Abu B. Kamara, one of the representative candidates of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in the ‘NEC’s Suspended By-election’ is said to be linked to an alleged corruption, leading to the misapplication of thousands of Liberian and United States Dollars, a situation said to be hunting him as a result of Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) probe.
According to investigation, quoting documents from the LACC and publicized on local radio station, Mr. Kamara is currently under serious probe after being investigated by the LACC in May, 2019 for allegedly receiving double salaries and benefits from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications and the Petroleum Refinery Corporation (LPRC); Mr. Kamara previously served as a deputy at the two government agencies.
According to documentation which is now making the rounds on various Liberian social media sites, Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission extended an invitation to Kamara on May 28, 2018 “to give account based on the allegations. The CDC candidate reportedly acknowledged receipt of salaries from the GoL under the Ministry of Post although he no longer worked there.
Kamara reportedly “admitted” to defraud the government and agreed to restitution of the amount he illegally collected from Government at a stipulation of $500 USD monthly beginning June 25, 2019. The LACC documentation which cannot be independently verified by the African Star established through investigation by the LACC that, “during the period October – December 2017, while he no longer worked at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, Mr Abu Bana Kamara received the amounts of US $8,164.70 and LD 271,114.74 as salaries for the portfolio of Assistant Minister for the Ministry of Post.
Oct. 2017 US $2,389.60 L $77,051.57
Nov. 2017 US $2,386.90 L $79,675.13
Dec. 2017 US $2,385.52 L $81.094.04
14% Interest US $1,002.68 L $33,294.90
TOTAL US $8,164.70 L $71,114.74
In accepting the restitution agreement, the LACC indicated a proviso that, “failure to restitute said amount as per an agreed upon restitution plan, Mr Abu Bana Kamara be charged with the following crimes: a. Subchapter D. Theft and Related Offenses. 15.50 Consolidation of theft offences. 1.
Construction of sections, Conduct denominated theft in Sections 15.51, 15.52 and 15.53 constitutes a single offence designed to include the separate offences heretofore known as larceny, defrauding and cheating.
Obtaining money under false pretence, embezzlement, extortion, blackmailing, receiving stolen goods, and the like.”
The latest revelation of corruption involving a former Liberian government official who is seeking a seat in the National Legislature has come under widespread condemnation and criticisms among Liberians in and out of the country. Liberia has had its national image battered by a long history of corruption, incompetence and poor governance over the years.
President George M. Weah and the ruling CDC have endorsed Mr Kamara and are even campaigning for him. The President at a recent campaign launch for Mr Kamara issued stinging criticisms against his opposition competitor – a political newcomer Ms Telia Urey and her family refer to them as “killers and thieves”.
President Weah told scores of partisans that as long as he was Standard Bearer of CDC they would never win any elections in Liberia.
For now, it appears the base of the ruling CDC is sticking with Candidate Kamara.
Meanwhile, Liberia’s Anti-Corruption Commission, in response to the revelation of the “institutional scandal” involving Mr Kamara issued a statement late on Friday in which it confirmed the contents of the leaked documentation. “The report involving Mr Kamara and many others in similar situations began long before the process of the by-election started,” the LACC said.
It, however, reiterated its “apolitical, professional and confidential” stance in the execution of its mandate and disclosed that it is launching an “… an immediate investigation into the leakage of its draft report in keeping with LACC’s zero tolerance for breach of confidentiality.”
Mr. Kamara recently came under criticism when photos emerged of him providing cups of rice in some communities and which was viewed as his gesture to “buy votes” from voters who are struggling with difficult economic times due to a failing national economy in Liberia.
Various Liberian social media postings are now calling for House of Representatives candidate Mr. Kamara to drop out or be rejected at the polls based on the disclosure of his alleged corrupt actions. His challenger Ms. Urey of the opposition Liberty Party (LP) has not issued a reaction yet and there has been no word from Mr. Kamara or the ruling CDC on the scandal on if he intends to drop out.
By-elections initially scheduled for July, 2nd was postponed to July 8 and then again with no new date set yet by the National Elections Commission (NEC).
(Courtesy of Africa Star)