Liberia’s Anti-Graft Agency Probes Top Agric Ministry Officials

Liberia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) has launched a full-scale investigation into Minister of Agriculture, Jeanine Milly Cooper, along with all of her deputies.

Cooper, her deputies, assistant ministers and others with decision-making power are under investigation for conflicts of interest and the way her ministry awarded agricultural contracts worth millions of dollars.

The LACC says it has gathered “sufficient intelligence” regarding the Agro Ministry in recent months, adding that these findings call for an investigation into all senior officials, including Minister Cooper.

Chairman of the LACC, Edwin Kla Martin, said the anti-graft agency was concerned by “reckless disregard for public financial management laws, public procurement laws, and the country’s code of conduct for public officials at Liberia’s agriculture ministry.”

Commission officials have called on those under investigation to fully cooperate with their offices during the inquiry, saying they will not tolerate delays or excuses.

Cooper is not in Liberia at this time, but he has been apprised of the situation, according to the local press.

When Martin became executive chairman of the LACC, he assured President George Weah, who appointed him, and the nation at large that he would not compromise in pursuing all corruption cases.

Prior to his appointment at the LACC, Martin was the County Attorney in Montserrado. He is said to have called on President Weah and all top government officials not to interfere with the LACC’s investigations, as doing so would jeopardize the fight against corruption and bring the country to its knees.

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