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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Liberia: Boakai’s Riches Kept Secret

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President Joseph Boakai Thursday filed with the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission the declaration of personal interests, income, assets and liabilities forms,  16 days after his inauguration.

The content of declared assets remains unknown, making it difficult or impossible to determine the actual wealth of the President at the inception of his six-year term.

Boakai’s inability to publish his assets after more than 40 years of public service and a campaign promise of transparency and accountability puts him level with predecessor George Weah who filed his income and liabilities forms, seven months after his 2018 inauguration, keeping details to his chest until his Nov. 2023 defeat and exit from power.

LAAC asked how much is the president worth in terms of his assets, told the Oracle News Daily only the 79-year-old leader has the right to make public his declaration.

Section 10.2 of the Code of Conduct for Government Officials and Employees demands   public officials to declare assets upon taking office and while exiting. The law did not making it compelling for designated officials and employees to make public their declaration.

In October 2016, the General Auditing Commission and the LACC reached a Memorandum of understanding tasking the LACC to establish electronic points for filing while copies are transmitted to the GAC.

The anti-graft institutions committed to maintain the “highest level of confidentiality” in the handling of asset declaration documents in keeping with the MoU.

After nearly 12 years in office President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on June 13, 2017 released to the public her assets putting net worth (assets minus liability) at $1.7 million United States dollars. Sirleaf’s income and assets declaration includes her gross annual salary of LRD1, 684, 500.00 and an annual allowance of USD72, 000.

At the time of filing she claimed holding only USD3, 255.00 cash on hand on February 2, 2017. The highest among in the President’s account, according to her declaration was  USD153, 006.00 kept with the Bank of America account situated in Charlotte, U.S.A.

This makes her the only Liberian leader in modern history to share with the public her earnings.


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