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Amid renewed calls from National CSO, Others, Sanctioned Officials bow, quit Gov’t

Amid renewed calls from National CSO, Others, Sanctioned Officials bow, quit Gov’t Featured

On the heels of reignited efforts from the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL), human rights based and transparency organizations for the dismissals of the three sanctioned officials, the trio themselves have bowed to the public pressure by resigning their various posts in government.

In their letter of resignations dated September 12, 2022, the two former officials of Government thanked the President for the opportunity to serve in the Government and Country.

It can be recalled that on August 15, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated three top Liberian Government officials including Nathaniel McGill, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Sayma Syrenius Cephus, Solicitor General and Bill Twehway, Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA) for their involvement in ongoing public corruption in Liberia.

According to a U.S. State Department Report, these officials are designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world.

“Through their corruption these officials have undermined democracy in Liberia for their own personal benefit,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson.

In view of the damming report, President George Manneh Weah swiftly moved to with immediate effect suspend all three named officials to enable them to face investigation.

Despite the President’s decision, there were calls from various civil society organizations, pressure groups and integrity institutions for the immediate dismissals of these officials so as to save the face of the country.

Key of those many organizations was a reignited effort by the NCSCL, in which it opened a platform to solicit 200 signatures for onward presentation to the Liberian leader for the dismissal of the officials, whom it believes have lost the public trust come what may. NCSCL is the umbrella organization for all civil society organizations in the country.

But in the face of the gathering of signatures from the national CSO body and continuing calls from different pressure groups, the three top Liberian government officials bided farewell to officialdom and are now private individuals.

Liberian President Weah earlier on Monday, September 12, 2022 accepted the resignations of Mr. Twehway and McGill before Cllr. Cephus did so later.

In their letter of resignations dated September 12, 2022 they thanked the Liberian Chief Executive for the opportunity given them to serve in the government and country.

Though the affairs of the three men the dominated the Liberian media for the last three to four weeks, former Presidential Affairs Minister McGill and Chief Prosecutor Cllr. Cephus denied the allegation.

McGill, specifically in an interview with Al Jazeera recently said the sanction has damaged his reputation as he went on to defend innocence, adding that he is of the belief that someone gave the United States government the wrong information when they were sincerely looking for information.

“I don’t think the American people hate me, but I think somebody may have told them something when they were genuinely trying to find facts. Somebody may have told them the wrong information,” he said.

“The truth is there are people out there who are using my name; maybe it was the wrong McGill. Go on Facebook, they put there Nathaniel F. McGill, Minister of State, we’ve reported this to the police, the press has reported on this and people have been arrested. There are people out there doing these things and they think it’s me,” he among other things told the top international news outlet in continuation of his defense.

 

Read 757 times Last modified on Thursday, 15 September 2022 07:52
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