…Exclusively to try corruption cases
The Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC), on Monday, December 9 held a well attended rally in Ganta City, Nimba County, seeking for support to establish Criminal Court “F” to exclusively try corruption cases.
LACC Commissioner, Charles J. I. Gibson, who spoke at the program commemorating World Anti Corruption Day, said if the Court is established, it would fast track corruption-related cases, and also reduce cases pending on trial docket from being overcrowded.
Gibson said that LACC, by its mandate, does not have direct prosecuting power over corruption cases, according to the act that created the Commission. He said all prosecuting activities by law go through the Ministry of Justice, though it would require exercise of about 90 days.
“We must submit cases to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution and, if they do not prosecute those cases within 90 days, the LACC will request the ministry to report those cases, then we will take it to court,” he said.
He added: “That alone,” he said, “is a problem, because lot of things may happen within the 90 days’ period.”
Commissioner Gibson used the occasion to request members of the civil society organizations to rally public support for the establishment of a specialized court, specifically for corruption cases.
Prior to the occasion on Monday, the LACC held series of symposia across Ganta, carrying on anti corruption education to students, communities, mosques and churches.
On Friday, December 6, 2019, the LACC visited a Mosque with its awareness messages, followed by a round table discussion with students, where three panelists were asked to speak to various topics, including the definition of corruption, the causes, prevention, challenges and how citizens can be empowered to fight corruption.
The occasion continued on Saturday, December 7 at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and on Sunday in five different churches. Programs climaxed on Monday, December 9, 2019 with a grand parade on the main street of Ganta and ended with an indoor program at a resort on the outskirts of the city.
Commissioner Gibson said the LACC will be calling on the national government for more support so as to enable the entity carry on more anti-corruption awareness, and file more indictments of those accused of corrupt practices.
This year’s celebration was sponsored by the USAID and the UNDP, according to the LACC.