5 March 2014

Liberia: Robert Sirleaf Receives U.S.$2 Million for EPS?

Following the completion of his "mission," Robert Sirleaf, bowed out as Chairman of the Board of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL).

His mother, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who made the announcement, was full of praises of the remarkable achievement of Mr. Sirleaf, saying "he has done a good job." But his leadership at NOCAL was not embraced by all Liberian activists and opposition political leaders. For them, the President was in violation of the constitution for appointing her children, Robert one of them, to positions in government, and termed it conflict of interest. Though, not in the mainstream of the day to day running of government, Mr. Sirleaf is reportedly performing other tasks. As this paper gathered, Mr. Sirleaf was sent to receive US$2 million dollars on behalf of the Executive Protection Service (EPS).

Less than a year after his resignation from Government, as Chairman of the Board of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) and Senior Advisor to the President, Mr. Robert Sirleaf, son of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is alleged to have received US$2M from the Algerian Government for security operations.

Top security sources close to Mr. Sirleaf told this paper last week that the amount was pledged by the Algerian Government as part of its technical support to the Executive Protection Services (EPS.)

"This amount should have been received by the former EPS Director, Mr. Othello Warrick. But when the Algerian Government said the amount was ready, President Sirleaf asked that her son should go for the money," the source who declined to be name said.

The source said the amount is intended to purchase some equipment and help the EPS. Moreover, it is part of that country's military assistance to Liberia. President Sirleaf held a press conference to announce the resignation of Mr. Sirleaf, whom she described as being helpful in transforming the oil sector.

Since the amount was reported to have been received, it is not known whether the amount has been used for the intended purpose.

The report did not also say Mr. Sirleaf misapplied the amount in question, but whether he is the most appropriate person to have received the amount on behalf of government is of concern. When this paper made contact with Mr. Sirleaf's office, security officers assigned at the gate said he was not available for comment. This means, that this paper could not independently verify this information.

"Mr. Sirleaf is not around. If anything, you can leave your number for us to call you when it is necessary," one officer only identified as Harry.

At the Ministry of Information, all officials contacted declined to comment on the matter.

One top official said, "I am not clothed with the authority to speak on that matter. I do not know much on what you have said. It requires making some calls."

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