As a result of a report by the United Nations Panel of Experts on Liberia, there was a scramble to beat a recommended assets freeze. This is a quote to the effect from the Liberian Observer: “One clear indication of scooping of the monies into hiding is a Panel report of “two big debits amounting to US$300,000” by Edwin Snowe on his Banque Libano-Francaise in Lebanon over the last two years Where this heavy sum traveled from to make it all the way to Lebanon is just Act X in the Snowe Show. Anyway, that’s not what we are chasing at this time; it only points us in the direction.
Please read this next clip about Snowe, again, as quoted from the Liberian Observer: “Snowe is reported to have told the Panel he took the money to purchase a generator but the report said when pressed further about the hundreds of thousand of dollars entries on the account, he claimed to be a businessman selling “generators, inverters, lubricating oil and electrical goods.” It is this assertion by Snowe that we are interested in.
If this Snowe Business is located on the ground, with this kind of money, there has to be a lot of “lubricating oil” left in inventory at the time Snowe filled out the declaration forms, unless Liberia uses a lot of this slickly stuff that it was out of stock at that time. Why was this Snowe Conglomerate omitted from the Assets Declaration Sheets - both as an asset and a source of income? Absent on the forms also is his Banque Libano-Francaise, Lebanon bank balance. It is awfully difficult to chalk up this omission to a mere oversight. Life is so hard in Liberia that it is inconceivable that one would loose track of a Five Dollar Liberty note, let alone a USD300,000 business entity!
Is a Snowe Perjury stirring us in the face? NEC, are you there? We have noted what you are doing for the people of Rivercess County, District 1. It would be nice to conduct a similar investigation in the interest of the good people of Montserrado County, District 5; they may want to take their betrayed votes back. Perjury undermines the mandate of the National Election Commission and the laws of the land; it is not to be taken lightly. Go ahead, throw the Good Book.
“PROVE IT.” This is the all too familiar arrogant response by alleged criminals. Prove it now we can, with the preponderance of evidence popping up in the various audits and investigative reports. We must press forward. The full reports must be made available to the media for publication. Just what signal is the Justice Department waiting for to spring into action? The international partners are telling the whole world that our Judiciary is behaving like a watch dog that would not grunt and/or bark while thieves empty the master’s house. Dear Judiciary, you are the custodian of the laws of the land. Pray tell us what we must do to get you to act! We are baffled; we don’t want to start guessing why you have not acted!
It has been reported that a Unity Party spokesperson recently stated that, Madam Sirleaf is preoccupied with "the onerous challenges of taking the Liberian economy from the doldrums, restoring basic social services, transforming the unemployed into employees, and employers, reducing the dismal illiteracy rate, etc. and has no luxury of time to 'witch-hunt' Mr. Snowe or any other Liberian.”
The incoming president has her hands full. That much we grant. But there are two problems with the spokesperson’s statement. First of all, the use of “witch-hunt” is out of context, as this is not a guessing game, which a witch-hunt is. We have evidence to back the allegations. Secondly, the Unity Party spokesperson needs to be cautioned that she/he is “splicing” the Executive Branch with the Judiciary Branch, and placing the Presidency in charge of the hybrid. What does this mean? It is not the place of the President to bring people to justice A call to bring anyone to face criminal charges of any sort does not flow through the Executive Mansion, its path leads to the Temple of Justice, (if only it would act). A call to bring anyone to justice can be made by any citizen! And the branch of government that listens and reacts to that call is the JUDICIARY.
Let none in the land ever give the impression that the only way a notorious criminal goes to trial is, if and when, it is approved by the President. Is it not a new day, and did we not just decide to do away with the Imperial Presidency?
Well-meaning Liberians have blown the hood off corrupt practices in the land. Our international partners have responded with audits and investigations which are yielding support for allegations made. However, the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA) rather than prod the Judiciary into action, instead has passed a bill (Mr. Bryant is yet to sign it, for obvious reasons) to audit the outgoing administration. MORE AUDITS. Perhaps it is not satisfactory to some among us that various independent (international) audits and investigations into the financial activities of agencies within the government were externally initiated. They might get satisfied if the probe has a national stamp of authorization. It may be the “sovereignty thing” again. Whatever the case may be, at least, we are all calling for audits, no matter how many times we conduct them. Just let’s vow to act on whatever if found.
The corruption issue will not go away until the audits are conducted, the reports published, and the Judiciary called upon to put it to rest. To relegate it to the back burner, is to endure a constant distraction. If in the end it proves that we were, indeed, ‘witch-hunting‘, we would then have to live with it. At least we would not have swept things under the rug. Now, that’s RECONCILIATION at its finest. All minds should come to a peaceful rest then.
In the name of justice and peace, we await the conduct and completion of the extra audits. We look forward to any findings being relayed to the Judiciary for its actions that hopefully would bring closure to this drawn out saga. Should reminders be warranted, we shall be ready to provide them.