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Who Took the Bribe? US Sanctions Leave Liberian Legislature Bruised

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By Festus Poquie

The United States sanctioning of two top Senators on Dec. 11 leaves more questions hanging over the integrity of the Liberian legislature.

The US said it publicly designated Finance Minister Samuel Tweah, Chie, and Nuquay, for their involvement in significant corruption by abusing their public positions through soliciting, accepting, and offering bribes to manipulate legislative processes and public funding, including legislative reporting and mining sector activity.”

Identities of individuals mainly lawmakers who may have accepted bribe from the accused officials and those who gave the now sanctioned Senators remain a deep subject of mystery since the Department of States and Treasury opted to keep it unpolished for reason unknown.

Bribery, under Liberian laws is an egregious offense. The criminal procedure law says  a person has committed bribery, a second degree felony if he knowingly offers, gives or agrees to give to another, or solicits, accepts or agrees to accept from another, a thing of value as consideration for: (a) The recipient’s official action as a public servant; or (b) The recipient’s violation of a known duty as a public servant.

Senate President Pro tempore Albert Chie while responding to the American accusations told colleagues the issues raised in the sanctions document are is more than what it appears to be.

“The allegations are misleading and false. I haven’t taken a dime from any lawmaker or chambers to manipulate any legislative process. We will take advantage of the legal process available to remove our names and those of our families from the visa restriction list.

“The allegations against Tweh, Nuquay, and me of taking bribes to influence legislative work impugn on your integrity as senators, no matter how you look at it. The attack is on you, whether in the ruling position, opposition,

The Oracle News Daily has been asking Senators about their potential involvement in the alleged crime, which borders on a pay-to-influence lawmaking for personal gains than national interest.

Some lawmakers view the matter more sensitive for public comment and declined talking about it when contacted.

Montserrado County and incoming ruling party Senator Darius Dillion while initially keeping his lips tight when approached by the Oracle, would later decide to take a public position on the matter at a news conference in Monrovia.

He disagrees with Albert Chie’s claim that the sanctions imposed on him and Senator Emmanuel Nuquay by the United States Government have tainted the character of every member of the Liberian Senate.

Senator Dillon’s contention versus Chie’s statement is that, the Government of the United States of America would not have designated superficially the Grand Kru County Senator alone if his analysis that includes everyone is correct.

“I don’t agree with Albert Chie on that. The American people didn’t agree with him on that thing that’s why they sanctioned his one.”

The US government unveiling of available evidence is crucial in the determination of the matter.

 

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