Noise over inaugural money from Liberia’s 73 electoral districts has spilled over to the House of Representatives, with legislators seeking clarification about US$5,000.00 allegedly given by the Executive per district.
In the days leading to President Joseph Nyumah Boakai’s inauguration, it was reported that the new president had authorized the provision of US$5,000 for each district to celebrate the day on 22 January 2024.
There have been claims that the money did not land in whole, but officials of the ruling Unity Party (UP) have denied claims that they instructed the deduction of US$1,000 from each district’s portion of the money.
But the latest concern comes from members of the House of Representatives who have written their Plenary seeking clarification on the issue of the US$5,000.
According to Lofa County Electoral District #3 Representative Momo Siafa Kpoto, it has come to his attention that the executive gave the amount.
However, he claimed that he has received up to 97 phone calls from his district asking him to explain the purpose of the money.
He said he was informed that Lofa County received its share of the money through one Mr. Forkpah Gizzie.
Mr. Kpoto noted that when he called Mr. Gizzie, the latter allegedly acknowledged receipt of Lofa County’s money.
But Kpoto said Gizzie stated that his district’s money was delivered to one Mr. John Sailay for use by all citizens in various constituencies.
The Lofa County lawmaker further complained that his people are waiting on their lawmakers to give an account of their share of the money.
He therefore called on the House of Representatives to write the Executive to come and clarify the money issue.
According to him, news has gone in the various districts that they have received the money in question, and they cannot go there without explaining to the people.
Also speaking, Montserrado County Electoral District #17 Rep. Bernard Blue Benson said he did not receive any money from anyone for the people of his district.
He called on the Committee on Executive to be fast enough to get clarity because when you sign for any [money], the [name of the] person who signed will be written down so that it is known.
During the discussions, a member of the ruling Unity Party informed the Plenary that the money was a gesture by President Joseph Nyumah Boakai for the celebration of the inauguration.
The Unity Party members added that the president called 73 lawmakers and told them he would give them US$5,000.
However, the ruling party member said the money was intended to be given to the district’s leadership and it was done that way.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa took hold of the discussion until the next session day.