Liberia: Sen. Dillon Dispels Claims of Receiving Extra US$30k, Challenges Accusers to Provide Evidence￼
MONROVIA – Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, who has been at the center of lingering allegations that he, along with 13 other senators, received $30,000 in the name of Legislative Projects, has vowed to resign if there is any record of him receiving the said amount.
On Wednesday, Monsterrado County representative and a member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Acarous Moses Gray accused the Monsterrado County Senator of being part of senators who received money from the government to carry out projects in their various constituencies.
But in a Wednesday press conference at his Capitol Building office in Monrovia, Dillon denied ever receiving any fund and challenged his accusers to provide records of their allegations against him.
His words: “I have received no $30,000 since I became Senator in 2019. Infact, I took a $10K loan and I paid. Since 2019, I haven’t taken loan, and I don’t even owe a “susu club”. This is an open challenge to anybody to bring any source of loan I have taken besides my 2019 loan.”
“I’ve given the power of attorney to all the banks to make available any transaction of a loan I have taken. If there is any records to prove that I took loan I will resign my position as Senator of Montserrado County today. I don’t engage in taking loan for government to pay.”
According to him, he was a strong voice against placing money in the budget that would give lawmaker extra $30K during the budget period and the Senate agreed with him and removed such amount.
“We insisted that the 33 per cent for Senate Engagement in the budget for legislative engagement be removed since it has become unbearable for our people and at some point diminishing our voices. We insisted that we should not maintain 30,000 for Legislative Engagement.
“I want to be clear that this Dillon has taken no $30,000 and I am ready to give this seat out today to those who think they can use this issue to bring Dillon down. I am placing the Ministry of Finance on the records with a challenge that if, besides my salary, the government has deposited any dime in my account at UBA bank, I am ready to give my seat out today.
“I am aware of the consequences of my initial action when I lied about my ticket issue. I talk about that ticket issue all the time to remind myself never to do it under any circumstances. I have spoken to my people and they have agreed to let it go so I can’t t bring another thing to revisit such foolishness.”
“I am not perfect, I am a human and always strive on good conscious, I know many people rely on what we do and that Liberia has hope and future because of what do in the Legislature. I can’t slip like this my people.”
Senate backs Dillon’s claims
In response to the public outcry, the Liberian Senate has, meanwhile, clarified that at “no point in time” did member of the Senate receive $30,000.00 each for Legislative Engagement in the 2022 Budget.
The clarification was made in the Senate Plenary by the Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Senate Statutory Committee on Ways, Means Finance and Budget.
Bomi County Senator Morris Saytumah and Bong County Senator Prince Moye said there was strict mandate from the Senate Plenary not to have any budget line for said amount in the current budget and as such it was never allotted in the Senate budget for any Legislative engagement.
In another development, the Senate has cited authorities of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning as well as the Liberia Revenue Authority to appear before a “Committee of the Whole” next Monday for Public Hearing on the draft recast budget currently before the Senate for concurrence.
They will appear to give clarification on several unanswered questions raised by Senators in the current recast budget.