Leading by example, and in keeping with the law and best practice, Liberia’s Justice Minister and Attorney General-designate, Cllr. Cooper W. Kruah, Sr., has declared his asset even ahead of his confirmation by the Senate.

Declaration of Income, Assets and Liability Acknowledgement Slip of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), in the possession of this paper shows that Cllr. Kruah declared his assets on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, in keeping with the LACC regulations.

The LACC Assets and Liability Acknowledgement Slip reads, “the above named official has filed his assets declaration with the LACC, and the same is stored within the Assets Declaration & Verification Unit of the LACC.”

Signed by Patricia P. Barnaby, Assets Declaration & Verification Officer, with the duly authorized LACC stamp, the document confirms that the incoming Minister of Justice and Attorney General-designate has complied with the law, an exemplary optic for a man who would preside over the law enforcement, justice and security sector of the country.

In line with the laws governing, the LACC, in December, 2923, advised those required to declare assets to visit the its office in Congo Town to pick up the forms, visit the LACC website at www.lacc.gov.lr to download a form, or contact Patricia Barnaby at pbarnaby@lacc.gov.lr or at 0886498725 to collect forms or obtain more information on the declaration process.

The LACC drew the general public’s attention to the following excerpts culled from the 2022 Amended and Restated Act: 

Part V Functions of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission:

Section 5.1

The Commission shall have the broad mandate and functions to implement appropriate measures and undertake programs geared towards investigating, prosecuting, combating, and preventing acts of corruption, including educating the public about the ills of corruption and the benefits of its eradication.

Section 5.2

Without limiting the generality of Section 5.1 above, the Commission shall have the following specific functions:

To institute and operate the asset declaration and verification regime of the Government of Liberia, pursuant to the Code of Conduct Act of 2014.

In performance of this function, the law says the Commission has the authority to:

I. receive and maintain the declaration of income, assets and liabilities submitted by public officials;

II. verify the accuracy of such declarations;

III. allow or deny access to such declarations upon application to the Commission, subject to the condition that the Commission shall make disclosure of a person’s declaration only where the Commission is satisfied that such disclosure is in the interest of the general public or where such disclosure is mandated or required by a court order;

IV. develop asset declaration guidelines and forms;

V. issue rules for the administration of the asset declaration and verification regime as it deems necessary for the effective implementation of this Act and the Code of Conduct Act of 2014;

VI. Recommend to the Legislature for enactment into law sanction(s) for breach of the asset declaration guideline.

The LACC then applauded government officials who had complied with its mandate, and encouraged other government officials that have not done so to file a financial asset disclosure as soon as possible.

The declaration of his assets comes a day after sources closed to Liberia’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General-designate, Cllr. Cooper W. Kruah, Sr. described his vision for the legal and security sector as remarkable, popular, and doable.

As the nation awaits his confirmation by the Senate, this paper has been reliably told that the renowned Liberian lawyer intends to, among other things, push for the construction of a justice and security complex that would host the Ministry of Justice and three of it’s affiliated security entities, to include the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS), and the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA).

The idea of the construction of a justice and security complex is to provide spacial and conducive working environment, and to bring into close proximity the security entities with related works and activities in order to, among other things, ensure coordination, consultation, and easy access.

Cllr. Kruah is said to have long held the vision of making some impactful contributions to the improvement of the country’s legal and security architecture when given the opportunity to serve in a position of authority, and so, those who know him and his desire to make a difference, now see his nomination by President Boakai as that perfect opportunity to actualize his long-held dream when confirmed.

Considering the current economic situation of the country, coupled with competing priorities, Cllr. Kruah is said to be counting on the attraction of international goodwill based on cooperation and enhanced reforms and accountability, to acquire fundings for the construction of the complex.

According to our sources, Cllr. Kruah also seeks to enhance performance and improve the working conditions of county attorneys and prosecutors by providing them with the needed logistical support, training and incentives at all times.

“He’s a result-oriented and disciplined performer whose commitment to duties and responsibilities cannot be questioned. He means what he says and says what he means,” one source asserted.

The Justice Minister and Attorney General-designate is also said to be keen on addressing the problem of overcrowded prisons, and pre-trial detainees spending unlawful times in jail without being attended to, a major violation of fundamental human rights.

One other issue of serious public concern that the Attorney General-designate desires to tackle, according to our highly placed sources, is uniformity in the security sector.

He’s said to have strong desire and commitment to strengthen regulations that distinguish the various security agencies by their different uniforms to avoid duplication, impersonation and vulnerability.

Cllr. Copper Kruah is credited for making significant improvements at the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications between 2018 and 2023, in the areas of structural facelift, restoration of basic services such as the lockbox and postal address systems, e-government service, efficient delivery of parcels, postal stamp regime, and the payment of thousands of dollars Liberia owed to international postal organizations in decades, among others.

Sources at the Senate have indicated that the confirmation hearing of Cllr. Kruah would take place this week, and he could officially take office anytime soon, along with other key nominees of President Joseph Nyuma Boakai.

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