Some members of the House of Representatives are to be investigated over the controversial money given to the House of Representatives by the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) for the nationwide oil consultation.
According to the New Republic newspaper, reflecting back in November 2013, US$1,200,000.00 (one million-two hundred thousand) was allegedly sent to the House’s accounts on account of the oil consultation proposal that was sent to the executive by the leadership of the house.
In a communication to the plenary of the house on Thursday, the Chairman of the House’s committee on ways, means, finance and development planning, Bong County Representative Prince K. Moye recounted that US$200,000.00 was sent to the senate from the House for the same purpose thus leaving the house with US$1,000,000.00.
“At the closure of the consultation, it was reported that only US$900,000.00 wasreceived by the House, leaving US$100,000 unaccounted for,” he recounted.
The Bong County lawmaker further indicated that upon the removal of the current speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay as chairman on ways, means and finance and replaced with Lofa County Representative Moses Kollie by then Speaker Alex Tyler, all investigations surrounding the matter was refereed to Representative Kollie, ‘a confidant’ of former Speaker Tyler.
“Since then, there was no report made by the Moses Kollie-led committee to the plenary of this house on the expenditure of the US$100,000.00. Since then, nothing has been heard or reported on how the US$100,000.00 was used,” he noted.
Representative Moye reminded Speaker Nuquay that upon taking the oath of office as speaker, he assured Liberians to rebrand the image of the House.
According to him, this can only be done when the US$100,000.00 is investigated to bring the matter to a definite closure.
“As a signatory to the account by then and now, the bank statement covering the period November 1 to December 30, 2013 clearly shows that US$1m was withdrawn from the House’s account by the Finance section. During all of the withdrawals, there was no point in time a single US$100,000.00 was withdrawn.
All of the withdrawals were below or above US$100,000.00 which shows that there was no US$100,000.00 withdrawal that got missing on account of checks that were signed and left with the comptroller based on instructions by the leadership by then,” he narrated.
He said the time is now since he who signed the checks based on the authorization of the leadership by then as enshrined in Rule 57.4b that governs how monies are withdrawn from the House’s account is now chairman on ways, means, finance and development planning.
Rule 57.4b of the House of Representatives states that ‘All matters relating to the finances of the House, preparation of the House’s budget and the custody and disbursement of the House’s funds subject to the approval of the Speaker or Deputy Speaker.’
“The comptroller who co-signed all of the checks and most of the withdrawals is still the comptroller and co-signatory to the account to the account, I would highly appreciate an investigation into the matter since we are all still here,” he added.
After the reading, the communication was forwarded to the committees on public accounts and expenditures to report within two weeks.