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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