Two members of the Independent Legislative Caucus, Reps. Thomas Gushua II and Larry Younquoi are craving the plenary of the House to invite authorities of the Central Bank of Liberia to explain the source of U.S. and Liberian currencies it infused in the economy recently.
In a communication to the plenary through House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, the lawmakers said contrary to government’s pronouncement of the scarcity of Liberian dollars banknotes on the market, they have observed over the last two days that commercial banks have begun giving new banknotes to depositors.
The unusual flow of new Liberian banknotes, the lawmakers said is happening at a time when there is speculation about the illegal printing of additional money awaiting legislative approval for infusion into the market.
Controversies over the alleged introduction of new banknotes on the Liberian market are overshadowing the ongoing special sessions of the House of Representatives.
The latest debate is the infusion of additional new pieces of L$500 banknotes at commercial banks that is allegedly being served to only lawmakers, something the lawmakers said is unusual and needs investigation.
“The unusual flow of new Liberian dollars banknotes on the market amidst government’ pronouncement of scarcity, which has caused inconveniences for depositors which literarily made it possible for them to withdraw monies from their saving accounts from commercial banks has been seen with keen interest. Contrary, to said scarcity of Liberian dollars banknotes, we have observed over the last two days that commercial banks have begun new banknotes to depositors,” the lawmakers wrote their colleagues.
What seems to be of grave concern, they added is the five-hundred notes being given to lawmakers during withdrawals as other depositors continue to receive mutilated money.
This current trend of event, according to them, places a dark cloud over their integrity, especially in the midst of Executive’s request for printing of new banknotes and the speculation that the Legislators have given approval to the CBL for a new printing.
Meanwhile, the communication sparked a huge debate on the floor and was deferred to Friday’s sitting by plenary.
Some of the lawmakers had earlier called for the communication to be sent to the relevant committees for further investigation, while others called for the appearance and testimonies of the CBL authorities to be held in open session.
Prior to plenary’s decision, Rep. Dixon W. Seboe, Chairman for Banking and Currency suggested that the CBL officials be queried in open session.
However, the debate took a twisted angle when several lawmakers including Rep. Dixon Seboe, House Chairman on Banking and Currency alleged that Rep. Goshua, prior to his joint communication, had accused top government officials including some members of the House of being in the habit importing counterfeit Liberian banknotes into the country.
Rep. Seboe claimed he has a recording of Rep. Goshua’s press conference and urged his colleagues to investigate the ‘grave’ by one of their colleagues to ascertain the truth.
Immediately, Speaker Chambers ordered the recording to be played in open plenary, but this annoyed several lawmakers including Reps. Larry Younquoi and Yekeh Kolubah on ground that the communication was not centered on the recording.
This led to a commotion on the floor and Speaking Chambers called for the adjournment of session for lawmakers to attend the state funeral of the late Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine.
Addressing journalist at after session, Rep. Younquoi maintained that the CBL authorities should appear to clear the doubts of the lawmakers and Liberians.
Speaking on the alleged approval by the House, Rep. Younquoi stated that the resolution has met the required two-third majority but outlined series of provisions that need to be met before the approval.