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Sen. Konneh Picks On Judiciary -Calls For Yearly Auditing Of Senate

By Bill W. Cooper

Gbarpolu County Senator, Amara Konneh, has raised alarming concerns about the state of the Liberian Judiciary system, and pointed out the pervasive issue of corruption within its ranks.

Sen. Konneh, in a bold tune, shed light on the rampant misconduct, bribery, and manipulation that have plagued the country’s judicial institutions, undermining the very principles of justice and fairness.

Sen. Konneh’s remarks comes at a critical juncture for Liberia, as the integrity of its legal framework hangs in the balance, especially in a time that the country is about to experience another transition from one government to another.

He said, “With this and many other reports of judicial malpractice and undue influence continuing to surface, the very cornerstone of a functioning democracy and access to impartial justice remains under threat.”

The incoming administration now faces mounting pressure to take decisive action to combat judicial malpractice, including corruption, and ensure an independent justice system that will uphold the principles of justice, something that President-elect Boakai spoke about frequently during his campaign.

In his first public speech as a senator during the first sitting of the Senate, Konneh urged the incoming administration to commit themselves to combating corruption at all levels across the government, including the judiciary.

According to him, Liberia is at a crossroads where ordinary Liberians can no longer get justice due to their living standards, because “Justice in our country is for the highest bidder, and if you don’t have money, you will not get justice.”

Drawing attention to specific cases where justice had been obstructed by illicit means, Sen. Konneh stressed the urgency of addressing these systemic flaws to restore public trust and uphold the rule of law, which he said is the pillar of democracy.

The Gbarpolu County Senator noted that no nation will ever flourish or develop without an independent and robust judiciary system, stressing the need for a judiciary reform in the country.

Meanwhile, Sen. Konneh is calling for a national retreat for the three branches of government, which will enable each branch know its functions as enshrined within the Liberian Constitution in terms of separation of power.

Speaking on his plans and vision, Sen. Konneh proposed to his colleagues the need of a yearly audit of the Liberian Senate, and indicated, “We must hold ourselves accountable for public money. Audits must happen each year of the 55th session.”

He added that, owing to the fact that the Legislature’s budget is growing outrageously and the highest per capita in West Africa, there is a need for senators to show commitment by slicing their own budget for development.

He also called on President-elect Joseph Boakai to send competent and tested people in his cabinet’s nomination, especially those that have done consequential things in their professions to speed up reforms, as the tasks ahead are herculean.

He added, “95 percent of the National Budget allocated to recurrent spending is unacceptable. But the Legislature has the power to act and it must act by doing something about this do-nothing budget.”

“And there is a need to strengthen our drug laws and empower the DEA to take on the fight against the drug epidemic, because this is killing the future generation. So, we should ensure that more money is allocated to rehabilitation and mental health services,” he added.

Sen. Konneh asserted that, with the collaboration of his colleagues, he will deliver on transparency and accountability, beginning with the Senate, stressing the need for senators to build a credible State.

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