Home News Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission worries over acts of corruption at Agriculture Ministry

Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission worries over acts of corruption at Agriculture Ministry

by Francis Pelenah Jr,

MONROVIA, LIBERIA-The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) says it is deeply worried about acts of corruption discovered at the Ministry of Agriculture.

LACC Executive Chairperson, Edwin Kla Martin, said:” The intelligence gathered by the anti-graft institution points to reckless disregard of the Public Financial Management laws by the Ministry’s top officials.”

Cllr. Martin also said he is baffled by the way officials have swept aside the Public Procurement laws and the Code of Conduct for public officials, at the Agriculture Ministry.

On Monday evening, January 10, 2022, the LACC announced that it has placed the entire leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture under full scale corruption investigation.

Monday’s statement said:” The investigation is based on issues of conflict of interest, financial improprieties and other inappropriate awarding of contracts, amounting to millions of United States Dollars.”

The Commission said it has, in the past few months, gathered sufficient intelligence that warrant a full-scale investigation of all senior officials, including Minister Jeanne Cooper, her deputies, assistant ministers and those with decision making powers.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture has described the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC)’s recent statement on the Ministry as unfortunate and unprofessional.

An LACC statement Monday evening, January 10, 2022, said the entire leadership of the Agriculture Ministry has been placed under a full scale corruption investigation for conflict of interest and other financial improprieties.

But reacting to the statement, Deputy Minister for Regional Development, Research and Extension, Dr. George Forpoh, said casting a blanket on all officials is concerning.

Dr. Forpoh wants the LACC to zero down on the investigation by naming officials being investigated, instead of denigrating the entire leadership of the Ministry.

The Acting Agriculture Minister said:” The LACC did not contact the Ministry, prior to releasing Monday’s statement, and has since urged the Commission not to allow sentiments overcome its professional judgment.

According to him, all his engagements have been within the confines of his responsibilities, noting that no audit can link him to any financial wrong doing at the Ministry.

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