Former human rights campaigner and fiercest advocate for social Justice, Samuel Koffi Woods, a man who fought the Samuel Doe and Taylor governments for their stances on human rights and social justice, resigned from the Ellen Sirleaf’s government about week ago.
Minister Woods resignation from the Sirleaf government is viewed by some Liberians as a surprise and late in coming considering how the government is rippled with serial allegations of corruption, nepotism, and impunity and his intentional silence in spite of the same issues he once dedicated his life to and was not deterred by the danger of the climate and the despotic regimes he took to task.
The former Public Works Minster resignation put a renew spotlight on his asset verification fight with the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC). Minster Woods declared his asset March last year along with a pool of other public officials but when the Commission began to verify the assets public officials forwarded, the former public Work Minister joined a queue of other public officials who refused to submit to the asset verification process.
According to the Anti-Corruption Commission final publication of its Asset Declaration report put Minister Woods in the category of public officials who asset was not verified because of standing issues yet to be resolved.
Minister Woods did not open his asset to the verification process until his resignation, he earlier filed a law suit claiming the verification process was discriminatory because the Liberia Anti-Corruption asked some public officials to declare their asset while giving immunity to others. Minister Woods’ lawsuit has not been decided up to his resignation and it is doubting whether his asset will still be verified and the public will know how much he worth and determined if his income truly commensurate the value of his assets.
Minister Woods is a potential Presidential candidate in Liberia 2017 election and his refusal to allow the Anti-Corruption Commission verify his assets could come to be a baggage to his chances in the election.
The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission Asset Declaration Report named several public officials who lied under oath about their asset values and how they obtained them.
The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) released the first phase of the Assets Declaration verification report on May 21, 2013. The LACC initiated its “Asset Verification” process in March 2013 and the timing of the Minister’ impromptu resignation comes in parallel with the commission’s report which tainted the former human rights campaigner as one of few public officials who refused to verify his assets.