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“Missing L$16B Report Due in February” -Pres. Weah

first_imgPres. George Weah: “This Order recognizes existing imperatives that government must tackle.”Amid claims over the government’s delay in releasing the report on the investigation conducted by international experts, including those from the United States, the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President George Weah said in his annual address on Monday, January 28, 2019, that the report will be ready for the public by the end of February.He said the report will be delivered to the public by a special technical team of investigators from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).While delivering his second state of the nation address before the 54th Legislature on Capitol Hill in Monrovia, Weah said: “…the Liberian news media circulated stories alleging that containers of Liberian dollars imported by the Central Bank were missing.“Given the gravity of the allegation, our administration took several actions in response, including the setting up of a special presidential technical committee to investigate,” he said.He continued, “In addition, the government requested the assistance of the EU, AU, ECOWAS and the U.S. government to conduct a separate and standard investigation into the alleged missing money and with the assistance from USAID, an audit team from London was invited to independently investigate and report the findings.”President Weah meanwhile warned, “If it is established that there has been any willful act of criminality, negligence or maleficence by anyone implicated by the report, the full weight of the law will be brought to bear.”On Monday, September 17, 2018, Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean declared that the previous administration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was responsible for the missing containers of money. He said: “Initial findings indicate that the container and bags of money allegedly arrived between November 2017, prior to the inauguration of the current government, and August 2018. Evidence available to the investigative team established that the current administration was not informed about the arrival of the containers and bags of money into the country.”President Sirleaf told a local media publisher that there was a wicked ploy to impugn her character and that of past officials. “I have been reliably informed that the Central Bank of Liberia has undertaken an internal investigation, and by a directive from the Minister of Justice provided a full report to the police.”She added, “The CBL has prepared a release that gives full evidence and clarification that refute the statement of Minister of Information Eugene Nagbe. This had been held for two days because the CBL Governor and the Minister of Justice have refused to approve the release. It is most unfortunate that the government would give false information that wickedly impugns the reputation of past officials and, by extension, the country itself.”The former President said she was reliably informed that the Central Bank of Liberia had undertaken an internal investigation and provided a full report to the police based on a directive from Justice Minister Dean.Information Minister Lenn Eugen Nagbe, who was said to have escalated the matter by raising the initial reported amount of L$9 billion to L$16 billion, said in a Voice of America (VOA) early morning interview that when the President received the information about the newly-printed banknotes, he sanctioned an investigation, which was being chaired by the Ministry of Justice, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), and other security apparatuses.“The idea is to understand how much money came into the country, how much was ordered, how much was printed, which country printed the money, and how did it affect the country’s foreign exchange situation,” Minister Nagbe said.“We can confirm that the money was brought through the Freeport of Monrovia and the Roberts International Airport and for now we can confirm that the amount was L$16 billion; an estimate of a little over US$60 million as far as we are concerned from the ongoing investigation as of today, and it came in two ports of entry,” he confirmed.Two civil society organizations — Citizens United for the Campaign of Bring Back Our Money (CUCOMB) and the Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL) — jointly staged a peaceful demonstration calling on the government to speedily investigate the alleged mysterious disappearance of containers said to have been filled with billions of Liberian dollars.Following their protests, a series of communications were served the international community through the offices of ECOWAS, EU, the U.S. Embassy, and AU in the country, an act which prompted the Government of Liberia to create investigative teams, including the current international team of investigators, to find out what happened to the money under question.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Who Do University Police Report To

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares January 21, 2014; Chicago TribuneMost large schools of higher education employ their own school security personnel, who often take the place of local police officers on campuses and have similar responsibilities. State colleges and universities are state entities, and private colleges and universities receive government funds. States have public records laws, much like the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), requiring government bodies to provide records to citizens and press. However, courts and administrative bodies have not resolved whether colleges and universities and their contractual agents—like the campus police—are covered by public record laws, leading to situations where some students are protected at the expense of others and the public at large.On January 15th, ESPN filed a lawsuit against the University of Notre Dame alleging the school is violating Indiana’s public record laws by withholding police incident reports linked to student-athletes involved in potential campus crimes. The university claims their security personnel are not required to provide these records because they are employed by the university rather than a government agency. Indiana administrative rulings and court decisions have not consistently ruled on whether university and college security police are covered by these laws.During this same period, ESPN requested similar records from the Tallahassee Police Department. On December 24th, the Tallahassee Police Department released hundreds of records involving Florida State University athletes. The request was related to a story in the New York Times documenting an automobile hit-and-run incident taking place in the early hours of October 5, 2014, the day after a FSU football game victory. The driver of one of the cars was FSU quarterback Jameis Winston, who hit another car driven by a teenager on his way home from work. Both cars were totaled. Instead of waiting at the accident scene, Winston and his two passengers, also athletes, left the car and fled.The incident happened off-campus, and the Tallahassee police reached out to university police and its athletic department. The outcome: Although the athletes fled the scene, Winston was driving on a suspended license, and there was evidence of alcohol consumption by the athletes, police dismissed the episode as “too minor” to file a report or enter the accident on the police online database.Reporters request university and college records for reasons beyond activities of students. In the fall of 2014, a University of Delaware student newspaper reporter attempted to get information on the university’s plan to partner with a private company to build a large power plant. Delaware public information laws exempt public universities, therefore the reporter was unable to get any information on the university’s activities. The outcome: University activities remain unchecked and the student reporter was unable to learn how to utilize state public record requests, although she did learn their limitations.Pennsylvania public information laws have similar exemptions as Delaware’s. Last June, the Pennsylvania senate unanimously passed legislation to limit these exemptions. Not surprisingly, these efforts were met by heavy lobbying activities by the state’s universities and colleges.One state with broad public information laws is Michigan. Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act explicitly covers public colleges and universities. Exemptions in the law are very specific, protecting individual students’ loan records, general testing documents, and even some materials related to applications of those interested in becoming a school’s president.Many universities and colleges are the size of towns or small cities. Rarely does a bright line separate a campus from the town it’s connected to, and there’s even less of a line defining school police jurisdiction. Without public record law requirements, university and college activities are easily hidden, creating potential conflict of interest and less security for all.—Gayle NelsonShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more