Deputy Information Minister Isaac W. Jackson has described as ‘sickening’ the tendency by the Secretary General of the Liberian People’s Democratic Party (LPDP) to question the authority of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to set up a Special Presidential Task Force.
Quoting Article 50 of the Constitution and Section 3.4 of the New Executive Law “Delegation of Authority,” Minister Jackson called on Manipakei Dumoe to stop politicizing the issue of the task force and allow it to do their work.
Indicted House Speaker is the Standard Bearer of the Liberian People’s Democratic Party.
“The issue of the Global Witness report is not a President Sirleaf matter; rather, the issue of Liberians who have resolved to fight corruption,” he told Liberians via more than 50 local radio stations relaying the regular Ministry of Information press briefing Tuesday in Monrovia.
The Presidential Task Force is investigating a May 11, 2016 report by Global Witness in which it alleged that it had uncovered over US$950,000 in bribes and other suspicious payments made by the UK-based Sable Mining firm, through its Liberian lawyer, Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman to past and current officials of government to have the company get the concession for Mount Wologizi in Lofa County.
The report accused House Speaker Alex Tyler, former National Investment Commission Chairman Richard Tolbert, Morris Saytumah, former Minister of State for Economic and Legal Affairs now Senator of Bomi County, and Willie Belleh, former Chairman of the Public.
Procurement and Concessions Commission, among others, of receiving US$75,000, US$50,000 and US$10,000 respectively as “consultancy fees.”
Jackson described as “unfair, unthinkable and unacceptable” Dumoe’s position on the matter, and called on him to desist as the president’s action is in keeping with her constitutional authority.
He stressed that the United Party- led government has neither intention nor interest to witch-hunt any citizen but is instead fostering the quest of the Liberian people to fight corruption.
Meanwhile, Minister Jackson intimated that government will resist temptations in all forms regarding the Global Witness process but will, when compelled, provide information, adding, “This is a legal issue, so we will do our best not to treat it in the public.”
Already, the Special Presidential Taskforce has indicted seven persons along with Sable Mining, a British Mining firm of multiple charges including bribery, criminal facilitation, criminal conspiracy and criminal solicitation.