Fight Corruption without Fear or Favor: Pres. Sirleaf Challenges Integrity Officials

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(MONROVIA, LIBERIA – Wednesday, March 26, 2014) President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has commissioned four government officials of integrity institutions challenging them to fight corruption without fear of favor.

The officials commissioned included Auditor-General of the General Auditing Commission, Yusador S. Gaye; Chairman of the Independent National Human Rights Commission, Justice Gladys Johnson;  Chairman, Liberia Anti Corruption Commission, Cllr James N. Verdier;  and Deputy Auditor General for Administration, General Auditing Commission, Boakai G. Kiazolu.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader challenged officials to expose perpetrators and prosecute them in accordance with the laws of Liberia. President Sirleaf made the statement at the commissioning program at the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

The Liberian President said as far as she was concerned, the fight against corruption remains unabated and encouraged the officials to keep up the fight through the laws.

She said, while her administration sees prevention as important, it equally recognizes punishment as a powerful exemplar and a compelling deterrent as demonstrated by the several measures put into place by her administration including a robust prosecutorial team at the Ministry of Justice, the passage of a new jury law, as well as the actions of the Public Accounts Committees of the Legislature as convincing evidence of Government’s commitment to fighting corruption.

“Today, we can say with increasing confidence that if we find you to be corrupt, you will definitely answer to the law. This is real progress,” President Sirleaf said.

She vowed not to turn back on the fight as the fight is for the future of Liberia and its children. “Despite the challenges in moving the fight against corruption forward, for me, and for this administration, there will be no turning back. We must continue to fight not for ourselves but for our children and grandchildren. And we must continue to fight not for personal gains but for the collective benefits of our society,” the Liberian leader stressed.

President Sirleaf called on parents, teachers, students and business owners, and others to join the fight by refusing to take or give bribes. She informed the audience that she would soon sign into law the Code of Conduct to further demonstrate her resolve to fighting the menace.

She said the she was impressed by the collaboration amongst the three branches of government in the fight as evidence by the passage of the New Jury Law and Code of Conduct of public officials.

President Sirleaf frowned on members of the public who hold the belief that once one is a government official, said person is corrupt, terming it as noisy character assignation.

The President hoped that the newly commissioned officials will help erase said public perception by their actions in the integrity fight.

Speaking on behalf of the commissioned officials, Auditor-General Yusador Gaye committed their work to promoting the “Agenda for Transformation” and that the fight would be unbending for accountability and transparency in public institutions.

Auditor-General Gaye assured that the fight will put Liberia first and called on the media to help the process by being accurate and balanced in reporting corruption cases.

In brief remarks, the Chairman of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, Cllr James Verdier sent out a caveat to those who disagree with the anti-corruption fight that they will be forced to fall in line and wants those who are already fighting corruption to strengthen their fight.

Gracing the occasion were Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, Margibi County Senator Clarice Jah, Cabinet Ministers, foreign embassy officials, members of international organizations and relatives of the commissioned officials, among others.