Distribution of the Final Report of ECOWAS Team of Investigators Into Economic Crime in Liberia

 (A Press Release Issued By CEDE)

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
July 17, 2006


The Center for Democratic Empowerment (CEDE) in furtherance of its public duty is pleased to inform the public that it has within its possession the Forensic Investigation Report by ECOWAS which is entitled: Final Report of ECOWAS Team of Investigators Into Economic Crime in Liberia. CEDE intends to do the following in regards with the report.

1. Make the report available to every media institution in the country;
2. Hold a press conference on Thursday, July 13, 2006 at 2:00. Immediately following the Press Conference copies of the report will be distributed free of charge;
3. Summarize the report and publish such summaries;
4. Explore resources to popularize the report especially to demonstrate how theft of public funds and assets undermine the ability of the state to deliver social services;
5. Call for the prosecution of all those mentioned in the report, who have breached the law in the spirit of due process and accountability.

CEDE welcomed the declaration of the Sirleaf Government that corruption is public enemy number one. For this declaration to have immediate practical meaning, the Government is best advised to heed the recommendations in the report and begin the process that would lead to the successful prosecution of the following former government officials for the “offence of felony of the third degree.”

1. Mr. Gyude Bryant, Former Chairman NTGL
2. Lusinee Kamara Former Minister of Finance
3. Samuel Wlue Former Minister of Commerce
4. Tugbe Doe, Former Deputy Minster of Finance for Administration
5. Mr. Albert Quaye, Former Head of Fraud Investigation, Ministry of Finance

In addition we wish to request that the Government of Liberia to allow the ECOWAS Team of Forensic Investigators to continue their work and conduct the following investigations:

1. Allegations of financial malpractices by the former NTLA 2003-206
2. Allegations of financial and administrative malfeasance at the Ministry of Internal Affairs 2003-2006
3. Allegations of financial malfeasance in the sale and export of iron ore by the Ministry of Land Mines and Energy 2003 – 2006

Against this background, CEDE would like to again request that Ministry of Justice, specifically Hon. Francis Johnson-Sirleaf to act with urgency and speed to undertake a forensic audit of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company for allegations of misuse and/or abuse of public funds during the period October 2003-January 2006 when Mr. Edwin Snowe served as Managing Director. The former Solicitor General of Liberia, Cllr. Theophilus Gould did not accept nor carry out this request from CEDE. In addition, the Ministry of Justice should investigate the electoral expenditures of the entire Management Team of LPRC as well as the Chairman of its Board during the 2005 October Elections.

The Center is willing to engage in fruitful public conversation on these matters and will undertake the necessary steps so that the Liberian people will not ever again be taken for a ride by corrupt officials and that entrusted authority are held accountable for their stewardship of public funds. Alongside this view, CEDE is holding discussions with various civil society organizations to mount a national campaign that would demonstrate the cancerous effect of corruption in our society as well as to point out the relationship between theft of public funds and the lack of social service delivery by the former NTGL.

Thanks for your attention.

P.S. copies of the electronic version of the report is available from CEDE upon request. We welcome the publication of the report on various websites.

Contact: Ezekiel Pajibo, Director, CEDE Mobile: +231 5 659 459

© 2006 by The Perspective
E-mail: editor@theperspective.org

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