Civil Society Council Reignites Effort for Dismissals of Sanctioned Officials

Amid varying opinions on the status of the three top senior government officials designated by the US government for corruption a fortnight ago, the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) remains unbending on its effort to ensuring that those officials are dismissed rather than suspended as done by President George Manneh Weah.

In its reignited effort, NCSCL, which is the umbrella organization for all civil society organizations in the country, has 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.

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.

A U.S. State Department Report states that 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.

Accordingly, NCSCL in a statement pointed out that corruption has among other things undermined Liberia’s democracy and its economy and as such, there is a need for stringent action against officials accused by the world’s biggest political power.

“Corruption has long undermined Liberia’s democracy and its economy, robbing the Liberian people of funds for public services, empowering illicit actors, degrading the business environment, damaging the rule of law and eroding the effective governance in the country. Corruption contributes to diminished citizens’ confidence in government and the public space and promotes impunity,” asserted the group in a statement.

“This is why you need to sign this petition to call on the President of the Republic of Liberia, H.E. George M. Weah to take some concrete steps beyond the suspension to save the image of the government from this embarrassment and ensure public trust by dismissing, prosecuting, and confiscating of ill-acquired properties or wealth and barring of said officials from participating in political affairs and governance of the state,” it stated.

The Council then vowed to ensure the security of the signees (signers) to the document with the application of 100 percent confidentiality. “Because we want to keep updating you about the progress of this petition and future petitions, we would like to get your email and telephone number to enable us reach to you. By signing this petition, we assure you that your names, email and telephone numbers will be kept with us privately and with the application of 100% confidentiality. Please share this petition with others after you have signed,” added the Council.

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