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​IIA Urges U.S. Support in Investigation Of Auditors’ Deaths in Liberia

4 were investigating reported allegations of misappropriation of funds

LAKE MARY, Fla. (October 16, 2020) — Out of concern over reports of the suspicious deaths of four public-sector internal auditors in Liberia, The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) today called on the U.S. government to support Liberia President George Weah’s request for help in investigating the incidents.

In a formal letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, IIA President and CEO Richard F. Chambers stated, “While evidence of any wrongdoing in the recent deaths of the four auditors so far appears inconclusive, the United States and Liberia have a special relationship dating back more than 160 years and supporting this notable ally would be an important gesture of our countries’ commitment to each other’s security.”

Occurring over eight days, from October 3-10, the four deaths involved Emmanuel Barten Nyeswua, director general, Liberia Internal Audit Agency, and Albert Peters, Gifty Lama, and George F. Fanbutu, all with the Liberia Revenue Authority. All four reportedly were conducting audits of Liberia government accounts over allegations of misappropriation of funds. Nyeswua died of an apparent fall, while the others died in apparent car accidents.

“If these deaths are determined to be more than coincidental accidents, we feel that such a sinister act, particularly on public servants whose sole role is to protect the country’s citizens, would be an attack on the people and an assault on society and democracy,” Chambers wrote. “Internal auditors serve as guardians of trust for their organizations. This is particularly true of public-sector auditors, for they hold a special place in demonstrating and defending the grandest virtues of society and of our noble profession.”

Here is The IIA’s letter to Secretary Pompeo.

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About The Institute of Internal Auditors

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is the internal audit profession’s most widely recognized advocate, educator, and provider of standards, guidance, and certifications. Established in 1941, The IIA today serves more than 200,000 members from more than 170 countries and territories. The IIA’s global headquarters are in Lake Mary, Fla. For more information, visit or