Legal Setback Must Bring Sanity to Boakai's Asset Recovery Team.

Apr 11, 2024 - 13:20
 0  65
Legal Setback Must Bring Sanity to Boakai's Asset Recovery Team.

Monrovia: The misplaced priority of the Asset Recovery Taskforce (ARET) organized by President Joseph Nyumah Boakai has come under fire over the last 14 days for reasons best considered improper.

Their focus and methods were all wrong, most importantly, the direction and trend of works relating to their TOR, and is currently worse, till they promise the public through actions and deeds a new direction that would have them gain public trust.

The road blockade, illegal seizure of private vehicles and traffic violations should not have been part of their functions that should have been left to regular jobs by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and regular state security apparatus, who are normally involved in tracking government properties at all times.

Whereas the stolen wealth should have been tracked from deeds upon which properties are built upon, names bearing those properties, length of time it took to build such properties, source of funding to have such properties built, external accounts in banks,  and so on, checking documentation on super cars imported and cost of importation among others.

With their involvement, now arresting rigid used cars, wasting energy that could be used to push the country forward and importantly needed, manpower time, instead, the asset recovery team shot themselves in the legs before they could start any major assignment.

So, Patrick Sudue, Finda Bundoo and a host of former government officials became victims of these uncalled for TORs by the Asset Recovery Team, is in fact a demotion for a team the public expects so much from.

However, pundits believe the actions taken by the victims and the results obtained from the court should be an eye opener for them to make sense of the solution and do best to keep the expectation of the public high.

Since the formation of  ARET by President Boakai a few weeks ago, many citizens believed the term of operation of the special task force has deeply contravened the functions of the state security, especially in the recent event where the Asset Recovery Team were seen ignorantly confiscating vehicles owned by privates citizens in the name of retrieving government's stolen properties, to name a few; Gracious Ride Incorporated, owned by Former President George Weah's Chief of Protocol, Nora Finda Bundoo and  another belonging to Former Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue, has left many across the nation  wondering what sort of properties are they retrieving, which now has drawn the question as to whether it is government's stolen properties or private properties generally.

In apparent regard, the Supreme Court of Liberia through Judge Yusuf Kaba has recently placed a prohibition on the operations of the Asset Recovery Team until its TORs are properly defined at the same time issuing order for the release of vehicles they illegitimately confiscated following a writ filed by the Gracious Ride Incorporated, justifying its legitimate ownership to the vehicles.

But on today, April 9, 2024, the Supreme Court through Judge Yusuf Kaba also communicated with the ARET, giving them green light to proceed with its operation, but in keeping with the laws of the Republic.

This appears very unusual. The  controversial steps taken by the special taskforce have not only caught the attention of citizens but have also drawn the voices of senior government officials, talk show hosts with some proffering recommendations to its operation for the sole purpose of upholding the rule of law.

The latest recommendations came from Nimba County's District #7 Representative, Musa Hassan Bility, chair on national security of the 55th legislature who took to his social media platform urging Boakai's Asset Recovery Team to first establish lost government assets and publish them in order to know what exactly are those assets they intend to retrieve.

"Don’t rush with Asset Recovery. First establish the lost assets and publish them, ask those in possession to return it or face prosecution, and begin to search for the specific assets of the government that are lost", Rep. Musa Bility wrote on his official Facebook Page.”

He emphasized by saying; the special task force should refrain from harassing peaceful citizens to establish ownership of their vehicles that do not have any attachments to government's assets.

It is now incumbent upon counselor Edwin Kla Martin, former Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission boss, now head of the special task force of the Asset Recovery Team, to re-strategize steps aimed at retrieving the government's wealth and stolen properties as was mandated by the President, Joseph Boakai.

What's Your Reaction?








William K Howard William K Howard Jr is a young Liberian Journalist who is focused on investigative and human-interest reporting. He comes with about 10 years of experience in mainstream journalism. William K Howard is currently the Deputy Director of News at Liberia Limited, Kool 91.9FM/TV. His hard work has also earned him several professional certificates in journalism including Journalist of the year 2022/2023 in Liberia's biggest city, Paynesville.