Council Of Patriots Petition Leaked Ahead Of June 7 Protest
Ahead of the much-publicized June 7th Protest, a document believes to be the petitioner’s petition has been leaked on Social Media.
The document, a copy of which is in the possession of The Monrovia Times outline details of demands from the Council of Patriots to the Liberian government.
Some of the demands include the issue of corruption, Governance, Human Rights and Rule of Law, National Peace & Reconciliation, Integrity & Accountability
The Economy and Education and Health & Agriculture.
“For the purpose of transparency, the president and his officials should immediately make public “assets” they are reported to have “declared” to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) and ensure that they are verified;
Immediately establish a special court to try all corruption cases in Liberia so that indictments cannot linger indefinitely and so that justice can truly be served to those accused;
Beginning effective fiscal 2019/2020 reallocate to health institutions all appropriations for medical check-ups and benefits for public officials serving in the three(3) branches to improving the country’s health system (Less attention is paid to Liberia’s health sector because most officials can travel abroad not for cases referred by hospitals but also for as simple a process as seeking a medical check-up, which is why priority consideration is not given to the country’s health sector);
Legally expel all individuals previously convicted for crimes in their countries who are now operating in Liberia
On the US$25m funds withdrawn from Liberia’s reserve for the so-called mop-up exercise of 2018, immediately take action(s) to bring to justice all those that were involved, including but not limited to current officials;
Immediately provide explanation as to which individuals within the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) or the Government of Liberia received or approved the injection of the new Liberian banknotes into the economy without effectively removing from circulation the equivalent quantity and/or value of legacy banknotes(This is a recommendation and/or request from Kroll’s Associates); and address the role of the TEMT Chaired by the Minister of Finance, Samuel Tweah, as well as its culpability;
Immediately stop funding activities of the First Lady which are not covered by Law;
Immediately place a moratorium on insignificant foreign travels to ensure that resources are used to benefit all Liberians and Beginning effective June 2019 and as part of austerity measures reduce the size of presidential delegations substantially and stop the use of a private jet for travels;
Immediately allow the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to audit the Legislature as required by law.
other issues raised by the COP include
Governance, Human Rights and Rule of Law
Electoral Reforms: Urgently proceed with efforts to amend and/or repeal the current Electoral Law
Inclusive Governance: Establish an inclusive governance framework that reflects the diversity and interests of the Liberian Society;
Immediately commission an independent investigation into the hasty impeachment of Associate Justice Kabina Jan’eh, which has undermined the integrity and independence of the Judiciary at a time when Liberians are craving for justice;
Launch an immediate investigation into the mysterious death of Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Assistant Director Matthew J. Innis which occurred at the same time reports from two forensic audits into the missing billions of newly printed Liberian banknotes were released;
Establish a Court to address Claims, Corruption and Rape
Demonstrate respect for human rights, human dignity and Press Freedom through the comprehensive review of our constitution and the laws that restrain the exercise of basic freedoms especially the media;
National Peace & Reconciliation
Immediately demobilize all former Fighters re-deployed into various entities thus reigniting the fear, creating a threat to peace and undercutting the restructuring of our national security sector;
Immediately implement the Recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), particularly the recommendation for establishment of a war and an economic crimes court in Liberia without delay (The Government of Liberia should make a request to the United Nations for such a court before July 26, 2019);
Immediately take steps to curb, through public denunciation, reprimand and/or condemnation all anti-peace, fanatical, sectionalistic, tribalistic and divisive utterances by officials, friends, associates, political actors (whether of the CDC or otherwise) which seek to promote division and disunity in violation of the Liberian constitution;
Integrity & Accountability
Immediately implement the comprehensive audit of all government ministries, agencies and parastatals of the period of this Administration and proceed to legally without discrimination to address past audits;
Immediately declare all assets of the President and relevant officials and implement the verification process
Immediately implement and ensure the prosecution of any and all persons found culpable and connected to the US$25-m mop-up exercise and missing billions of Liberian dollars as contained in the Kroll’s and Presidential Investigation Team’s (PIT’s) reports which show gross improprieties by the Technical Economic Management Team;
Immediately discontinue and/or halt any plan and/or intention to pay any financial benefits or rewards to Governor Nathaniel Patray
Immediately impose a moratorium on and conduct a comprehensive audit of all expenditures on Liberia’s Foreign Reserve Account and the National Budget;
Conduct a comprehensive Audit of all and any of the dozens of personal infrastructure and/or building projects undertaken by President Weah at several locations in Montserrado County since he assumed office including the purchase of private jet and yacht; (This is a constitutional requirement);
Immediately give account of how more than US$3m of the Ebola Emergency Fund contributed by donors and placed in Government’s Consolidated Accounts was withdrawn and expended, for which reason many of Liberia’s major international Partners have protested and demanded restitution;
Immediately suspend all negotiations for loans and any new concessions until at such time when integrity institutions and systems are restored to operate without interference and within the limits of the law;
Immediately launch an audit of all infrastructural and ongoing road projects ;
Immediately give account of all Social Development Funds (SDFs) paid by various concessionaires for the benefit of the counties in which they operate;
Immediately halt the unlawful awarding of contracts to businesses with close ties to the President and senior members of his administration;
Reconsitute through independent vetting all integrity insitutions to ensure independence;
The Economy and Education, Health & Agriculture
Develop, design and implement an economic reform plan to revive our declining economy and address financial and fiscal reforms;
Take urgent steps to improve the business environment in Liberia by aggressively urgently removing all administrative bottlenecks and barriers that hinder trade, including the duplication of functions, removal of irrelevant personnel from the Customs Office at the Freeport of Monrovia and major ports of entry;
Comply fully with the Budget and Public Financial Management (PFM) Laws by stopping the habit of off-budget spending;
Restore integrity to our Forestry sector by taking urgent steps to maintain the current monitoring system as the contract with SGS will soon end;
Immediately desist from withdrawing funds from Liberia’s foreign reserve, which should only happen in the event when revenue-generating activities collapse and when the nation’s economic survival is directly threatened (This was never the case when some US$25m was withdrawn for an ambiguous mop-up exercise);
Henceforth make public and as required by law all Expressions of Interest (EOIs) submitted by would-be investors for proper scrutiny to avoid potential risks and to make difficult, if not impossible, infiltration of Liberia by businesses linked to terror or criminal groups;
Immediately cease any and all actions, intentions, desire and attempts to reduce civil servants’ salaries at any time in the short-, medium- and long terms.
Political pundits believes the petition from the Council of Patriots is a direct dictation on how they feel the government should be run instead of the issues affecting the people of Liberia.
Read Full Petition here