Gov’t Requests Help From AU, UN in ‘Missing Billions’ Saga

MONROVIA, Montserrado – The Liberian government says it has submitted a request to the United Nations, the African Union, and ECOWAS for expert assistance in the ongoing investigation involving the Central Bank of Liberia.

A Justice Ministry press statement issued on Wednesday, September 26 said the government notes that participants of the September 24 protest petitioned its international partners to participate in the ongoing investigation.

Additionally, the Justice Ministry said the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission would now be playing “the lead role in the investigation.”

The decision to have LACC lead the investigation comes after the anti-corruption agency issued a press release expressing dissatisfaction over its exemption.

On September 19, the Justice Ministry extended an invitation to the National Civil Society Organization and other institutions to form part of the investigation, calling the move necessary for greater transparency, independence, and inclusion.

The organizations included the National Bar Association, the Federation of Liberian Youth, the Association of Certified Public Accountants, the Liberia Council of Churches, and the National Muslim Council.

Meanwhile, the government says it has invited the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Treasury Department, and the International Monetary Fund to assist with the investigation.

In an email to The Bush Chicken, the IMF’s resident representative, Geoffrey Oestreicher, acknowledged discussing with the government ways in which the organization could assist in the investigation.

“The Fund does not participate in criminal investigations, but can potentially assist in other areas, such as designing the terms of reference for a forensic audit, if it is determined that it is called for,” he wrote.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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