Monrovia — The Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD) says the sanction imposed on three government officials, especially the Minister of State Nathaniel McGill for Rampant Corruption is a sanction by ‘extension’ on the Liberian leader President George Weah.
IREDD, a research-based policy advocacy civil society organization that has continued to champion the voices of ordinary Liberian citizens for socio-economic justice, transparency and accountability, respect for the rule of law, and democracy in Liberia for more than 20 years.
On Monday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) through the US Ambassador to Liberia Michael McCarthy sanctioned three Liberian officials for a high degree of rampant corruption.
Speaking to journalists, Matthias Yeanay, the Executive Director of IREDD says the group sees the sanctions as the direct threat to the office of the President of Liberia.
“IREDD sees these sanctions especially involving minister Nathaniel McGill as a direct sanctions on the presidency as suspended minister McGill serves as the closest counsel to His Excellency President George Manneh Weah that shouldn’t be taken lightly. IREDD believes the three officials’ activities, actions, and interactions with the government should be completely halted,” the Executive Director of IREDD said.
Yeanay added: “IREDD sees the sanctioned government officials’ actions as subversive, treasonous, malefic, mischievous, criminal, evil and sinful to our economy, our justice system, policy implementation, peace and security and the fabric of our nation’s democratic governance system. Mr. Bill Twehway is destroying the gateway of the economy; Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus is extinguishing the Rule of Law and Minister Nathaniel McGill murderous action on the entire executing arm of the government.”
According to Yeanay, IREDD had closely monitored the lifestyles of the three sanctioned officials of the government. “We are baffled over the way most of these government officials became wealthier overnight,” he said.
“IREDD acknowledges President’s Weah prompt action to have these designated and sanctioned officials suspended, we hope the action is well-intentioned and not a smokescreen to save face,” Yeanay said.
The civil society group, through its Executive Director, calls on the President to with immediate effect dismiss the three sanctioned top government officials and turn them over for prosecution with the assistance of the Treasury Department.
“IREDD also calls for seizure and sale of these ill gated properties with revenue from the sales deposited into government accounts,” he says.
Yeanay added: “The sanction imposed on these government officials is justified and must be robustly enforced. Corruption seems to be undermining the governance system and democracy in Liberia; a few handfuls of these corrupt officials and their respective families are sucking the resources of Liberia for personal benefits.”
IREDD also calls on development partners to ensure that all government officials across the three branches of the Liberian Government yield to the rule of law and promote basic human rights, adding that officials of government have undermined and diminished public confidence in the government’s performance on the delivery of basic public goods and services.
“IREDD is grateful to the United States of America for the assurance and reaffirmation of support and the commitment to hold corrupt actors accountable and pledged to stand with the people of Liberia in support of democracy and the rule of law,” he said.
“IREDD strongly believes these are not the only government officials and encourages the United States Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to add more names to the list of sanctioned officials. This action, when robustly enforced, will serve as preventive measures for carefulness against waste and abuse of public funds; as all actors regardless of their position or political affiliation must be held accountable.”