The Senate has ratified through concurrence with the House of Representatives 14 ECOWAS Conventions or Protocols signed by the Government of Liberia. The articles were submitted to the Legislature by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last August.
Protocols ratified included the one establishing an ECOWAS Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Bureau, which was formulated against the backdrop of various forms of crimes across West Africa and their effects on the socioeconomic development of countries in the sub-region.
According to the document, CIIB as a specialized institution of ECOWAS is tasked with preventing and combating crimes across the sub-region, with the main objective of enhancing effectiveness and cooperation of competent authorities in member states to prevent and combat transnational crimes and other related offenses.
Also ratified is the protocol to fight against corruption, which aims to promote and strengthen the development in each state effective mechanisms to prevent, suppress and eradicate corruption. The protocol seeks to intensify and revitalize cooperation among states with a view to making anti-corruption measures more effective and promoting harmony and coordination of national anti-corruption laws and policies.
The now recessed Senate also ratified the Democracy and Governance Supplementary to the protocol relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace Keeping and Security. It seeks to supplement the protocol relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace Keeping and Security signed in Lome, Togo on December 10, 2001.
The supplementary protocol contains new provisions that address issues relating to the prevention of internal crises, democracy and good governance, the rule of law and human rights.
The lawmakers on the eve of their four-month break also concurred with the House of Representatives on an agreement on the cooperation in criminal matters between the police of member states of ECOWAS.
This agreement came against the backdrop of the increase in crime and the need to put in place stringent measures to address “this serious mayhem which constitutes a serious threat to the security, peace and stability of countries in the region,” the release indicated.