One of Liberia’s lead human-rights advocates, Atty Samuel Kofi Woods II, has called on the Liberian Government to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning before their official merger.The Former Public Works Minister and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Liberia Law Society made the call during a Thanksgiving and Appreciation Service held at the Melvin B. Cox Methodist Church in lower Caldwell.Atty Woods was honored at the church for his many contributions to the state, church and humanity.Speaking at the well-attended honoring ceremony Sunday, Woods said if an audit has already been conducted, the Public Accounts Committee of the Legislature should conduct the necessary hearings to establish a firm foundation for the merger of the ministries.He also described such a move by the National Legislature as critical to Liberia’s socio-economic development.Atty. Woods further contended that the Liberian people need to know the status of both institutions in terms of personnel, plans, actions and other recommendations that could assist the new merger.In a carefully worded press statement issued in Monrovia Monday, Atty. Woods recalled that issue of the merger of the two institutions has been a source of controversy with employees demonstrating against the transition.Meanwhile, the former Public Works Minister Woods has recommended that the National Independence Celebrations, July 26, this year be celebrated as a day of fast and prayer.He also noted that there are too many unfortunate and strange developments occurring in Liberia, which he referred to as ‘Signs of the Times’ that compel Liberians to reflect upon.The former Labor Minister also explained that the level diminishing trust in public officials, the Ebola plague, tragic violence in Nimba County and its attendant’s consequences are indeed worrisome.The change of venue of this year’s Independence Day celebrations, raging poverty and anger amongst Liberians as well as indifference, arrogance, disdain and complacency in the Liberian society are reasons not to celebrate in pomp and pageantry.Liberians, he said, should rather engage in a moment of mediation and reflection.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Brazilian authorities have blocked assets of Barcelona star Neymar, including a yacht, a jet and several properties worth almost USD 50 million.A Sao Paulo federal court rejected an appeal from the Brazilian striker last week and started issuing warrants to freeze the assets worth 192 million reals (almost 50 million).Last year, Neymar, his family and related businesses were found guilty of evading 63 million reals in taxes (almost USD 16 million) between 2011 and 2013 when he was playing for Brazilian club Santos. He has denied any wrongdoing. (WATCH: Messi passes on penalty, serves up Suarez hat-trick) The 23-year-old Neymar used the jet to travel to Brazil for World Cup qualifying matches and holidays.Iagaro Jung Martins, an auditor with Brazil’s federal tax agency, told The Associated Press that Neymar isn’t likely to go to jail if he pays what regulators say he owes.”He can still appeal that decision, but it is a step forward,” Martins told the AP. “Nothing changed to what was in place last year: if he pays what he owes, the case is closed.Our legislation isn’t too harsh.”The assets seizure is the latest in a streak of bad news for the Brazilian star off the pitch.On Feb. 2 Neymar and his father were questioned for three hours in a Madrid court about the player’s transfer to Barcelona. The case was brought by Grupo Sonda, which invested in Neymar early in his career and was allegedly entitled to 40 percent of the total transfer amount.Barcelona maintains the deal cost the club 57.1 million euros (then 74 million). Santos officially received a payment of 17.1 million euros ( 18.5 million), with the remaining 40 million euros ( 55.5 million) going to a company owned by Neymar’s father, Neymar Santos.advertisementBut investigations in Spain later showed that Barcelona spent nearly 83.3 million euros ( 90 million) to acquire Neymar.Former and current Barcelona presidents and representatives of Santos were also questioned. The Brazilian club also claims to have been hurt by the transfers. All parties denied any wrongdoing.