To Avoid Embarrassment of Dismissal: Resign!

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Just a day after the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) declared the Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Davidetta Browne-Lansanah, liable for corruption and other corruption-related crimes, calls are pouring in for her to do the honorable thing: resign her position until she clears her name in a court of competent jurisdiction.

   On Wednesday, December 15, 2021 the LACC found the NEC boss liable of Section 1.3.6 (Conflict of Interest) of the National Code of Conduct for all Public Officials and Employees of the Government of Liberia (GOL); Part II, Section 2.2 of the Act establishing the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, which describes insider trading as an act of corruption; and also in violation of section 15.3 (predicate offenses for money laundering under section 15.2 of the Money Laundering Act of 2012), which prohibits insider trading and market manipulation.

   Also, the LACC announced that an indictment will soon be drawn for the NEC boss for court prosecution.

   This, according to legal luminaries, means that Cllr. Browne-Lansanah is caught in a situation that requires her resignation or the risk of embarrassment: dismissal, as it appears legally inappropriate for her to continue serving that integrity position while facing corruption prosecution in court.

   Callers on many talk shows yesterday expressed their dismay in the indecent action of the NEC boss, and requested that President George M. Weah dismisses her with immediate action.

   In early November 2021, it was reported that officials of the National Elections Commission (NEC) rented thermometers at the cost of more than US$180,000 for use during the by-elections, and that there were conflict of interest in the award of the contract to Tuma Enterprises, as they did not follow procurement regulations and did not regard the value for money.

   There were mixed reaction over the allegation, until the LACC conducted in-depth investigation into the matter and published its findings.

   “During the investigation, Madame Davidetta Browne Lansanah admitted and confirmed to the investigation that Mr. David Brown, Vice President for Operations of Tuma Enterprises, is her brother from the same father, while Arnold Badio, owner and incorporator of Tuma Enterprise Inc., is a brother to David Browne from the same mother,” the LACC boss disclosed.

   With the self-confession, legal pundits are saying there is not more in substantiating the evidences and subsequently bringing down a guilty verdict against her. They say the NEC boss is herself a legal practitioner and understands what it means to self-confess.

   However, the NEC boss is yet to speak to the LACC jurisdiction in the matter, as she is out of country attending international functions.  

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