Liberians Want Milton Weeks Jailed Following Open Confusion At Legislature
Several Liberians are seriously calling for the incarceration of then Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Milton Weeks after openly confessing that he and Board of Governors acted on their own in printing additional LRD10.5billion dollars contrary to instructions from the National Legislature.
Following the missing of the LRD16 banknotes from the country, Liberians, lawmakers and the international community became concern and decided to launch investigations into the matter.
During the investigations, it was realized that the CBL printed additional LRD10.5billion, something which prompted the invite to the former Central Bank Governor and other past and present officials of government for questioning.
At the hearing, Milton Weeks admitted that he and the Board of Governors acted on their own in printing the additional LRD10.5billion based on how they understood the communication from the Legislature.
Milton Weeks early this resigned as Executive Governor of the Central Bank for unexplained reasons.
He informed that body that all of the documents and transactions that led to the money were all legal and that the money is not missing as claimed.
“Ask the current governor to help with the documents. The printing of money should be confidential because it has security nature,” he said.
Some members of the House of Representatives angrily said the former CBL boss has lied under oath and that he should be reprimanded at the Central Prison until investigation into the matter is concluded.
“This hearing should be changed to a criminal investigation you have brought this body to public disrepute. For too long we have been insulted by Liberians and this issue has scared potential investors,” Representative Edwin Snowe said.
Following this confession from the former Bank Governor that they acted on their own, several Liberians calling on Okay FM and other radio stations called for the immediate arrest of Milton Weeks and place behind bars until the whereabouts of the money is known.
According to some of the callers, the issue is no longer about how much was printed, but it is about the status of the printed money that has since gone missing.
“Milton Weeks, we are joking in this country, he should be behind bars by now,” one citizen said.
“He and others should go and open the vaults at the central bank for us to see the money if they are telling us the truth,” Oliver Tamba, another caller said.
“The former Governor should be behind bars first before anything following that confession,” Mariyan Peters added.
One of the callers on Okay FM, Charles Roberts said “we are not interested in how much was printed, we want the whereabouts of the missing money.”
Others called venting their angers describing the actions of the CBL as complete wickedness to the Liberian people and the country despite the abject poverty.
“The entire board should be dissolved and those guys jailed for such wickedness to the state,” Darlington Yarkpa said.
Those using the social media (facebook) heavily criticized the former CBL governor for such actions.
Also appearing for interrogation for the missing money was deputy Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Decontee King Sackie who informed the House of Representatives that to her knowledge, the LRA between 2016 to 2018 processed ‘25’ 40 footed containers for the CBL.
She did not say if those ‘25’ 40 footed containers were money or not, but said eight of those vessels were cleared in 2016 while the remaining were cleared between 2017 and 2018.
Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Cllr. Frederick Doe Cherue said he only got to know about the missing billions through the help of the Liberian media publications and radio talk shows.
He said during the time he was Attorney General for Liberia, he did not see any contract that spoke of printing of any money.
Article 34 (ii) of the Liberia Constitution says no monies shall be drawn from the treasure except in consequence of appropriations made by legislative enactment and upon warrant of the President; and no coin shall be minted or national currency issued except by the expressed authority of the Legislature. An annual statement and account of the expenditure of all public monies shall be submitted by the office of the President to the Legislature and published once a year;
Based on this, the Legislature wrote the Central Bank of Liberia saying “the Central Bank of Liberia is hereby requested to replace the legacy notes Liberty completely with the newly printed banknotes so that there will be a single type of Liberian currency, thus facilitating proper control of money supply, and that the Central Bank of Liberia is authorized to introduce coins in lower denomination into the economy, to allow fractional transaction which would help to minimize inflation.”
The legislature further said “Meanwhile, the Legislature would request that you furnish this body with the appropriate details of the volume and denomination of the new banknotes prior to the printing and the minting of coins.”