The acting Executive Chairman of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) has dispelled public statements and perceptions that the institution is in crises and showing signs of weakness.
Speaking at a news conference at the LACC office in Monrovia recently, Cllr. Kanio Bai Gbala said the LACC is alive and well, and all functions of the commission are effectively moving forward in accordance with the laws of its establishment.
“The LACC is alive and well. In the past few days there have been a lot of uproar in the media alleging that the commission is unstable and that there are internal fights. The actions of these people to deliberately place these allegations in the media are designed to thwart the meaningful progress being made at the commission,” he said.
The LACC is one of Liberia’s integrity institutions, if not the nucleus, clothed with the responsibility to trace, identify and send to court corrupt individuals with the mindset to squander state resources.
Last month, the Deputy Executive Director of LACC, Mohammed Fahnbulleh, raised an alarm that because he exposed some surreptitious deeds of Cllr. Gbala, he was encountering strange people at his residence on surveillance. Though he did not accuse Gbala directly, he, however, concluded that it was because of exposing the Executive Chairman of some wrongdoings to protect the Pro-Poor Agenda that such activities were taking place at his residence.
Consistent with article 6.1 of the act creating the LACC, Cllr. Gbala said he has assumed the role of acting Executive Chairman, which gives him direct mandate to exercise all powers and privileges until President George Manneh Weah sees it necessary to appoint a permanent Executive Chairperson to be confirmed by the Senate.
Since his ascendency as acting Chairman, Cllr. Gbala said he has taken various administrative decisions intended to sanitize, build confidence and move the LACC forward.
Cllr. Gbala confirmed that the LACC remains engaged with partners, including the African Development Bank, World Bank and other international and local partners on all programs at the LACC and that work is ongoing.
Commenting on recent allegations made against him, Cllr. Gbala described them as “bogus, groundless, unfactual and manufactured with the sole intent of derailing the Liberian government’s national anti-corruption agenda.”
He challenged anyone to bring out the facts, and he has accepted to face any fact-finding process as proffered by the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia and other civil society actors to clear his name speedily.
“For almost 40 years, I have held my name and reputation at a stellar level; I have worked hard though not for a lot of money, my reputation stands tall and it is so dear to me. These allegations are simply impossible because I have protected my character so jealously,” he said.
Cllr. Gbala said, in the coming days, he would commence a series of engagements with key stakeholders in the integrity sector to begin a process of rebranding the LACC.
A controversial Nigerian-Liberia national, Ndubusi Nwabudike, who was recently pressurized by the University of Liberia’s Student Unification Party group to step down, had chaired the LACC for years. With his questionable nationality status, Nwabudike is yet to clear his name to build public confidence.