‘Legislature Will Not Tolerate Invitation from any Investigating Team over Missing Money’

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House Speaker Bhofal Chambers: "“This body can never been invited by any group or institution. You can come make request and the body will decide as what approach to take."

-Speaker Tagged Ex-President Sirleaf as ‘Person of Interest’

Don’t invite, request!

Amid the summon of Chief Clerk Mildred Sayon of the House of Representatives on the ‘Absolute Authority’ allegedly given by the House of Representatives to the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to print new bank notes in the amount of the L$16 billion, Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers who is also the ceremonious head of the Legislature, said the House of Representatives will never allow itself to be ‘invited’ to an investigation from any institution, but a ‘request’ may be considered, subject to approval by the body.

Speaker Chambers said the House of Representatives, and to an extent the the Legislature, is the fulcrum of democracy, which has an internal system of check and balances, as well as power to check and balance other branches — a fundamental importance in the tripartite government.

In a considerate tone on Thursday, October 18, 2018 in the new 2nd floor conference room, Speaker Chambers said the supposed invite served on the House’s Chief Clerk was settled with the Special Investigative Committee over the alleged missing L$16 billion, and said it was an ‘oversight’.

The Speaker stressed that an invite of the House of Representatives or the Legislature, is a process of democracy, and an institution can only ‘request’ and not ‘invite’ and, based on the request, the House of Representatives or the Legislature will decide squarely on the merit and demerit of the request.

Relating to a possible invite from the US based forensic investigators who are currently in the country to carry out probe into the alleged disappearance of L$16 billion in newly printed notes, Speaker Chambers said the US forensic investigators know contemporary constitution and democracy and adhere to the process of democracy.

“This body can never be invited by any group or institution. You can come make request and the body will decide as what approach to take,” Speaker Chambers said.

Person of interest

Meanwhile, in the midst of the investigation of the alleged missing billions, Speaker Chambers has named former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as a ‘Person of Interest’ because it was during her administration the L$16 billion was printed, which was authorized by the Legislature in April 2016 and unauthorized by the Legislature in July 2017.

The Speaker said the former President’s son, Charles Sirleaf, who acted as Executive Governor during the first authorization of the printing of a new LD$5 billion, was a ‘well-placed’ person of the former President.

He also said the former President should apologize to President Weah and the Liberian people for her outburst, when she suggested in a BBC interview that the government under President Weah’s leadership, might not understand what the country’s GDP is.

Speaker Chambers said the former President’s outburst did not serve the office of a retired President and to redeem her image, she needs to apologize.

Meanwhile, the Speaker maintained the authorization given by the Legislature to the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) was only the printing of the L$5 billion and not the additional L$10 billion.

He said all those who were invited by the Legislature to give their account of their alleged involvement of the printing are cooperating, and the investigation is going well.

The Speaker used the occasion to call on Liberians to be peaceful as the government is doing all it can to get into the bottom of the money saga.

The Speaker said the President and CBL did not adhere to the July 19, 2017 communication, which was signed by the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, Mildred Sayon and the Secretary of the Liberian Senate, Nanborlor F. Singbeh. It was not an authorization given to Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to go ahead with the printing of the money, he said, rather it was meant to instruct the CBL to furnish the Legislature with the appropriate detailed information regarding the printing of additional bank notes.

Author

  • I am a Liberian journalist, born November 7 and hailed from the Southeast and of the kru tribe. I began contributing to the Daily Observer 2008 and was fully employed in 2012. I am the 3rd of eight children and named after my great grandfather. Am happily married with three children (girls). I am a full member of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and also the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) and the Legislative Press Pool (LEGISPOL). I can be contacted through email: [email protected] or cell number/WhatsApp: (+231) 0886585875 or Facebook.

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I am a Liberian journalist, born November 7 and hailed from the Southeast and of the kru tribe. I began contributing to the Daily Observer 2008 and was fully employed in 2012. I am the 3rd of eight children and named after my great grandfather. Am happily married with three children (girls). I am a full member of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) and also the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL) and the Legislative Press Pool (LEGISPOL). I can be contacted through email: [email protected] or cell number/WhatsApp: (+231) 0886585875 or Facebook.

16 COMMENTS

  1. The People of Liberia are the Creators of the government of Liberia. The People as the Creators, are the Sovereign. The government is the Created and a subservient tool for the purpose of protecting, the Life, Liberty, and Property of the Sovereign. Sovereignty itself, of course, not subject to law, for it is the author and source of law; but in our system, while sovereign powers are delegated to the agencies of government(where the speaker finds himself), sovereignty itself remains with the people, by whom and for whom all government exists and acts. The Government is our Agent, we (the people) are the Principals.
    There are 4 key points here: 1. That Sovereignty remains with the people. 2. That the people are the author and source of law. 3. That Sovereign powers are delegated(to the agencies of government where the Speaker finds himself). 4. That Government exists and acts for the people.
    The Liberian people have turned out en-masse and demonstrated that they “want their money, the 16 billion Liberian dollars that was allegedly stolen, back” They have also petitioned the Government of the United States, Ecowas, the UN to help investigate and bring to justice those persons responsible for the disappearance of their monies.
    The people, the highest sovereign authority, in their petition to the United States government through the American Embassy near Monrovia, asked for the FBI to intervene. The government or the Legislature, as servants of the Sovereign people of Liberia cannot stop their will. If during the FBI’s investigation the money trail leads to a member of the Legislature or to any citizen for that matter, that person has to account for his or her actions before a court of law. No government official or agency of government is higher than the people because the people are the Sovereign. The people have spoken. They are the Principals while the Government and its Agencies are mere Agents of the Principal(the People). The Government(the People’s Agent) is not higher than the People who created it.The People’s wishes must be carried out by the FBI without fear or favor. By their petitions, the People invited the FBI. The FBI therefore has been delegated authority by the sovereign people of Liberia to follow the money trail, wherever it leads to ensure that the People’s 16 billion Liberian dollars are restituted and those criminally responsible are brought to justice.

    • I tend to agree with Thomas Beer’s basic argument about the supremacy of the people over their government and about their right to protest and pursue all peaceful, reasonable means of addressing certain acts of their government deemed inimical to the highest national interest, including peace, security, and progress. I think President Weah himself agrees here, since he has supported the Liberian people’s request for technical assistance from the international community to investigate the case of the alleged missing billions.

      That being so, it should now behoove all branches of the government and indeed all citizens and residents of Liberia to cooperate fully with the investigators to enable them perform their task with maximum efficiency and without further delay. Hopefully when the chips have fallen where they may, God will help us decide what to do about those found guilty of wrongdoing of one kind or another.

  2. Which $16 billions and who were the Liberian people that turned out en masse? This chestbeating just political theater; truth of the matter is that Speaker Chambers is right that no panel outside the Legislature can investigate members for performing their legislative duties.

    It would seem that some losers in our last elections and their supporters won’t get tired obstructing this new government. Without success they’ve tried the following: Government creating a hostile media space, simply for repulsing intimidation; government killed journalist Tyron Browne; government arranged to get usurious loans from a dubious Singaporan Cartel; President Weah bribed by a Burkinabe businessman with a jet; and government selling Liberia to the Chinese. Not surprisingly, the desperation for something to catch fire turned to the silliest of all – vanishing $16 container!

    Yet, unbelievably, these guys are confident that a combination of few protesters and the deafening drum beats of an adversarial press would make a difference where the previous disinformation tactics failed. Perhaps, the plan is to keep the government in crisis-management mode to accuse it later of not accomplishing anything after a year in office. Such political deceit has been tried elsewhere before, it just goes to show the resilience of reactionaries pulling the strings of delusional radicals.

    • So they can INVESTIGATE others; but they(themselves) can not be INVESTIGATED? The “Outside investigators” are in Liberia at the invitation of The Weah’s Administration/Liberian Government? Why shouldn’t “The Investigators invite anyone; of interest, including The Legislators? NB. President Weah promised The Liberian People. “No one is IMMUNED to the investigation of supposingly MISSING; L$16 BILLIONS.” “LET JUSTICE BE DONE TO ALL…” Now, that’s what you call a TRUTH DEMOCRACY.

  3. In 1926, when Firestone company was established million acres of land belonging to liberian farmers was seized rubber was planted.event more drastic measures were put inplace, those employed by Firestone were forbidding to unionized.a complete violation of the Liberian constitution, which relates to freedom of association, and frreedom of speech.one who think that the FBI would have come to investigate how come Liberia was force by the American goverment to borrow $5 million dollars from the American owned Finance Corporation at an inerest rate of 7%, this was part of the Firestone concession agreement signed in 1926.This money was not giving to Liberia. and that’s worth tracing.

    • I think you’ve been reading too much fake news. What does Firestone have to do with Liberian government officials allegedly stealing billions of dollars from the treasury? A reasonable person will assume that you are equivocating for criminality.

    • Jayroll; ” that MONEY(US$.5 Millions) was not given to Liberia.” That’s right. The MONEY was used to pay Liberia’s Debt; owed to Great Britain. A debt, Liberia at the time could not afford-to pay. Definitely, Great Britain was POISED to SEIZE Liberia. It was “The Firestone Loan that save Liberia; from the grip of Colonial Britain. How ’bout that, for accountability?

  4. Some have even misinterpreted the mission of the United States Embassy to help neutralize this monetary issue in the interest of the Liberian Government which is not just a serving administration as past servers totaled its supervision. Forensic technology is all the American Government explicitly offers only because Liberia lacks the science. The Speaker is right. If the people can purchase the services and forensic evidence from the American people, the FBI should have no reason here and should leave now. This is trade and the present U.S. President is by experience way trade high. We have the experts to use such instruments. On the other hand, the United States currency seems to be a recovery aid to some wrong Liberians who still do not see the need to upgrade Liberian monies on par with other African nations. While some are obsessed with the luxury of the United States Dollars, they refuse to acknowledge the need to accelerate the flow of the value of the Liberian currency. Do not be idiots, the United States Government needs their currency back as soon as possible when they dispose of it. The nation that sends its back quickest after the exchange is the nation that rates best. The monies in the Central Bank, the people’s money cannot be inspected by just anyone who thinks that he or she can come up with a political lie to down grade the legislature as an agency to abstract functionary activities dutifully authorized by executive orders. Remember Liberia has other currencies that were taken off the market still in that vault. The Legislative branch is a branch of the Liberian Government, not an autonomous bureau. Legislators are well placed in power by the counties they represent by majority rule and not by electors as the United States of America. The United States has a security limit here. ” Forensic evidence” the public will see and after that pull out to give way to our own decision. Everyone cannot go in our Central Bank to see what is in it. It is an Executive responsibility which cannot be delegated. How do we know that the Liberian people do not believe that we got the cash in our own bank? Our money has to be disbursed base on local market production and Liberian goods and services. Not only when some corrupt official of the past or present wanst to see or steal some. In other words Liberian currency for local market activities. Leave this issue to the Liberian Government. Money for Liberian Banking is not Liberian politics. Those who first touch the money do not hide. The funds will be encumbered and accounted for as they flow. Do not answer me. The Liberian people will know.
    Gone to rest.

  5. For those who need to understand Monrovian. “Wanst” in Liberian meaning wondering around the pocket.
    Come and pray with us.

  6. I woke up this morning n decided to go on line n read about the latest information on Liberia. My question to the speaker of the House is what’s wrong with cooperating with the investigation ? I’m sure you are interested in learning the facts, n in order to get to the bottom of this case people of interest need to be interview /investigated regardless of your position or standing in society. It doesn’t mean you are guilty .All you have to do is cooperate with whatever is necessary for the safety n security of the nation. Liberia comes first, without this country you would not have a job. There is no need to be afraid cause the investigators know what they are searching for.Last, in the great United states of America they do investigate legislators if there’s a good reason. No one is above the law. I believe the Liberian constitution is modeled after the United states constitution.

  7. The speaker has the right to his own beliefs and am pleased to hear that there are people who have the right to disagree and agree with the history of politics. Congruent is a complicated and complex scientific measurement to the eyes of physics. The point I see in dynamics may not be what you saw many years ago, depending on the visionary age in ills we all as humans acquire.
    Leave us. Tell the majority, if not all.

  8. Henry Freeman,how do you know that the money ($5 millions) was paid to Briatain? The money was never giving to Britain, or to any European power. Some
    People are bend on taking Oppong and his CDC to task for the corruption and underdevelopment of Liberia.

  9. Mr. Speaker, it is so disheartening to read your statement that the house will not submit itself to any outside investigation by any International organization. And also your group is investigating about the unauthorized printing of money by the former
    Government of Mrs. Sirleaf which was not aware of by your group.
    Refusal to submit to investigation by you and others of that House of Dishonorables, is treasonable and impeachable of you and others.What a shame and disrespect to the suffering masses. You always present yourself as a Hater and a man of pomposity and arrogant attitude.
    You seem to be an individual of biggertive and disrespect to the rule of law or the constitution of the land and this will never exist my friend. Remember that the masses were the ones that marched on the principal streets of their nation capitol Monrovia to vent out their frustration of the money that is missing. They requested for an independent investigation. You are telling the masses that they do not have the power to ask you to submit to any investigation concerning the
    government? That is a fallacy and a disrespect to the people of this nation.
    Money was printed and there were unauthorized printing of some money by the then government which you Dishonorables were not aware of. The money was brought into the country by the former government.
    Now Bringing in the money into the country and leaving it for the new government was it a crime? Why then did you people take and used the money? Why did not you people refuse the money and demand for clarity on the money.
    Logically, the money arrived and the new government took over the money and without verification or refusal to use the excess money, went ahead and used it.
    Why didn’t the Dishonorables tell the new government to not infuse the excess money into the economy as was alleged by the Central bank? This house should not deviate from the matter at stake because the money has to be accounted for and all heads will roll.
    Now Mr. Speaker, if you feel that you are not going to submit yourself to any investigation requested by the Liberian people; then get ready to resign or you would be removed from office by popular demand.This will have nothing to be done with your constituency but by the Liberian people. You are not shame of yourself but fill with Bigshotism and pompous posture you continue to display. Ellen is out and we can not have our present affairs be entangled with your Ellen hatred.
    What wrong with us the Natives? All those yesteryears that you people cried for us to take over the affairs of our own country, but here we are today. We have become the worst Looters and Pillagers of our wealth. We the Natives are very horrible and it is the first time in the history of Liberia for such a massive corruption to exist.
    Bunch of Horribles paying themselves Ten thousand dollars per person per month. Never in the history of Liberia. What a sad situation under the canopy of our own Native brothers and sisters.
    That money would be accounted for Mr. Speaker and you are to submit yourself along with your colleagues
    To that investigation. Now that we are proceeding with the investigation, the following groups should partake for a better transparency; Global Watch, Transparency Imternational and The Imternational Police organization(Interpol).

  10. Mr. Henry Freeman, some of you stand as the ‘the know all people’.
    Why don’t you guys tell the FBI to go to Istanbul,Turkey to investigate the death of the Saudis born Journalist Jamal Khasoggi, by his own Saudis people? Since Saudi Arabia is the closest ‘ally’ to the U.S, it will be appropriate. Dr. Bhoffal Chamber is right, no outsider will, or have the authority to investigate a sitting legislative body of another country. Because Liberia is the only LOW HANGING FRUIT? We allow ourselves to be the ‘go for’ guys. We have laws in our country. Our laws must be given the chance to operates, as it was said during the run-off election.
    COWARDS!

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