Where Is Our Money? – As CONCUBOM Announces Second Protest For October 20th
The quest to investigate and persecute all those that are associated with the missing LD16 billion scandal remains unwavering as some Liberians have threatened to carry out a second peaceful protest in Monrovia on October 20, 2018.
The protest action, according to the concern Liberians who are acting under the banner “Concern Citizens United To Bring Our Money Back or COCUBOM,” is part of calls to central government to hasten their feet into the investigation processes of the missing Liberian billions.
In late August, the Government of Liberia through the Ministries of Justice and Information confirmed media reports that there were some stockpiled money containers missing (amounting to L$16 billion) in two major entry points of the country.
But both the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) have separately denied the report describing it a “complete falsehood” and that there is no money missing as being reported in the media.
Conversely, President George Manneh Weah has since called on the public to exercise patience as efforts are being made to investigate the matter and prosecute those behind the missing money saga.
Though the Liberian leader is on record for calming the Liberian populace when the issue was first reported by the media, President Weah at a recent welcoming ceremony from the UN General Assembly held in Monrovia, somersaulted in his previous comments by ‘sarcastically’ calling on Liberians to wait for the outcome of the investigation even though he holds to the believed that “there was no money missing.”
Appearing on a local radio talk show (50-50) on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, the head of CONCUBOM, Martin K.N. Kollie said the recent statement of the Liberian leader undermines the entire investigation and the Liberian people can no longer trust the high-level crafted Presidential Investigative Team (PIT) to probe the matter.
According to the right activist, the Presidential Investigative Team (PIT) which was commissioned by President Weah lacks the moral high grounds to investigate the matter in that some members of the investigative team have close ties with people of interest in the investigation.
He named the Coordinator of the PIT, Alex Cuffy as being a family person to Madam Celia Cuffy-Brown –Deputy Managing Director of the National Port Authority (Freeport of Monrovia), who in March of this year, upon the appointment of a Managing Director of the institution, single-handedly ran the activities of the Freeport of Monrovia during which time the controversial “container of money left the port.”
Kollie claimed that the PIT coordinator will not be in the position to prosecute his own sister (Cecelia Cuffy) especially so when the President has openly said he believes there is no money missing.
He wants the international community to spearhead the investigation of the missing billions, stating that, “he has no trust” in what has been set up by President Weah.
“We cannot sit here and pretend that we will not know the outcome of this report, it is clear as crystal. President Weah has a huge influence on the outcome of the investigation. If he says there was no money missing, what else we will expect from the investigation?” he wondered.
The protest which he claimed will be peaceful is meant to send a clarion call to the international community to immediately take full charge of the investigation and prevail upon the CDC-led government to account for the missing billions.
He described the disappearance of the missing billions as a “horrific mystery and a national tragedy that must be addressed with much urgency.”
In a recent press conference held at the Ministry of Information, the Presidential Investigative Team says it has the capacity to adequately conduct the investigation, although international partners like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), International Monitory Fund (IMF), and others that were previously invited to participate in the investigation are welcomed.
“They are not giving the international investigators the chance to lead this investigation process because of their hidden agenda but we will resist them.
This is why we are calling on all Liberians to join us on the 20th of this month to peacefully assemble and call for justice into our missing billions,” he accentuated. Kollie said the protest will not stop until the government brings back our money because according to him, the majority of the citizens are suffering and continue to suffer in abject poverty.
On Monday, September 24, 2018 over two thousand Liberians from various civil society groupings converged at the grounds of the American Embassy near Monrovia to call on the international community to mandate the CDC-led government to institute a comprehensive investigation into the “ugly situation” and prosecute all those that will be implicated into the investigation of the missing billions.