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McGill Welcomes Boakai’s Assets Recovery Team, But..

By Bill W. Cooper
Margibi County Senator, Nathaniel McGill, has applauded President Joseph Boakai for the setting-up of the Office of the Assets and Recovery team in the country.
McGill has, however, urged the President to include the past 12 years of the Unity Party (UP) government, instead of limiting the process to the last six years of former President George Weah.
His assertion comes on the wake of the pronouncement of members of the Assets Recovery and Property Retrieval Core Team by President Joseph Boakai, late Thursday night, March 7, 2024.
The naming of the team members also followed the issuance of Executive Order No. 126, establishing the Office of Assets Recovery by President Joseph Boakai recently, as the initiative comes in response to widespread concerns regarding the unlawful acquisition of wealth by some past government officials at the expense of the Liberian people.
“It is paramount that public assets that were illegally obtained and converted to private use be retrieved and returned to the Liberian people, and the perpetrators be brought to justice, in accordance with appropriate laws that provide for confiscation through criminal investigation and legal prosecution,” the President said.
The Office of Assets Recovery, operating under the Ministry of State for Special Services, will spearhead efforts to identify, trace, and retrieve assets that have been illegally acquired or converted to private use. The task force will collaborate closely with agencies such as the General Services Agency and the Ministry of Justice, as well as all security agencies.
The mandate of the task force includes initiating criminal prosecutions and civil litigations against individuals implicated in asset misappropriation, both domestically and internationally. Additionally, travel restrictions will be imposed on suspects, and efforts will be made to extradite individuals residing outside Liberia’s jurisdiction.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance has been directed to allocate necessary funding for the implementation of the initiative, and the team is expected to lead the charge and mandate of the President without delay.
Those forming part of the team who are to meticulously follow and implement the President’s Executive Order are Cllr. Edwin Kla Martin, Chairperson; Maima Robertson, Vice Chairperson; Alexander Cuffy, Member, Special Advisor; Martin Kollie, Member, Good Governance Activist; Ahmed Dempster, Member, and Emmanuel Gonquoi, Member, Advocate.
Others are Ranny B. Jackson, Member, Public Policy Expert; Angel Andrews, Member, Youth Representative; Victoria Moinsemah, Member, Business Community; George Moore, Member, Security, and John Mulbah Gblee, Member, Security.
Joining the team also are Trokon Martin Allen, Member, Private Sector; reps from the General Services Agency, Liberia National Police, and Ministry of Justice, while the Minister of State Without Portfolio for Special Services will serve as ex-officio.
But McGill, in reaction, said, “As a past official of the Executive, I wholeheartedly welcome the establishment of the Office of Assets Recovery Process. It is crucial that past and current officials of government are held accountable for their stewardship and any potential misuse of public resources.”
“I am fully supportive of the idea that past and current officials, including myself, should be willing to submit ourselves for scrutiny and accountability when called upon by the relevant authorities, consistent with established laws.
However, transparency in the process is key to ensuring fairness and impartiality in the investigation and recovery of assets that may have been misappropriated. So, I call on President Boakai to show the courage, if he truly does not want to witch-hunt, to include the past 12 years under Unity Party’s rule, instead of limiting the process to the last 6 years,” he noted.
According to McGill, by cooperating with the Office of Assets Recovery and any other investigative bodies, past and current officials can demonstrate their commitment to upholding the rule of law and integrity in public service.
This, the Margibi Senator stressed, can only be done through accountability and transparency, that government officials can rebuild trust in all of its institutions and ensure that the public interest is protected.
He added, “So, I urge all past and current officials to embrace this opportunity for accountability and to support the efforts of the Office of Assets Recovery in their important work. Together, we can contribute to a more transparent and accountable government for the benefit of all citizens.”
Meanwhile, McGill has also pledged his fullest support towards the establishment of War Crimes Court in Liberia, ensuring that perpetrators be made to account to for their actions during the country’s 14 years of civil war.
The court, he said, once established, would bring to an end the culture of impunity that has engulfed the nation, as well as also afford other Liberians that are accused of war crimes the opportunity to clear their names.

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