Monday, 29th August 2011
Members of the Press:
Welcome to another Executive Mansion briefing session.
- Let me begin with information that the President, H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has submitted to the National Legislature for enactment, a bill to amend certain provisions of an act establishing the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC).
The President has determined that a vigorous fight against corruption requires that the Commission be further strengthened of direct but non-exclusive powers to prosecute cases involving corruption and related offenses. The amendments would enable the Commission to act independently in selecting cases to prosecute, based on its own timing.
Among other things, the granting of direct prosecutorial powers would strengthen the autonomy of the LACC, insulate it from reliance on external entities of Government, and help dispel notions that decisions to prosecute or not to prosecute are politically motivated.
The current Act establishing the LACC does not give direct prosecutorial powers to the Commission without reference to the Ministry of Justice and without a wait period of three months after submission of matters by the Commission to the Ministry of Justice.
It is the Presidentís belief that if this important legislation, submitted over a week ago, is enacted into law, it will go a long way in helping the national effort to combat corruption in Government and society in general.
- Regarding the just-ended National Referendum, the President is pleased that Liberians throughout the country turned-out to exercise their franchise. The National Elections Commission (NEC) is now tabulating the results and will make an announcement in due course on the outcome. We want to reserve all comments until the NEC releases the final results of Tuesdayís Referendum.
- I received calls from a few media personnel yesterday regarding reports that the Presidentís motorcade ran into partisans of the National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP) of Senator Prince Johnson, badly injuring one of its partisans.
We have contacted the Director of the Special Security Services (SSS) to verify the report. According to Director Sam Brisbane, none of his vehicles was involved in any incident involving partisans of the NUDP last Saturday. However, the SSS is still investigating the allegations.
- Finally, the Presidentís trip to Nimba County was postponed to allow for more preparations while she tackles some pressing legislative issues before the annual break of the National Legislature. The postponement will also provide the Team organizing the visit more time to ensure that the Presidentís visit to Nimba is successful. It has nothing to do with any security concerns as being reported by a local newspaper.
Nimba is very safe and is awaiting the Liberian leader. It is unfortunate that individuals within some quarters of the society would try to spread falsehood with the intent of instilling fear in our people. Once the President has addressed the legislative issues she would travel to Nimba County and other sub-political divisions scheduled to be visited.