— UP Caucus Chair confirms, as Legislature extends session for another two weeks
Amid reports that Montserrado County District #5 Representative Thomas Fallah and Nimba County District #1 Representative Jeremiah Koung, chairman co-chairman on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning, are involved in financial malfeasances and allegedly embezzled over US$250,000, the Unity Party (UP) Legislative caucus, Rep. Hanson Kiazolu has denied said reports and, on behalf of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) and other members of opposition in the House of Representatives, denied the mismanagement of over US$250,000.
The Montserrado County District #17 Representative Kiazolu, who served as former Lead Consultant at the World Bank-funded Public Accounts & Expenditure Secretariat in the Legislature and Comptroller General of the Republic of Liberia, said after investigation held in a two-day secret session, they discovered no financial malfeasances but admitted to administrative malfeasances including lack of internal control.
There were gossips that members of the House of Representatives heatedly complained of 50% cut in their Special Sitting fees and had received US5,000 each instead of US$10,000, while each Senator also accordingly received US$10,000.
Rep. Kiazolu admitted to journalists on Thursday, September 12, 2019 that there were speculations of financial mismanagement which led to a resolution to be drafted and signed by at least 60% for Rep. Fallah’s removal and the reshuffling of the entire 15-member Ways & Means Committee, but said the speculations have been cleared and they have rescinded their decision to remove Representatives Fallah and Koung.
“After investigation and gathering of information, we have gathered that there were no financial malfeasances and no corruption, but we can say there are administrative malfeasances on internal control.”
Though he did not state whether they would receive their alleged remaining US$5,000 balances, one of the lawmakers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they received their remaining US$5,000 on Thursday evening, through their respective bank accounts.
The House’s Ways & Means Chairman Fallah, in a brief interview with journalists yesterday reserved comments, but his mood indicated that he had been revived after a 24-hour threat of his and his co-chairman’s removal.
Meanwhile, amid calmness in the Lower House over their Special Sitting fees of US$10,000 for each Representative, the Daily Observer has gathered the House of Representatives and the Senate have agreed for additional two-week’s extension, from September 16 – 30, 2019.
The new extension, according to reports, has been called for by the Legislature. Accordingly, there would be no Special Sitting fee of US$10,000 as was the case of the first Special Sitting.