Monrovia – Mr. Nathaniel McGill, the Minister for State and Presidential Affairs, has stated that the Liberian Government under President George Weah is willing and prepared to pay constitutional benefits to past leaders and will stop at nothing to honor such provided if there is any provision in the Constitution mandating it.
Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]
According to Minister McGill, as it stands issues about benefits owned former presidents and vice presidents are yet to be determined by the Supreme Court as there is a case involving former President Charles Taylor versus the Government of Liberia.
“This government has no intention to deny our past leaders what is constitutionally theirs but there is no law that calls for these benefits to be given. As you may be aware former President Charles Taylor had similar situation and the court is yet to rule in that matter,” McGill said.
In an interview with FrontPageAfrica over the weekend, Minister McGill said out of magnanimity President Weah offered former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her Vice President, Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai, two separate vehicles each.
According to him, CDC-led government will continue to look out for its citizens including former leaders in order to ensure that their welfare is prioritized.
In the case former President Charles Taylor versus the Government of Liberia, the former President, who is serving a 50-year jail sentence in a UK maximum prison facility, sued the Liberian Government under former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to the Supreme Court on allegations that government failed to pay his constitutional benefits owed him as former President.
Mr. Taylor’s legal team argued that their client is constitutionally entitled to benefits as a former President while the government of Liberia lawyers argued the opposite. That case is yet to be adjudicated by the Supreme Court.
This case according to some officials of the current government is a precedence that hasn’t being set by the court and until the court can make determination whether or not former leaders (President, and Vice President) are entitled to benefits, the Weah-led government will do nothing that isn’t legal.
In 2013 former President Taylor, from his cell in the UK, wrote the Liberian Senate seeking at least US$25,000 annually in retirement benefits.
Boakai not Receiving Benefits
Investigation conducted by FrontPageAfrica has established that the George Weah-led administration is dragging its feet to pay pension and other benefits to former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai since he left power in January this year.
Executive Order 91 signed by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on December 25, 2017 stipulates, among other things, that the Joint Presidential Transition Team (JPTT) shall ensure services are provided to the outgone President and Vice President not limited to two vehicles and chauffeur each, VIP protection (Executive Protection Service, EPS, and Police Services), logistics, allowances and other benefits and services to be determined by the JPTT.