Digesting SONA 2021: “No Room For Those With Integrity Issues”
It is with little or no argument to note that Cllr. Ndubusi Nwabudike posed a distraction in President Weah’s renewed commitment to fight corruption, evident by the fact that the ex-LACC boss, who tendered in his resignation to President George M. Weah on Monday, February 1, 2021, alluded that it does not serve the overall strategic interest of the government and the people if he was to constitute a distraction from the national agenda that the government is poised to deliver.
Barely two weeks since President Weah delivered his State-of-the-Nation Address, at which time he informed the 54th National Legislature and the general public that his government has shown commitment to continue the fight against corruption, the anti-corruption roadmap is beginning to take a moral shape, first by removing the dark cloud that hangs over leaders of integrity institutions.
It is being rumored in the corridors of the Executive that Cllr. Nwabudike’s resignation was pre-discussed; other news have it that Nwabudike is apparently saving face from a reoccurrence of members of the Student Unification Party (SUP) or other institutions ransacking his office, which could trigger the anger of his employer.
Whatever the case is, observers are saying, Cllr. Nwabudike’s resignation is in the interest of the government, as many in the public began doubting his moral integrity since he had the passport imbroglio at the confirmation hearing at the National Legislature.
During his fourth State-of-the-Nation Address recently, President Weah said, “The year under review has shown our commitment to continue to improve governance and our determination to fight against corruption. In September 2020, integrity institutions convened an anti-corruption conference, which deliberated and presented a clear anti-corruption roadmap. The roadmap recommends that the government amends the Act of 2008 creating the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, to give the LACC top-rate prosecutorial powers and the mandate to administer the Asset Declaration regime across the three branches of government.
“With this amendment, the LACC will no longer need to await the Ministry of Justice to take cases under investigation to court. The amendment relating to the asset declaration regime would also give LACC the authority to ensure compliance.”
However, one would have wondered how morally upright would the determination of a morally misfit individual be reconciled with the President’s commitment to fight corruption. But now that the head of one of the most-look-up-to graft institution who had been fighting integrity issues has willingly or unwillingly tendered in his resignation, this could be the beginning of the fight against corruption taking shape in the Liberian society.
In President Weah’s speech, he said, “The roadmap further recommends amending the Judiciary Law to create a dedicated Corruption and Related Financial Offences Court, to be known as Criminal Court “F”. Finally, the roadmap stresses the importance of passing both the Whistleblowers and Witness Protection Acts.
“Mr. Speaker, these are the key recommendations that came out of the stakeholder consultations on the fight against corruption. I appeal to the Honorable National Legislature to endorse these recommendations and act swiftly. These actions and legislation will advance the institutional fight against corruption to which our administration remains fully committed.”