Bong County Representative Prince Moye has admitted to signing “several blank checks” in connection to the controversial US$1.2 million allegedly remitted to the House of Representatives for Oil and Gas Law consultation that was held across the nation by lawmakers.
Liberia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) announced that it has launched an investigation into US$1.2 million allegedly provided by the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) to the House of Representatives for the financing of a Nationwide Consultation on the draft Oil and Gas law at the time.
Deputy House Speaker Hans Barchue, who presided over the nationwide consultation, has since announced that his committee received US$900,000 thereby rubbishing LACC’s probe of investigating US$1.2 million allegedly received by him (Barchue).
He pointed accusing fingers at the chief financial officers of the House, Representatives Emmanuel Nuquay and Prince Moye, of Margibi and Bong counties, respectively.
However, in reaction to the Deputy Speaker’s claims, Moye and Nuquay appeared on a local talk show defending their respective roles.
Moye proudly told the Liberian people that, as co-chair of the Ways, Means and Finance Committee, he was aware of the financial transaction but never participated in any.
According to the rules of the House, only the Chairman and Co-chair of the Ways, Means and Finance Committee, including the comptroller, are signatories to the account of the House.
Nuquay, who was chairman during the period under review, denied ever signing checks relative to the transaction, but maintained that US$1.2 million was negotiated with NOCAL by Deputy Speaker Barchue.
As chairman, Nuquay admitted to having full knowledge of the US$1.2 million but declared that he’s not aware of the expenditure part of the money.
Even though Nuquay’s committee superintends financial issues at the House, the consultation was presided over by Deputy Speaker Barchue and, as such, “the entire fund was directed to the Deputy Speaker and I was never involved,” Nuquay has maintained.
For his part, Representative Moye admitted to being in charge of financial matters after his boss (Nuquay) lost the confidence with leadership.
He maintained that most of the checks met his consent before disbursement but he cannot account for the money in but rather the Deputy Speaker.
“I signed several blank checks and left them in care of the comptroller before my departure to the United States,” Moye asserted.
He added that all financial transaction executed by his office, “was done based on instructions from the Speaker or Deputy.”
Political commentators believe that this latest case of financial malpractices reignite the discussion of auditing the entire Legislature.
They also believe that Moye’s admittance to signing “several blank checks” is a sign of ineptitude on his part and must be investigated for the “motive behind his action.”