Liberia: Ex-President Sirleaf Breaks Silence on Missing Billions Saga, Frowns on Successors’ ‘Wicked’ Impugnment
LONDON – Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has expressed strong dissatisfaction over the manner in which her successors, the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC) is attempting to draw her administration in the muddy waters of the ongoing missing LD 16 billion missing container controversy.
Report by Rodney D. Sieh, [email protected]
Speaking exclusively to FrontPageAfrica via phone Tuesday, former President Sirleaf suggested a sinister play was in the works to impugn her legacy and her administration.
Said the former President: “I have been reliably informed that the Central Bank of Liberia has undertaken an internal investigation and by a directive from the Minister of Justice provided a full report to the police. The CBL has prepared a release that gives full evidence and clarification that refutes the statement of Minister Nagbe. This had been held for two days because the CBL Governor and the Minister of Justice have refused to approve the release. It is most unfortunate that the GOL would give false information that wickedly impugns the reputation of past officials and by extension the country itself.”
In the last 24 hours, two key officials of the George Weah-led government have gone on the record to suggest the previous government is responsible for the missing containers.
Justice Minister Frank Musah Dean, in a statement Monday suggested that the previous administration of President Sirleaf was responsible for the missing container.
“Once the evidence is made clear that the previous GOL has maintained its integrity on this matter I request Deputy Governor Sirleaf to resign immediately.” – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President, Liberia
Said the minister: “Initial findings indicate that the container and bags of moneys allegedly arrived between November 2017, prior to the inauguration of the current government and August 2018. Evidence available to the investigative team has established that the current administration was not informed about the arrival of the containers and bags of moneys into the country.”
This assertion was repeated on Tuesday when the government’s chief spokesman Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe told the VOA Daybreak Africa Tuesday that the current government was not in the loop on the money or the container.
May Ask Deputy Governor to Quit
The minister said in November of 2017, the investigation has determined and confirmed that a batch of banknotes came in the country – just before the president assume office. “Now, when the president received information about these newly-minted banknotes, he sanctioned an investigation which is being chaired by the Ministry of Justice and the Financial Intelligence Unit(FIU) and other security apparatus. The idea is to understand how much money came into the country, how much was ordered, how much was printed, which country it was printed in and how did it affect the foreign exchange situation in the country.”
Said the minister: “We can confirm that the money was brought through the Freeport of Monrovia and the Roberts International Airport and for now it is US$16 billion Liberian dollars that we have confirmed. An estimated of a little over 15 billion Liberian dollars as far as we have concerned from ongoing investigation as of today and it came in the two ports of entry.”
President Sirleaf also revealed she would ask her son, Charles Sirleaf, a veteran of the CBL to step down from the bank in protest over the manner in which she is being treated by the Weah administration. “Once the evidence is made clear that the previous GOL has maintained its integrity on this matter I request Deputy Governor Sirleaf to resign immediately,” the former President said.