Is President Weah Serious About Fight Against Corruption?

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2052
President George Manneh Weah

-With Asset Recovery Team head, Cllr. Arthur Johnson resigns his post for lack of financial support to his hired international and local investigators

The recent resignation of Cllr, Arthur Johnson, who just few months ago was appointed to chair the Assets Investigation Restitution and Recovery Team (AIRReT) due unpaid benefits and salaries clearly point to the fact that  President George Weah is gradually losing his government commitment in  fighting corruption. President Weah, on January 27, 2020, during his 3rd State of the Nation Address said, he believes the CDC-led government will succeed in the fight against corruption.

President Weah disclosed that his government has hired the expertise of a world-renowned Asset Recovery firm to assist the local team carry out a professional exercise to recover Liberia’s wealth stolen over many decades.

“Additionally, we will continue to show political will in the fight against waste and abuse of our national resources, as we have shown in recent times when a managing director and other high profile officials were dismissed, arrested and sent to court to vindicate themselves from accusations of corruption. There will be no sacred cows as we take stronger measures to end this societal menace,” he said.

However, in his resignation letter, Cllr. Johnson said, “I am so constrained to tender in my resignation from the position of Chairman of the Assets Investigation Restitution and Recovery Team (AIRReT) due to the fact that my anticipation and perception about the fight against corruption is not achieving its objectives. I expected that there will be a “WILL” in the fight against corruption but this belief of mine had proven to be an illusion, and therefore, I cannot continue to risk my career and reputation.”

Cllr. Arthur Johnson: “I cannot continue working for them when they are not paying me. I have investigators, including international investigators and they all have not been paid, how do they continue working?” – Cllr. Arthur Johnson

“I cannot continue working for them when they are not paying me. I have investigators, including international investigators and they all have not been paid, how do they continue working?” he asked rhetorically.

He said, ARReT has also not received the full cooperation of government institutions and officials in gathering evidence for the retrieval of government assets.

The Asset Investigation, Restitution and Recovery Team is charged with the responsibility of investigating, restituting and subsequently recovering funds that were embezzled, and misappropriated from the Liberian government as revealed by reports by the General Auditing Commission, (GAC) and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC).

When contacted on Wednesday, March 4, at the Temple of Justice, the Solicitor General of Liberia, Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus, who received Cllr. Johnson’s resignation letter, described the letter as “a serious blow.”

“This is a blow to our assets recovery exercise because he is very much important to our fight against corruption,” Cephus admitted, adding, “We are in the middle of several high profile corruption cases, so for him to resign now is very hard to understand. But we are going to hold a discussion with him, to see our next action.”

Before his resignation, Cllr. Johnson was the lead prosecutor in two of the high profile corruption cases that include the US$1.9M the AFL’s Soldiers Pension Money and the Central Bank of Liberia printing LD$16B at the Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice.

A highly placed government source hinted the Daily Observer that the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel Tweh rejected the US$4 million as suggested by Cllr. Johnson to hire international investigators that would help the government to recovery over US$4.6 billion as assets from past public officers.

The source further supported Cllr. Johnson’s accusation that the government is yet to pay international investigators preferably from the United Kingdom (UK) that was hired to assist in the recovery process.

“The government is not even willing to enter into the agreement with the international investigators, even after assuring the investigators to come to the country to assist the assets recovery team,” the source said.

According to the source, as part of the agreement the government is to give between four to five percent of any assets that would be recovery by the international investigators, based on which agreement the international investigators came to the country, and they yet to start any operation, because of the government noncompliance posture.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

17 COMMENTS

  1. No principled and respected career persons will ever risk their reputation in this mickey mouse story in Liberia.
    Weah has failed his resolve to fighting corruption. It was a mistake to bargain his way into power. He was also too gullible to have taken the bait by emptying state coffers for the “Hebrew Boys” to demolish and rebuild their mansions.
    That bad example will be emulated by the under people. Liberians are tired with this “baboon works monkey draws” syndrome. Don’t expect others to give all, intellectually and physically, while a handful of “do nothing” people fill their pockets to go on luxurious trips to the USA and Europe, No.

    The Liberian people need to have their eyes wide open to observe what goes on. Corruption will truly and effectively be tackled come 2023 when Cummings and ‘apologists’ shall assume leadership. We are not promising 100% eradication come 2023, but at least 70%.
    It is inconceivable that our revenue generation systems are not computerized where data can be centralized at the executive, legislative and judiciary branches of government.
    This is a mirage for them, but the ANC will deliver, and quickly too, on these promises.

    Dear Liberians, tighten your belts for the rest of the four years. To admire and cuddle a long desired beautiful baby, there is a time of pregnancy before going through the pains of delivery.
    Liberians will once again know joy and live happily in a country where no one will be judged on the names you bear or affiliation to a given group of people or region but on the content of your character, yes the ANC will deliver on those burning issues.

    No more war in Liberia!

  2. These Little or No Education Idiots and Thieves only Purpose in Government is to STEAL! They take Liberia as a Big Elephant, where they all take term to get their share! We, as Citizens of this supposed to be RICH Country, must Fight Back with MASS PROTEST! Mass Protest that is endless until they all, Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, and Judicial Branch get out of our Government! There is no JUSTICE in our country! Without the WAR and ECONOMIC CRIMES COURT, these Bastards will continue to Steal! How much longer should we sit supinely and Allow these Idiots and Thieves in our Government to STEAL, while Millions of our Brothers and Sisters, Mothers and Fathers, go to bed HUNGRY because they can’t Buy a cup of RICE! Idiots and Thieves from Past Governments are now Working in this Government! No Accountability! We allow these BASTARDS to erect Mansions in and around Monrovia and enjoy themselves freely! They must be INVESTIGATED, Properties Confiscated, and sent them to work on Government Farms! Wake up Time should be 3 A. M.! This Madness must STOP! Mass Protest, Mass Protest, Mass Protest!

  3. The resignation of Arthur Johnson took place because according to him, he and his colleagues weren’t being paid. If Johnson is not blatantly stating a falsehood, the reason for his resignation is understood. A person who puts in his or her time at work must be paid.

    Mr. Petarus Dolo sees Johnson’s resignation differently. Example, in the second paragraph of his comment Dolo states that, “Weah has failed in his resolve to fighting corruption”. In the same document, Mr. Dolo once again states, “It was a mistake to bargain his will to power”. I disagree with Dolo. The fact that a few people didn’t get paid does not mean Weah is a proponent of corruption. Nice try, but a cheap shot!

    Things need to always be worked out. Sometimes, things are worked out discreetly. If Johnson had used the proper channels in order to talk to Weah about his pay check, I am certain something would have been done. Furthermore, maybe Weah is not aware of the fact that Johnson’s pay check has not rolled in since his time of employment.

    Is Weah a crime buster?
    The question is if Weah did not want to fight crime, why did he hire Johnson and his colleagues in the first place? Does Mr. Dolo want us to see this as an act of public charade on the part of Weah? What should be understood by Mr. Dolo is that Mr. Dolo cannot have it both ways. It is highly unfair for Mr. Dolo to have it both ways. In other words, Dolo rants whenever the misdeeds of Cummings are exposed. But in Mr. Dolo’s playbook, it is disallowed for any human being to disagree with Alexander Cummings. That’s having it both ways. It shouldn’t be like that. What’s good for the goose must be good for the gander!

    Weah is not my president, but rather the duly elected president of Liberia. Weah needs the support of people who will help in the re-building process. Of course, people have a right to disagree with Weah. But the truth must always be told, daytime or nighttime! Mr. Dolo didn’t tell the truth as we know it when he states that “Weah has failed”. Weah may not be at the top of game in terms of making progress at a faster pace. But Weah is trying. It’s an undeniable fact!

    • Senior Brother Hney,

      You missed every tangent of my point. I will like you to read FrontPageAfrica to get full details on this story but first, let me try to be more explicit:
      Weah had good intentions to fight corruption when he took office, but he forgot he had been entrapped into it himself (naivete). He hired AIRReT through Cllr. Cephus, McGill and Tweah to retrieve stolen money and property in and out of Liberia. As soon as investigation began, he was pinched that he himself had benefited from some of the stolen money and so as the saying goes in Liberia, “when you pull the rope, the rope will pull the bush”. Given the situation, he has strains attached to his resolve to effectively fight corruption, reason for saying he bargained his way (not “will” as written in my comment) into power.

      So, Uncle Hney, do you remind your employer to be paid on payday? An employer usually signs a contract with an employee specifying payment terms and date. Why should Johnson go begging for what is due to him?
      We know such behavior is commonplace in Liberia where people sometimes go to Minister’s house for their weekend, we will put an end to this dehumanized behavior and restore the dignity of our hard-working women and men.

      I remember my first comment on this blog was sometimes in November of last year. Ever since his election, I had been skeptical about Weah’s capacity to govern Liberia but decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. But I soon realized the guy doesn’t even know why he’s in power or what he can do to FIX things as he promised.
      People work with someone who is open to critiques. With an all-powerful KING George, what can anyone do? You must go and bow to him before you work, beg him before you can be paid, cry before he realizes he’s trampling you to dust……

      I thought Uncle Hney told me he travelled to Liberia sometimes last year and had a very ironical good experience with a minister, or was it someone different?

      Cummings is not part of this story. Whenever he’s part of a story, we can discuss him. I am not and I have never forbidden anyone from talking about him, but it should be something involving him, not dragging him into something he has nothing to do with.

      “Weah is trying”, yes, that’s the Liberian everyday saying, “but the man is doing his best”. We want people who can deliver, and not people who can do their best.
      With half a billion dollars as annual budget for a postwar country, you can only do your best.
      With 0.017% of tax revenues collected every year, you can only do your best with what you have.
      With people who were ministers when I was 20 still serving as ministers while I am almost 50, you can only do your best.
      With our institutions of higher learning that should innovatively groom future leaders in technologies with customized development plans and projects being headed by preacher men, you can only do your best to the detriment of the people.

      Uncle Hney, tell your guy Liberians need someone like Cummings to deliver in every capacity and effectively fight corruption. To steal in our government, you must be a computer czar. And since most Liberians are computer illiterate, it would just be a good chance for computer skill’s development for dubious citizenry.

      No more war, Aaron!

  4. WEAH KNOWS CORRUPTION IS NOT A CRIME IN LIBERIA AT ALL. SO WHY FIGHT CORRUPTION WHEN IT IS NOT A CRIME AT ALL ? ONLY THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE CONSISTENT FOOLS WILL THINK CORRUPTION IS A CRIME IN LIBERIA, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME YOU CONSISTENT FOOLS. (WATCH)

  5. Brother Dolo,
    Your last phrase made me chuckle. Said you, “No more war, Aaron”. Please note that my Jr. brother is going to come back at you. Don’t be surprised. You know him.

    Secondly, you’re doing something that you deny. Now take a look at the 7th paragraph:
    “Cummings is not part of this story”. Right? So let me ask this question….is my Jr. brother Aaron Nelson a part of your comment? Why are you trying to drag him into this debate? I think you like Aaron. He will poke fingers at you.

    You become edgy when I or Aaron attack Cummings. But Cummings is fair game as far as I know.

    On a serious note, your explanation didn’t move a nail. In my opening statement, I expressed sympathy for Johnson. So what are you talking about?

    Lastly, I am sorry to let you down. I will never campaign for or endorse your boss, Alexander Cummings. I think he’s a weak character and a political neophyte. On the other hand, if he wins the presidency (big if), he will become president of the people of Liberia, not my president.

    You know as much as I that the creation of 100,000 jobs in 90 days is unrealistic. I cannot vouch for someone who makes childish statements. My only professional advice for your boss is this…. tell him to desist from talking about job creation. That’s not his cup of tea!

    Have you heard from our buddy Joe Moses? I am really missing him.
    Hang in there young guy.

    • Snr. Bro. Hney,

      Hahahaha. You bet Dolo is going to hear from me. I can only imagine today is Friday and his work load is not too bad in the Ivory Coast, so what a good way to start his Cummings for President weekend party by inviting me ( Member of the ruling party ).

      Snr. Bro. Hney, You write ‘ You know him ‘ Lol Lol.. That’s right. I accept their invitation but just a reminder to my host Dolo, I will again question your ANC Diety Cummings inexperience in public service in Liberia, No public service work history in Liberia, Cummings inability, arrogance and lack of wisdom to convince 3 other political leaders in a collaboration with him to lead them but wants to lead us THE PEOPLE who are not collaborating with him on anything, Only if they knew what awaits them.

      Let the party begins ANC surrogate Dolo, I may just be that one party pooper.

      • Hahahaha! Corrupter Aaron!
        You want to corrupt us? Don’t worry, we don’t easily give in as you did with Ellen. The CDC is a real Liberian stooged party. The ANC will NEVER be!

        I invite you people to listen to our standard bearer’s podcast released by KM TV on October 25, 2019. It can be listened to on Facebook.

        Our arms are opened wide to work with Liberians of all walks of life. We acquiesced to the CPP, but the CPP is not a political party like the Republican or Democratic Party in the USA.

  6. Greetings:
    Sorry that I have not been present these past days. I think I must have said that I was having a visitor from California and, indeed, the visitor did come and it was a worthwhile experience. Many things were accomplished during this time. We were able to distribute the notebooks, the bookbags to our many students and to some surrounding schools.

    The Reading and Writing Session was launched and the enthusiasm from the students was astounding. The Poetry Competition was also launched and we give our heartfelt thanks and sincere appreciation to The Education Ministry and to our American and Canadian Partners for immense help in launching this project.

    We also want to express our heartfelt appreciation to Moses, Jr. Pastor walker and the rest of the dynamic team for the action taken in securing the two air ticket for our two young and brilliant students to travel to the USA to meet with their counterparts.

    So, my favorite Uncles, this is what happening in my world these past weeks and right now, I am walking on sunshine. Uncle Hney, sorry to have to tell you, but our visitor saw and fell in love with the land that was promised you and we have pledged two lots of land to him.. Sorry.

    Towards the end of this month, Like I had mentioned earlier, I will be traveling to California, this time along with my sister, and will be out for about 5 weeks. My dad is insistent that I leave my laptop with him so that he can be able to follow the discussion on this forum and I am not happy with that at all, but everyone is siding with him so I have no choice but to do so.

    So, You will not hear from me during those times. So, anything Moses, Sr. will be responsible for his utterances.

    Peace

    • There he comes. Great to hear from you Joe.
      Please leave the laptop with your daddy. He needs to be abreast of happenings in Liberia and all the good things Liberians think about the ANC and Cummings.
      Have a wonderful stay in California with your sibling.

      Wish you a great day and may God bless the works of your hands, Joe. You are blessed, in Jesus Holy name, Amen!

  7. Uncle Hney,

    I ended with Aaron’s name because I noticed he’s somehow related to or have some sympathy for the preacher man heading the UL.
    I have no personal problem with the president of UL but with his philosophical, ethical and scholastic credentials to lead our highest institution of learning.
    Just take my word for it, Aaron is going to come after me for mentioning the preacher man.

    Let’s leave this story about endorsing Cummings or not. Let’s come back to the topic. Why will your president hire a firm to do a job and not pay them?
    Why is he slacking on his drive to fighting corruption? Is it because he’s involved?

    Uncle Hney, politics is not all about popularity, you need the technical know-hows and most of all, wisdom. King Solomon asked God for nothing, but wisdom and he was the richest and most successful king ever in the history of ancient Israel. When you are wise, you can make the worst adversaries to bow to your commands knowingly and unknowingly. Weah will NEVER move an iota in fighting corruption in Liberia. He himself is guilty of corruption in Liberia, and so needs to be investigated in time to come. Make no mistake, like others, he will be investigated, this I promise you!
    Your Weah will tell us where he and his “Hebrew boys” got the money from to demolish and rebuild their houses into mansions within 1 year.
    According to a friend working at the LRA, the building materials store from where he got the materials to construct their mansions are exempted from taxes and customs duties for about 20 years. But thank God they won’t stay in for 20 years.
    And if this story is true, I urge that construction materials store to be wise by paying taxes now because if I were to head the LRA, they would vomit every cent ever stolen plus late payment fees.

    My prayer this day is for us to have long life to see May 5, 2024 when we shall be communicating the number of jobs created for the first 90 days of our presidency. If you want to challenge our assertion, meet us on the campaign trail come 2023.

    JM is missing in action for sometimes now. He must be busy in Bomi or with his humanitarian endeavors. He’s a good boy, you know! Bomi, like Maryland, Sinoe and Grand Kru, is one part of Liberia I would like to visit before the campaign trail. I hope to do it with JM sometimes next year.

    Good morning!

  8. There is no need of given yourself headache about whether president weah is serious about fighting corruption. I can remember the first year of his presidency he called all of the political parties to discuss the progress of the country and one of the opposition party leader stood up and subjected to the president that there is a need we established a war and economics crime courts in Liberia inorder to get rid of impunity. The president stood up fearlessly, shamelessly and said we can’t fought corruption because we are all inter related. Knowing fully well that was one of the cardinal reasons he was overwhelmingly voted by fifteen out of sixteen counties. Liberian cries with a loud voices that corruption was a vampire in the Sirleaf government which she also admitted to and he was voted to clean the tears of Liberian in term of fighting corruption and stood there that we are all inter related so he can’t fight corruption. Isn’t that disheartening on the part of Liberian? So cllr. Johnson resignation is belated and he shouldn’t have accept that job after hearing what the president said in fighting corruption proud to his appointment. So to conclude this president is not willing to fight corruption because he is also involve into it.

  9. Uncle Dolo,

    Tireless and fearless!

    My family and I will certainly be very glad to receive you anytime you choose to visit with us. you will be more than welcome. You will have always a place in our home and in our heart. Just like Uncle Hney does.

    Thank you for your kind words and sentiments. All we can do is try to our best and leave the rest with the Almighty. Thank you again and regards to your family, Sir.

  10. Comrade Dolo,
    Get real. This is 2020. There’s no reason to revisit the past! Do you really want skeptics like us to listen to something Cummings had said in October of 2019? It’s impossible for a real gentleman like Aaron Nelson to waste his time and energy to listen to a neophyte or snake oil salesmen.

    Says he, “I promise y’all 100,000 jobs in three months. Y’all must just elect me. I beg y’all oooooo my people”.

    You always want us to “forget” the name Cummings in these helpful discussions. But yet you’re interested in preaching negativity about Weah. Isn’t that true, comrade Dolo? No is your answer. You may want to know why? Again and and again, Cummings is at the epicenter of this ongoing debate. He is one of the men who raises heckles cleverly at night. When daytime comes, he keeps quiet in order to avoid detection. Cummings’ name will not be left out. Don’t try it buddy!

    In your quest to find out about JM’s whereabouts, you mistakenly state that you will campaign in Maryland county. I think that’s a mistake. Try to cross the boundary of Gee county in order to get to Maryland, the war dancers of Maryland will teach you a lesson. Don’t try Sinoe because Aaron and I are united in our effort to block you.

    What other choice are left with? Zilch!

  11. Mischievous miscalculations and misjudgment, Uncle Hney!
    You would be surprised to see Aaron welcome me with open arms in Sinoe. Aaron is indeed a good man but is just sometimes hysterical because of the CDC’s temperamental vaccines. Reading the man from distance, he’s really a nice man but sometimes just feverish with boiling blood. Though the Kru people are hot tempered, they are nice in general.

    I know you are pricking me. Don’t be surprised if I introduce you to your own county, Maryland. Listen, know that I have surrogate parents who are both Kru and Grebo. I am much closer to these two groups of people than my own people from Nimba. The day we meet in Liberia, you will get to know it.
    In our African term, Aaron is my uncle and you are my father. So, you will welcome me, give me the best bed (with no cover because I am very religious) and the most delicious ditches to savor my victory.

    Stand tune, Uncle Hney!

    • Hahahaha, Dolo is having a field day, Can’t wait to get done with my appointments. Lol. Lol

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