7 May 2012

Liberia: Reps Claim Robert Sirleaf Is a U.S. Citizen

Members of the House of Representatives up in arms against the pro bono status of Mr. Robert Sirleaf as board chair of the lucrative National Oil Company (NOCAL) are urging President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to instead set a salary for the position.

Addressing a press conference Friday on behalf of House members Friday at the Capitol Building, Rep. James Biney charged that President Sirleaf's assertion that her son, Mr. Robert Sirleaf, is working here pro-bono is intended to prevent him from paying taxes in the United States of America where lawmakers believe he also holds citizenship.

"We have heard the President talk about Mr. Robert Sirleaf is working pro-bono because of his love for his country and we do not challenge that. That statement, which the President made, was not intended for Liberians.

It was intended for the Americans so that they know he is not working for money so that he doesn't pay taxes there.

"And so, for the benefit of us Liberians, the President needs to come out and say if we pay this man, he is not going to pay taxes in America?" Rep. Barney said.

He insisted that if Mr. Sirleaf continues to work at the country's "most lucrative" sector without pay, he would be "less accountable" to the people of Liberia, adding: "We want him to be more accountable. Let's pay him so that he can be more accountable."

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