Top Liberian Govt Officials Linked To Alleged Bribery Scheme At Housing Authority

Monrovia, Liberia – November 23, 2018: A leaked recording of highly questionable business dealings entangling the President of Liberia, his cousin and several high government officials is making the rounds on social media.

GELPAZ’s Chief Alain Zoungrana and Liberia NHA Head Duannah Siryon– File Photo

The West African Journal Magazine has a copy of the nearly 10 minute recording which purports to disclose alleged questionable contractual dealings with GELPAZ, Burkinabe company.

The head of Liberia’s National Housing Authority(NHA) Mr. Duanah Siryon alleges a bribery scheme involving the Liberian President George M. Weah, his Chief of Staff Nathaniel F. McGill, a cousin of The President, one Augustus “Gus” Weah, the Ministers of Justice, Finance others.

Liberia Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean

West African Journal Magazine cannot independently verify details of the alleged bribery scheme involving the discussion of a “VIP Package” of US$160,000 to be shared among the NHA, US$100,000; the Justice Ministry, US$20,000 and US$40,000 to others to consummate the contract to building low cost housing units in Brewerville.

It is unclear if those whose names were mentioned on tape, including the NHA Head received any “kickbacks” in these allegations. Mr. Siryon has denied any involvement in the bribery scheme and is fingering others whose names are mentioned on the tape.

Liberian President George M Weah

There is no word yet from the Liberian Presidency on the allegations which broke overnight.

Meantime, local media in Monrovia are reporting that Liberian security personnel on Friday picked up the head of the National Housing Authority (NHA) for questioning as part of investigations.

Allegations of corruption have dogged Liberian Administrations. The Weah Administration has also failed to curb pervasive graft since its inauguration in January.

US House of Representative

In prepared remarks prior to a vote by the US House of Representatives which passed Resolution 1055 on November 13, 2018 in support of implementation of the Final Report of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Africa SubCommittee Chairman Ed Royce said, “…Much more needs to be done to crack down on corruption and create a more conducive environment for trade and economic investment. The government must ensure policies are in place to encourage businesses to invest, grow and create jobs…”

The Weah Administration is under enormous economic and political pressure at home to begin delivery of relief of millions of Liberians.

Flag of Liberia

Attempts at securing non-conventional loans from private sources have failed to materialize and the government has yet to explain the delay in disbursement of loans.

Sources say the private loans from Ebomaf and Eton are effectively dead.

The Weah Administration which is approaching its one year mark in January is facing growing unpopularity due to its inability to address grinding poverty in the West African country.

A recent manifestation of the erosion of popular support was a stinging defeat for a seat in local elections in one of its stronghold in the capital Monrovia. A candidate of the ruling Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) John J. Weah (no relation to President Weah) lost a by election to independent candidate Edward P. Flomo.

By Emmanuel Abalo

West African Journal Magazine

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West African Journal Magazine

The West African Journal was a major magazine publication in the United States with a focus on the Mano River region and West Africa sub-region during the civil crises in Liberia and neighboring countries during the decades of the 1990s. This was the period when many citizens and others in the sub-region were fleeing their homeland due to conflicts, and the magazine was a reliable source of information covering developments in the region and in the Diaspora.  However, the magazine suspended publication several years ago but is now back. It is, therefore, delightful that The West African Journal has been reactivated. The print edition of the magazine, to be published monthly and distributed in the United States, West Africa, and other parts of the world, will provide analysis of the major events of the period under review. Due to challenges relating to availability of reading materials in the sub-region, a few hundred copies of every edition of the magazine will be distributed free of charge to libraries and reading rooms at schools and institutions of higher learning in the sub-West Africa sub-region. The Journal covers government/politics, economics/international trade/investment and partnerships, women's issues, showcase of tourism and historic attractions in West Africa in particular, and Africa in general, as well as cover the Diaspora, entrepreneurship, among others. The Journal also taps into growing interest in the Unites States regarding resource-rich Africa as the next frontier for global economic progress amid an increasing global competition for access to the continent’s abundant natural resources. The magazine will regularly cover bilateral and multilateral partnerships between the US/multinational agencies and Africa/individual African countries. More importantly, in considering the danger of Climate Change and Global Warming, The Journal serves as a strong and unrelenting advocate to create international awareness regarding Climate Change, especially how West African countries and the African Continent as a whole are being negatively impacted. Through its environmental coverage, The Journal promotes education and awareness for people to be empowered. Our experienced team of editors, reporters and feature writers are excited to bring the stories that impact politics, finance, economy, arts, health, education, climate change, women and youth issues in Africa today. Contact The West African Journal is registered and published in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. Plans are underway to open a bureau office in Liberia, from which operations in other West African countries will be coordinated. Our journalists, who bring decades of high engagement of news and reportage, include former BBC veteran correspondent Isaac D.E. Bantu, former Daily Observer Features Editor and publisher of the West African Journal Joe S. Kappia, and Pana Press Editor Tepitapia K. Sannah, and respected Photo journalist and editor Gregory Stemn. These experienced and internationally-respected journalists ensure a high standard of professional journalism. Information and inquiries for The West African Journal should be directed to the following: Editor-in-Chief; Email: Isaac D.E. Bantu: Publishing Partner; Email: Mailing Address: P.O. Box 55053, Washington, D.C. 20040-5053 USA Thank you. Managing Editor