Two members of the Independent Legislative Caucus, Representatives Larry Younquoi and Thomas Goshua, are asking the plenary of the House of Representatives to invite authorities of the Central Bank of Liberia to explain the source of US and Liberian currencies it infused in the market recently.
In a communication to the plenary through House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers, the lawmakers said contrary to government’s pronouncement of a scarcity of Liberian dollars banknotes on the market, they have observed over the last two days that commercial banks have begun giving new banknotes to depositors.
The unusual flow of new Liberian banknotes, the lawmakers said, is happening at a time when there is speculation about the illegal printing of additional money awaiting legislative approval for infusion into the market.
Controversies over the alleged introduction of new banknotes on the Liberian market are overshadowing the ongoing special sessions of the House of Representatives.
The lawmakers argued that they singed a resolution to change the family of banknotes on the market, not to print additional money of the kind already in circulation.
The latest debate is about the infusion of additional pieces of 500 banknotes at commercial banks that is allegedly being served to only lawmakers; something the lawmakers said is unusual and needs investigation.
“The unusual flow of new Liberian dollar banknotes on the market, amidst government’s pronouncement of scarcity, which has caused inconveniences for depositors [and] literarily made it possible for them to withdraw monies from their savings accounts from commercial banks, has been seen with keen interest. Contrary to said scarcity of Liberian dollars banknotes, we have observed over the last two days that commercial banks have begun [dispensing] new banknotes to depositors,” the lawmakers wrote their colleagues.
What seems to be of grave concern, they added, is the five hundred Liberian dollars notes being given to lawmakers during withdrawals as other depositors continue to receive mutilated money.
This current trend of events, according to the lawmakers, places a dark cloud over their integrity, especially given the Executive’s request for printing of new banknotes and the speculation that the Legislators have approved the CBL for a new printing.
Meanwhile, the communication sparked a huge debate on the floor and was deferred to Friday’s sitting by plenary.
Some of the lawmakers had earlier called for the communication to be sent to the relevant committees for further investigation, while others called for the appearance and testimonies of the CBL authorities to be held in open session.
Before plenary’s decision, Rep. Dixon W. Seboe, Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, suggested that the CBL officials be queried in open session.
However, the debate took a twisted turn when several lawmakers, including Rep. Seboe, alleged that Rep. Goshua, before his joint communication, had accused top government officials, including some members of the House, of being in the habit importing counterfeit Liberian banknotes into the country.
Rep. Seboe claimed he has a recording of Rep. Goshua’s press conference and urged his colleagues to investigate the ‘grave’ allegations by one of their colleagues to ascertain the truth.
Immediately, Speaker Chambers ordered the recording to be played in open plenary, but this annoyed several lawmakers, including Representatives Larry Younquoi and Yekeh Kolubah, on grounds that the joint communication under discussion was not centered on the recording.
This led to a commotion on the floor and Speaker Chambers soon called for the adjournment of session for lawmakers to attend the arrival of the casket bearing the late former senator, Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine, to the Capitol.