By Leroy M. Sonpon, lll
Whether or not it is believed to be an election-related scam with a month and a half to the Senatorial Midterm Elections, many lawmakers are arguing identity document forgery because of the unabated mass productions of over 1,400 National Identification Cards to non-Liberians.
On Tuesday, October 6, during the House’s 66th day sitting, members of the House of Representatives unanimously voted to summon the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP), the Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA), the Director General of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Director-General of the National Identification Registry to appear on Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 10:00 a.m., to explain if there were any crucial arrests and seizures and mechanism to curtail identity forgery.
The four men are expected to be drilled in a secret (executive) session according to the overwhelmingly accepted motion.
The House’s decision follows a complaint from Montserrado County District #2 Representative, Jimmy Smith, in which he described the “criminal printing of the national ID cards and a controlled syndicate.”
“Mr. Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Distinguished colleagues, my request is based on a controlled syndicate that was discovered on September 26, 2020. The Liberia National Police was led by info leading to a fraudulent printing of the Liberia National Identification Card on the compound of Masco Clinic/Strong FM Radio in the Double Bridge Community, Jacob Town, Paynesville, and up to present, there is no report from the Police concerning the matter,” he wrote.
“This act is intended to subvert the sanctity of our citizenship of democracy which is a felony, a serious capital offense that undermines confidence in the entire NIR process.”
In recent days during the Voter Roll Update, reports came from Grand Cape Mount County that cross-border voter registration was taking place. It is one of the challenges that has prevailed since 2005 that whenever election is drawing closer, aliens find their way through the porous borders to enter Liberia to register and claim Liberian identity.
Many such instances have been reported in Grand Cape Mount, Lofa and Nimba Counties.
Concern of identity forgery raised by the lawmaker comes when Liberia is rocked by a major passport scandal, for which the US Government has banned former Passport Director, Andrew Wonplo, as well as his spouse and minor children, from traveling to the United States.
Since the issuance of the designation, Wonplo has been in hiding, disclosing information, allegedly connecting several government officials including former Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Findley to the scandal.
The case with the National ID Card issue will allow aliens, mainly from West African countries including Guinea and Sierra Leone, to possess Liberian identity, paving the way for them to acquire voter registration cards in time of election to vote in the country.