The Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD) has requested President George Weah to relieve Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah from his post on account of making statement that “undermines the investigative committee set up to probe the missing L$16 billion saga.”
IREDD delivered the statement at a press conference in Monrovia on Friday, September 21, and was read by its program manager, Bob N. Johnson.
Johnson said Tweah’s statement denying any missing money is a cleaver attempt to throw dust in the eyes of Liberians, and have them blindfolded.
He said Mr. Tweah cannot be making a statement that is in total contrast to the one made by Information Minister Eugene Nagbe, who is the official spokesperson of the government.
Johnson: “If Minister Tweah, who manages the fiscal policy of our economy can categorically debunk the previous admittance Minister Nagbe made to the Voice of America Daybreak Africa program with James Butty, that billions brought into the country vanished in thin air in the absence of concrete outcome from the ongoing investigation, then Tweah leaves us with no option, but to believe that there is a sinister motive to conceal information about the missing money.
“Not only is this revelation a grave concern, and tantamount to labeling Liberia as a rogue nation, we are baffled by the huge degree of contradictions coming from Minister Tweah and former Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Governor, Milton Weeks, denying Minister Nagbe’s earlier claim,” Mr. Johnson said.
He said that Mr. Weeks’ account to the police that the CBL received authorization to print L$5 billion and L$10 billion, respectively from the legislature, but IREDD has challenged the CBL to display the resolution authorizing the CBL to print additional L$10 billion apart from the initial L$5 billion authorized.
IREDD called on every citizen to remain peaceful and give the government the opportunity to come up with findings of the “investigation.”
It can be recalled that on Tuesday, September 18, the government through Minister Nagbe announced an investigation into the reported disappearance of L$16 billion and restricted the movement of individuals who it believes can help solve the mystery of the lost containers.
Mr. Nagbe, in a press release, ordered all security apparatuses, particularly officers of the Liberia Immigration Service and the Liberia National Police, to ensure that Weeks and deputy governor Charles Sirleaf do not leave the country until investigation into the mystery is completed.
On the Thursday, September 20, Minister Tweah emerged with a conflicting statement that there was no money missing, and that what was printed was gradually infused in the country’s economy.
Tweah: “It is most unfortunate that the government would give false information that wickedly impugns the reputation of past officials and by extension, the country itself.”
On Monday, September 17, Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean declared that the previous administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was responsible for the missing containers.
He said initial findings indicate that the container and bags of money allegedly arrived between November, 2017, prior to the inauguration of the current government, and August, 2018.
Dean said Evidence available to the investigative team has established that the current administration was not informed about the arrival of the containers and bags of money into the country.