Liberia: Finance Minister Under Fire

The Minister of Finance and Development Planning is in trouble with the House of Representatives as he faces potential incarceration over contempt charge.

Failed to appear before the August Body on Thursday, Minister Boima Kamara has again been summoned to appear before them on Tuesday of next week.

The Plenary had requested the Minister to provide evidence to justify why he should not be held in contempt for impeding the work of the legislative body, but his failure to show up has infuriated lawmakers who termed as disrespectful and charged him with contempt.

During Thursday’s session, the House invoked its Contempt Power as outlined in rule four, citing actions that obstruct legislative function as grounds for contempt.

According to the House’s Rules and Procedures, the Finance Minister failure to appear for the fourth time triggered his punishment for contempt which can include a fine of up to LD$5,000 or imprisonment for up to one month, or the duration of the current session of the House.

The decisions made in contempt cases are not subject to appeal.

Minister Kamara, along with officials from the Liberia Revenue Authority, Internal Affairs, and Liberia Petroleum Refining Company, were invited to provide financial updates on consolidated accounts and bank balances, and validate reports from the Liberia Revenue Authority on revenue collection.

While all other parties have cooperated, the failure of the Ministry of Finance to appear has been considered contemptuous.