Former Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission’s Comptroller Fires Back At Board of Commissioners after Declaring Travel Ban

by bridgeradio
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Monrovia – The former Comptroller of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), J. Bernard Nagbe, has fired back at the Board of Commissioners (BOC) over a recent statement mandating him to remain in the country until the completion of the ongoing financial and institutional audit being conducted by the General Auditing Commission (GAC).

In a press statement issued in Monrovia on Tuesday under the signature of Attorney Mohammed E. Fahnbulleh, Executive Director of the LACC, the Commission’s Board of Commissioners (BOC) of the LACC requested Mr. Nagbe to remain in the country to fully cooperate with the GAC for the speedy completion of the audit.

The BOC’s decision was triggered barely a day after Mr. Nagbe tendered in his resignation in a harsh-worded communication addressed to the Board.

In a statement posted on the social media on Wednesday, the former Comptroller of the LACC pointed out that the ongoing audit at the Commission is an “audit and has nothing to do with me as an individual”.

According to him, the audit is a normal routine that commenced since April 2019.

“I am aware of the audit schedule in connection to its completion. Now, LACC financial transactions do not emanate from the comptroller and neither gets approved by the Comptroller. I have done nothing wrong and the Audit is not intended to tie me down to unfavorable working conditions as expressed in my resignation. No one have to grab me and tie my both hands and legs to audit me,” he stated.

Supportive

Mr. Nagbe claimed that this is not the first time that an audit has been conducted at the LACC, while he was away from the Commission.

He pointed out that he has been very supportive of the ongoing audit process, and previous ones during his stay at the Commission.

Mr. Nagbe added that though he waited anxiously for the completion of the ongoing audit, he cannot condone the challenges associated with working and not being paid for several months.

“I have been supportive of the audit and had long awaited its conclusion, but not until I fall dead from hunger due to incessant delays in wages. The audit is intended to express an opinion on the Financial Statements of the Commission. This is not the first time am leaving the Commission in the midst of an Audit. March of 2015, there was an LACC audit that extended into my vacation. I left the Audit ongoing and travel to the US for 2 weeks. What’s all the empty drum noise blowing,” he noted.

“I am aware of the audit schedule in connection to its completion. Now, LACC financial transactions do not emanate from the comptroller and neither gets approved by the Comptroller. I have done nothing wrong and the Audit is not intended to tie me down to unfavorable working conditions as expressed in my resignation. No one have to grab me and tie my both hands and legs to audit me.”

– J. Bernard Nagbe, Former Comptroller, Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission

Trusting the LACC

The firebrand former Comptroller of the LACC expressed the hope that the GAC will follow the records at the Commission while implementing the financial and institutional audit at the institution.

“GAC is a professional body that deals with records. The records are available and the focus of the Audit is on the records,” he maintained.

Who’s scapegoating

Most often, the conduct of audits at public institutions has been marred by fears and misinterpretations either in or by some officials or employees of those ministries and agencies being audited.

Mr. Nagbe claimed that he is being used as a ‘scapegoat’ by others to cover up their suspicions over the conduct of the audit, noting that, since his resignation, he remains in the country.

“Probably, someone wants to scapegoat me to cover up their own fears. Am in Liberia and have no intention leaving Liberia,” he stated.

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