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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Liberia: Why Boakai Playing ‘Tricks’ with War Crimes & Assets Recovery:John Morlu Explains

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Former Auditor General John Morlu has called into question the effectiveness and intentions of President Joseph Boakai’s war and economic crimes courts and assets recovery efforts, suggesting that they may not be prioritized or properly executed.

Boakai appears to have hired the services of global war crimes actors to aide with the court’s creation and the House of Representatives has approved a resolution laying our tribunal’s framework.

But Morlu who played a vital role in Boakai’s 2023 win said in a post on his Whatsapp channel that the President’s approach and intent are misguided and may not achieve the desired success.

He claims that Boakai, like his predecessors Sirleaf and Weah, does not want these courts. Morlu argues that if Boakai genuinely wanted these courts, he would take action instead of just talking about them, such as sending a letter to the United Nations.

Morlu:  “This is, yet again empty and endless talks and political rhetoric, tricks and techniques.

“JNB, like Sirleaf and Weah, does not want  war and economic crimes court. Only 3 people in USA are pushing it on Liberia.If JNB, like Weah and Sirleaf, want it badly, he will just do it and not just talk about it. A simple letter to the UN will do.

“But I know 100% it is not happening. Wishful thinking and waste of breathe.”

Assets Recovery

On the implementation of President Boakai’s Executive Order 126,  Morlu criticizes the government for creating a working committee instead of establishing an assets recovery office. He points out that many members of this committee lack the necessary skills and experience to effectively carry out the task.

A chairperson with a financial investigative background, like a special prosecutor, should have been appointed to lead the team, he said, suggesting without this expertise, the government will face challenges in achieving its main goal of recovering stolen assets.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the European Union (EU), and the World Bank may not provide technical and financial support to the committee if they feel that it is not genuinely focused on recovering assets, Morlu said.

He advises the Boakai administration to coordinate with foreign governments first, but claims that his advice has been ignored.

“Government of Liberia  put together a working committee and did not create an assets recovery office.

“Most of the members don’t have the skills and competencies to do the job. Generally, you appoint a chair with a financial investigative or a very good investigative background like a special prosecutor  who will build his team with experts and not imposing people on him without experience.

“In this case, people are mentioned or listed who do not have the skills or experiences. The government will have a challenge. GOL may not achieve its main goal.

“It’s a political committee not asset recovery.

“All these “representatives” smell to all like a “political committee” not a serious Asset Recovery Task Force, and USAID, EU and World Bank might not provide technical and financial support. They dont like to listen. Advice for them to coordinate with foreign governments first but ignored.”

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