– Says President of the Liberia National Law Enforcement Association (LINLEA), Cecil Griffiths
The president of the Liberia National Law Enforcement Association (LINLEA), Cecil Griffiths, has said that presidential interference with law enforcement operations is making it difficult for the country to succeed in its fight against corruption.
Griffiths said this is the case because the President has the responsibility to set the stage that would ensure an effective and efficient law enforcement environment where public officials accused of corruption can be easily prosecuted.
Griffith’s statement comes against the backdrop of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s admission to government’s failure in its fight against corruption.
According to him, if a country wants to be operative and resourceful when it comes to the execution of the law, the President, who is the head of the country, should be the one to set the example for others to follow.
Griffith spoke at a two-day roundtable training for media practitioners on Monday, December 18 under the theme, “The Criminal Justice Highway.”
“We need to be very careful when we talk about enforcing the law through the spirit or by the letter, because if the law enforcement community will dedicate themselves to enforcing the law to the letter, Liberia will truly represent a country of law where anyone that commits a crime will be held accountable,” Griffith said.
He said if the President, for example, says, “Don’t call me, because I will not support you, rather it is the law that will take its course,” when any of her officials is suspected of being corrupt, then “If the President sticks to that policy, none of the officials will want to be corrupt since they will have no safe haven.”
Griffith believes that a strong policy to fight corruption signifies the seriousness of a country in its fight against corrupt and suspected corrupt practices.
Philip Wesseh, publisher and managing editor of The Inquirer newspaper, who served as one of the facilitators at the training, expressed the importance for upcoming journalists to remain independent and seek the truth by remaining accountable to their readers and audience.
“Much is expected of the media, because it is through the media people are informed about social development, democratic values and societal cohesion,” he said.
Police spokesman Sam Collins said law enforcement is about adherence to the rule of law, adding, “If the people adhere to the law, then law enforcement will become so easy, because those who choose to disobey will definitely fall into trouble with the law enforcers.”