31 October 2012

Liberia: Snowe - Robert Sirleaf Is an American Citizen

Montserrado County District #6 (formally district #5) Representative, Edwin M. Snowe, has called on President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to immediately discharge her son, Mr. Robert A. Sirleaf from all Liberian government activities and subsequently turn him over to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution.

Should President Johnson-Sirleaf fail to heed his call, Rep. Snowe vowed to take up the issue with Mr. Sirleaf at the House of Representatives. According to him, he wants Mr. Sirleaf prosecuted for allegedly violating the Aliens and Nationality Law of the Republic of Liberia.

The Liberian Codes Revised, VOL. II: Chapter 22; Page 193. Loss of Citizenship; 22.1. Acts Causing Loss of Citizenship states: From and after the effective date of this title, a person who is a citizen of Liberia whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his citizenship by; (a) Obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application, upon the application of a duly authorized agent, or through the naturalization of a parent having legal custody of such person; provided that citizenship shall not be lost by any person under this section as the result of the naturalization of a parent or parents while such person is under the age of 21 years, unless such person shall fail to enter Liberia to establish a permanent residence prior to his twenty-third birthday.

Addressing a well attended press conference Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at the Capitol Building in Monrovia, the Montserrado lawmaker averred that Mr. Sirleaf was issued a Liberian Diplomatic Passport number D000189 on December 2, 2009 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in contravention of the Aliens and Nationality Law of Liberia. He added that Mr. Sirleaf was earlier issued United States of American (USA) Passport number 2181983813 in June 7, 2006 in the United States.

He argued that the issuance of two passports to the Mr. Sirleaf put him in the capacity as dual citizen, which he maintained, is illegal under the Liberian laws and must be prosecuted. Rep. Snowe's assertions come in the wake of allegations made on a local talk show against him and four of his colleague lawmakers that they had demanded from President Johnson-Sirleaf two oil blocks for personal business operation against competitive bidding.

All of the lawmakers accused have so far denied the allegation. They(accused lawmakers), on the other hand, had accused pointing fingers to Mr. Sirleaf of using "surrogates" to undermine the credibility of the Legislature in carrying out its ongoing review of the country oil and gas sector.

The former House speaker said he has no personal hatred against the president or her son but took up the issue due to its "grave" nature. He warned: "The danger in this situation, with Mr. Sirleaf, a US citizen, serving as Senior Advisor to the President of the Republic of Liberia, and so called pro bono Chairman of the Board of NOCAL is that, it is possible that in the event of any dubious or advert issue against the interest of the Republic (which is now emanating at NOCAL under Mr. Sirleaf's chairmanship), the Government will lack the authority to prosecute Mr. Sirleaf because he will take off to his country of citizenship, the United States of America."

Meanwhile, Mr. Sirleaf is yet to comment on the allegation by Rep. Snowe that he is an American citizen.

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