to realize that when you demand favor for doing your duty, you are engaging in corruption. Some of these senators are not qualified to for Town Chief position. I am looking forward to a day that Liberia will have public officials that will work in the interest of the country.

    • Look, ALL of you attributing Senator Teahjayś statement to admission of corruption SHOULD just shut-up! The Honorable Senator said:” When (AFTER) I (or we) HAVE confirmed people (the nominee), I plead with them to help one or two of our people with job”! AFTER! AFTER! AFTER!!! NOT BEFORE! NOT DURING! NOT UPON! NOT BEFORE! DAMMIT!

      IT IS A RESPECTED AND LEGITIMATE TRADITION!!! IT IS NO CORRUPTION. that government officials appeal to their colleagues in officialdom to give jobs to relatives, friends, and even people with whom such officials may have no relations?? THE SENATORŚ MENTION ABOUT “TRADITIONAL CORRUPTION” WAS SIMPLY A MATTER OF HUMOR! PERIOD!

      Stupid Miamen or anyone would have only have a case if the Honorable Senator had said: ” BEFORE I (or we) HAVE confirm people (the nominee), I plea with them to help one or two of our people with job”! BUT THE SENATOR SAID “AFTER”…”WHEN WE HAVE CONFIRMED”.

      Now, if the nonsense you people want to impute on Senator Teahjay had any amount of reason, would Senator Teahjay have abruptly and unprecedentedly ended the confirmation of the nominee Cllr. Nwabudike????

      Is it not an accepted and respected tradition and or opinio juris (a practice/custom) accepted as cultural, customary, legitimate, and legal, that government officials appeal to their colleagues in officialdom to give jobs to relatives, friends, and even people with whom such officials may have no relations??

      IT IS A RESPECTED AND LEGITIMATE TRADITION!!! IT IS NO CORRUPTION. THE SENATORŚ MENTION ABOUT “TRADITIONAL CORRUPTION” WAS SIMPLY A MATTER OF HUMOR! PERIOD!

  2. Edward Gaye

    This is one of the saddest chapters in the history of Liberia, and I feel much the same way as you. Anyway,
    What if the country had a leader who could vigorously enforced the laws without fear or favor and as he had sworn under oath to do?

    I am not saying that corruption would be absolutely stopped in Liberia if the citizens had an incorrigible leader; however, I personally think corruption would have been drastically reduced.

    What are thoughts on this?

    • You egg head Patrick Samolu! With the massive corruption in the country from 1847 to 2017, did the country not “have a leader who could vigorously enforce the laws without fear or favor and as he or she had sworn under oath to do” , as your yeh-yeh head suggests?

      You people for whom sound thinking is impossible, should keep quiet and leave the comment making to those who have the intellect to advance sound thinking.

  3. Not doubt Mr. Semolina! What I cannot fathom is that people that are higher position of authority that ought to set positive examples for their subordinates and others to follow are the ones that are sinking this country. Liberia is sinking faster because of lack of probity as far as our leaders are concerned. As you mentioned, tough leadership is needed curb the madness that is going on in Liberia.

    Certainly, corruption has invaded every sector of Liberian society. In the House, the Judiciary, banks, etc. It’s going take decades, if not a century, for leaders with moral rectitude to bring about positive change in Liberia.

  4. People go into the legislature only because of the salaries/ benefits and the level of corruption they can take advantage of.

  5. If CENTAL wants to be taken seriously, CENTAL should itself conduct itself within the perimeters of such standards as due diligence, integrity, fairness, transparency, accountability, etc..

    People within officialdom should take into account prudence and the idea or feeling which a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning irrespective of his or her actual motive or intent using certain diction.

    Senator Teahjayś at times bizarre disregard for prudence, as he behaved in his unfair and imprudent “We have heard enough” conclusion during the Nwabudikeś Senateś confirmation proceedings (when he is one of the most articulate amongst contemporary Liberian politicians) has brought him Senator Teahjay this abusive and malicious defamatory attack by FrontPageAfrica against him, and which these bunch of jokers from CENTAL are using to justify funds wasted on them at CENTAL.

    CENTALŚ position is absolutely based on FrontPageAfricaś MALICIOUS DISTORTION of the information it has disseminated on the matter. The standards of due diligence, accuracy, truism, and fairness, must be the sine qua non of the teleological mandate of any entity of transparency, and accountability.

    Take your time and watch and listen carefully at the video recording viz this matter, you will see that CENTAL has not demonstrated any amount of due diligence, integrity, fairness, transparency, accountability in reaching its judgment in this case, added to its prejudicial modus vivendi as made evident in this matter. Senator Teahjay is seen and heard clearly saying:” When (which is after) we have confirmed the nominee, I plead with the confirmed nominee to employ someone. Not after!

    But in its malicious intent to defame the Senator and increase its sale of papers, FrontPageAfrica disseminates such inaccurate, unfair,false, and distortion, as: “In that recording, the Senator alluded to what he coined as “his traditional form of corruption” before and after the confirmation process of nominees for positions, especially the Standing Committee on Autonomous Agencies.”

    Notwithstanding, watching and listening to the recording, Senator Teahjay is seen and heard clearly saying: When (which is after) we have confirmed the nominee, I plead with the confirmed nominee to employ someone. NOT AFTER! Such practice is a traditionally accepted, respected, and legitimate, maxim within officialdom and the entire population within our territorial and even extra-territorial jurisdictions.
    +

    A civil society entity (eg. CENTAL, etc. or any accountability and transparency entity) SHOULD serve as a model to those from whom they expect integrity, fairness and transparency!! CENTAL DOES NOT! CENTAL IS A MERE BUNCH OF JOKERS exhibiting dishonesty, lack of integrity, unfairness, lack of due diligence, in this matter.

    Thus CENTAL is absolutely an accessory before and after the fact, while also been an accomplice to FronPageAfricaś civil or criminal offense in FrontPageAfricaś attempt to obstruct and prevent justice viz its malicious defamatory attack.

  6. I have carefully watched the video. Senator J.Milton Teahjay must teach FrontPageAfrica a lesson by taking similar or the identical legal measures Dr. Christopher Toe took against FrontPageAfrica – a legal measure which landed their editor behind bars until he pretended to be sick; but was returned to jail after his treatment.

    Luckily so, the public official against whom FPA has committed this libelous, slanderous, and defamatory, offense and violation, is neither from the CDC, and IS NOT serving in the Executive Branch(the Government); nor is the public official a member of the Judiciary; but rather of the legislative branch. A free press does not mean a corrupt, abusive, and irresponsible, press. Enough is enough!

  7. Tiawen Gongloe, you deceive yourself and FrontPageAfrica just how you deceived yourself and Kabineh Janeh when you get into the delusion that any competent court would give credence to your rubbish that what FrontPageAfrica published was not an affirmative statement, but rather speculation; when the statement you are deceptively referring to as a “speculation”: “FrontPageAfrica gathered that Senator Teahjay was removed on allegation of receiving US$$20,000 from Cllr. A. Ndubusi Nwabudike when he was nominated as Chairman of the NEC”, is absolutely an assertion.

    Or you just can differentiate between “affirmation” and “speculation.” It is so good the Senator has made public the “false light” on your part.

    The Court will now have you and your Gongloe informed that you are liable for maliciously, knowingly, purposely, and recklessly (without any adequate research) disseminating false information against the official which is harmful!

    Thus, you are liable to pay the requested damage for your offense of libel emanating from your actual and malicious statements and headline against the official which you made with knowledge of its falsity, and with reckless disregard of whether such information was true or false.

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