Justice Forum Liberia Writes U.K Prime Minister Over ‘Corruption’ In Liberia

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A social justice advocacy organisation, Justice Forum Liberia, has officially written the Government of United Kingdom over rampant corruption issues leading to the misapplication of public monies in Liberia.

There has been allegation of corruption in Liberia which led to the sanctioning three officials of the George Weah-led government by the United states Treasury Department in August 2022.

See full letter below.

September 21, 2022

116 Dyfed Avenue

Townhill, Swansea

SA1 6NE

justiceforumlib2013@gmail.com

 

The Right Hon Elizabeth Truss

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

10 Downing Street

London

SW1A 2AA

 

Dear Prime Minister,

It is a privilege to write to you and on behalf of our organisation, Justice Forum LIBERIA, a social justice advocacy organisation,  I would like to congratulate you for your preferment haven’t been elected as the Prime Minister of this great nation, the United Kingdom and leader of the Conservative Party.

I like to let you know that regarding the purpose of this letter, it was the former Prime Ministers including David Cameroon, Theresa May and Boris Johnson that we have engaged. In most of our communication to your predecessors, we have highlighted issues relative to gross human rights violation, corruption, etc. These concerning situation were been committed by both the past government and this current government being led by a former football star, Mr. George M. Weah.

Prime Minister, we believe that this is the perfect time to intervene in the political processes and issue warnings to all parties, but especially the government of the day. Corruption is just too much and if warnings are not given by a democratic and respectful country like yours, Liberia will go back to the dark days of which many of you have huge memories of. 250,000 were killed and are yet to get justice through the establishment of a war and economic crimes court for Liberia. President George Weah and his close associates are heavily involved in getting rich by the day and forgetting about the rest of the population, something which is dangerous for a country that was devastated by 14 years’ war.

Since President Weah took over as President of Liberia, all we can see is this quest for him and each of his associates to own mansions both at home and abroad. Had it been that the UK government was quick to have spotted the ills in Sri Lanka being perpetrated by the now deposed leader GotabayaRajapaksa, the worsening political instability would have been avoided. As a human rights organisation, we are so sorry to see this happening in Sri Lanka. Liberia is sitting right now on a time bomb and is better that a nation like the United Kingdom engages the government of Mr. George Weah now to avoid your country appealing to the UN and calling for peace keepers.

During the worse days of the neighboring Sierra Leone, it was your country that stood by and for the people of Sierra Leone and assisted in ending the civil war that also devastated the country.

As we bring the following to your government attention, we will appreciate very much for the UK government to help fight corruption in Liberia. We have engaged and we will continue to engage the government of Weah to give proper account of the following money. These are just few tips of the iceberg and we need your voice added please, Prime Minister. Recently, the government of the United States sanctioned three top government officials of the CDC-led government for their involvement into high degree of corruption. Those placed on the sanctions are the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Mr. Nathaniel McGill, the Solicitor General of Liberia, Cllr. SaymaCyreniusCephus, and Mr. Bill twehway, the Managing Director of the National Port Authority of Liberia.

Since the government of President George M. Weah took office in January 2018, we continue to hear about huge amount of cash going missing or mismanage by few individuals in this government. We have been particularly been concerned about US $25M taken from the national coffers intended to have been put on the market to withdraw the mutilated money. US $30M ‘Stimulus Package/COVID Fund’. Not a single citizen ever received any ration promised by the government during the lockdown. US $25M Road Fund was redirected to a consolidated bank account and till now citizens are asking questions but no answers being provided by the government of President Weah. Over US $75M Global Fund for Healthcare also unaccounted for as of the time of writing this communication. Millions of cash was notoriously withdrawn from ‘Donor Account’ and used without any explanation. This in fact led to the donors issuing a joint statement condemning the action by the CDC-led government.

Prime Minister, these recipes are some of the reasons that brought war in Liberia in December 1989 and lasted till August 2003 and caused the nation a serious setback, and about 250,000 Liberians died. We thought, as advocates not to sit and look at these vices hunting us back again. Your government is still assisting Liberia greatly from many directions including giving your tax payers money to a government that is engulfed with corruption, bad governance, lack of respect for the rule of law, lack of respect for the constitution, and lack of respect for human rights. It is about time that the UK government rethinks.

In addition to the concerns we have expressed, we will appreciate that your government change the narratives in the quest of assisting poorer nations, particularly Liberia by offering them scholarships in the area of Science and Technology rather than cash that goes direct to governments and ends up in few government official’s pockets. By doing this, you will be making a great contribution in terms of developing human capacity.

Furthermore, during the leadership of former Prime Minister David Cameron, Justice Forum LIBERIA did present copy or the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Liberia and appealed to his government to assist Liberia as the UK assisted Sierra Leone in bringing warlords to book including the former President of Liberia, Charles Taylor who is serving a fifty years jail sentence in the United Kingdom. Additionally, we did also asked that the United Kingdom begin to do a background check on all those who entered the United Kingdom either by the virtue of seeking asylum or other means and are now seeking protection here from Liberia to determine if any of them committed war crimes or crimes against humanity so that they can be prosecuted.

Prime Minister, since the war ended in 2003, which we must also give credit to the United Kingdom for her role played through the former Prime Minister Tony Blair who encouraged the former President of the United States of America, George W. Bush to get involved and help Liberia, a huge number of warlords made their ways into state power including becoming lawmakers of Liberia today. These individuals are now standing in the way of us who are seeking justice for war victims in our quest of calling for the establishment of a war and economic crimes court for Liberia. Please help us, help Liberia to establish this war and economic crimes court. You country, plus the United States of America can do this and we believe that.

Also during the era of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, we wrote him and his government appealing for the reopening of the UK embassy in Liberia. We thank God that this was done by his predecessor former Prime Minister David Cameron. Since then at least the United Kingdom government have sent two Ambassadors to Liberia including the current one. However, although we did write to former Prime Minister Theresa May appealing to her government for the embassy to be issuing visa in Liberia rather than Liberians traveling either to Ghana or Sierra Leone, that process is yet to start. We are kindly asking your government to also look into this since there is an ambassador already in the country.

In furtherance to our appeal, we are kindly asking your government to please begin offering scholarships to Liberia in the areas of Science and technology replacing cash donation to governments of Liberia. We do appreciate the cash your governments have been sending to Liberia, but unfortunately due to the high degree of corruption by top government officials, we have not been seeing much impact of your tax payers’ money. With scholarships, the end result could be fantastic as such human capacity building will lead to greater development. In a nutshell, please turn the cash into scholarship.

Finally, we will appreciate an audience with you or any of your government officials designated.

Thank you very much for your attention as we pray that you have a successful leadership.

 

Most respectfully,

Maxson S. Kpakio

Executive Director

Justice Forum LIBERIA (J.F.L.)

Tel: +231(0)775370665/+231(0)777819982/+447475378999

 

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