13 November 2017

Liberia: No Deal - CDC, Robert Sirleaf Debunk Montserrado County Senatorial Promised Plot

Monrovia — Mr. Robert A. Sirleaf, a son of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has strongly dismissed assertions by Dr. Allan White, the former lead investigator, who was at the center stage of gathering evidence against jailed President Charles Taylor, that there is a deal on the table for the President's son to replace Senator George Manneh Weah if Weah is elected the next President of Liberia.

"There is no deal whatsoever between the Standard Bearer of the CDC for the potential vacancy of his Senatorial seat - None whatsoever. Anyone expressing this is simply a liar" - Mr. Robert Sirleaf

Mr. White, speaking in a Straight Talk Africa interview on the Voice of America said he has been informed by an unnamed individual who has spoken directly to one of the President's sons that a deal had been sealed with Senator Weah in which he will never go after the Sirleaf administration for any political corruption or graft.

"Second of all, there will be no war crimes tribunal.

As you all know in the TRC there is a reference. I know all too well what her involvement was and what it wasn't, but that is not what I am here to talk about today.

But thirdly, which is a very important issue, is that her son Robert has run for office before and was defeated soundly by Weah.

So, Weah had promised, so I'm told, and I talked to people and confirmed to the extent that I believe there is some validity to it."

White: Claim 'Not Yet Proven'

Asked whether he considers such evidence frankly incontrovertible, Mr. White replied:

"Since you're asking me, and this was brought up, I have not yet proven. I'm just telling you what I was able to uncover. But that the vacated seat of his position in Montserrado County, he would appointed."

A point of clarity was made by James Butty, one of the moderators on the show's panel who clarified: "Not appoint.

Weah would get his supporters because there is nothing, when it comes to votes that Robert Sirleaf has. But Weah has votes when it comes to Montserrado County. So if there is any deal at all, that's where Weah would come in."

But Mr. Sirleaf, responding to a FrontPageAfrica inquiry at the weekend said anyone uttering such a plan is a liar.

"There is no deal whatsoever between the Standard Bearer of the CDC for the potential vacancy of his senatorial seat. None whatsoever. Anyone expressing this is simply a liar," he said.

The former prosecutor, who said he recently came back from Liberia after being invited by some very senior people, who had asked him to come over and give an honest assessment of what they thought was going on as related to the elections, dismissed suggestions that he has a favorite candidate in the ongoing Presidential elections.

"The only horse that I have right now is ensuring that the rule of law is followed.

And I have always been about retributive justice, pursuing anti-corruption; that's what I have been doing for the past 15 years traveling around the world setting up anti-corruption programs and also ensuring whether there is retributive justice where possible."

Mr. White declined to name the people, who invited him to Liberia but said he met with each of the four members of the current coalition.

"I don't really want to name names right now, but I certainly met virtually everybody who is part of the four coalition parties that are protesting the election.

It's not a question of supporting anyone of them; it's not the question of supporting the rule of law and whether or not these are free and fair elections.

And having put my life in the line in part of the country where Charles Taylor had tried to kill me in the past, I feel I have some standing to help bring peace, security and stability to the extent that I can."

Asked what he thought of Senator Weah's running mate, Jewel Howard Taylor, who happens to be a former wife of President Charles Taylor, Mr. White said he is deeply troubled by the pick.

"If you listen to the Congressional hearings that were held last month, the US Congress as well as the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, as well as USAID Assistant Administrator for Africa, all voiced their concerns about any effort or any person bringing back a convicted war criminal for committing atrocities that impacted 1.2 million victims and over 250,000 deaths of Liberians."

Mr. White asked: "Why would anyone want to link back to those dark times and bring back somebody like that because was some discussion that had been previously reported and confirmed that George Weah had in fact talked to former President Taylor from prison cell in the UK, and that has been confirmed by the US government and UK authorities confirmed that as well.

So there was an effort to infuse his believes back into Liberian politics which he was prohibited from doing by the agreement when he left and went into exile.

So it's very troubling that anyone or any person or any effort to bring back a convicted war criminal that would be threat to not only Liberia but to the entire region would be absolutely incredulous in my mind."

While acknowledging that Senator Weah has the right to be his own man in picking the former first lady, Mr. White said, the point is there was so much money, time and effort spent by the international community not the least was the United States government's taxpayers' money to help bring peace and security to that region.

"And that was done not at the request of the WEST but was done, people forget this, but on June 4, 2000, the President of Sierra Leone requested that a war crimes tribunal be set up in his country and he knew fully well where that would end up.

So, with an African head of state requesting this tribunal to the Secretary General at that time, Kofi Anan at that time to set up a war crimes tribunal.

And that's what happened. So there was a lot of money spent to bring peace and security to the region. So the thought of bringing back someone that publicly went on a mobile phone telephone call anticipating and inciting violence that if you don't support that ticket, go back to your home base and vote for these people. That's amazing. "

Not a Question of Violation

Mr. White said the issue of Senator Weah speaking to former President Taylor is not a question of the violation of law but rather, a question of whether or not the Liberian people want somebody that has or wants to have links with a former convicted war criminal and bring back the policies of the former NPP.

"Now Jewel Howard Taylor, a little over a month ago, was up north in Nimba County area espousing that they wanted to continue the NPP policies that her husband had started but he was unable to finish because he was arrested and prosecuted by the international community. So, this isn't something that I am saying; this is something that has been publicly reported and things that she has said."

Mr. White explained that his interest in Liberia was solely as the chief investigator for the UN-backed war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone, responsible for investigating and prosecuting those who bear the greatest responsibility for the civil war.

"While directing those investigations, it took me directly to Charles Taylor in his support for aiding and abetting the RUF - Revolutionary United Front - I started in 2002 and as you know we were able to successfully... Foday Sankoh - and he (Taylor) was supportive of that and actually created the RUF back in the 1990s.

Of course in March of 1990 they launched the civil war in Sierra Leone, which he was responsible for. He was not convicted for anything that happened in Liberia.

However, as soon as we unsealed the indictment for his arrest for war crimes in June of 2003, I immediately went over to the country after he left in exile in August 11, 2003 to start conducting investigations in Liberia.

And I fell in love with the country and I fell with the people. And of course, the historical ties we have, and I remained in contact with large majority of the people for the past 15 years. So, I have an affinity for not only the region, but particularly Liberia and Sierra.

Meanwhile, the Liberian Government has issued a stinging rebuke of Mr. White's assertions, citing unnamed sources.

But Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe, responding to a FrontPageAfrica inquiry Saturday, said the government was gravely disappointed in Mr. White's claims.

'Quite Unfortunate', Sirleaf's Govt. Says

Said Mr. Nagbe: "The government of Liberia is disappointed over recent comments on the Voice of America Straight Talk Africa program by Mr. Allan White, who made several baseless, untrue and unfounded comments against President Sirleaf.

Mr. White's regurgitation of politically motivated hearsay is quite unfortunate. We hereby categorically deny again that Madam President has entered into any political deal to give any support to the CDC as is being claimed.

The statement said the Government, under the leadership of President Sirleaf remains focused on ensuing that she culminates her exceptional leadership tenure with a transition in which the people of Liberia will freely, fairly and transparently chose their leader at the ballot box within the constitutionally prescribed time-frame.

We urge Mr. White and others to contribute positively to Liberia's democracy by refraining from spreading untruthful propaganda.

Mr. White said he has been informed by an unnamed individual who has spoken directly to one of the President's sons, that a deal had been sealed with Senator Weah in which he will never go after the Sirleaf administration for any political corruption or graft.

"Second of all, there will be no war crimes tribunal.

As you all know in the TRC there is a reference. I know all too well what her involvement was and what it wasn't, but that is not what I am here to talk about today.

But thirdly, which is a very important issue, is that her son Robert has run for office before and was defeated soundly by Weah. So, Weah had promised, so I'm told, and I talked to people and confirmed to the extent that I believe there is some validity to it."

Mr. White has made a series of controversial statements in the ongoing Presidential elections in Liberia.

It can be recalled that Mr. White, during the early days of the political campaign season alleged that he had received information from credible sources that former President Charles Taylor was interfering with the 2017 election in Liberia.

"He's been in discussion with Senator George Weah who recently signed an agreement to join forces with Jewel Taylor - Taylor's former wife - to support seeking the presidency and the vice presidency. George will be at the top of the ticket".

The CDC at first denied the allegations but Senator Weah later acknowledged that he held a conversation on the telephone with Mr. Taylor but that such a conversation should not be misinterpreted to mean that he has a relationship with the ex-President.

"I was in a gathering and one of Mr. Taylor's relatives was in conversation with him (Taylor), and the guy walked up to me and gave me the phone saying President Taylor wants to talk to you; so I held the phone and spoke to him," Senator Weah told journalists who quizzed him on a number of national issues recently.

Mr. White was also in the mix of the Liberian politics when Senator Prince Y. Johnson, alarmed that he was summoned to Accra, Ghana by Mr. White and Mr. Benoni Urey, standard bearer of the All Liberian Party (ALP).

Senator Johnson said the meeting was called by White and his team to discuss the Liberian elections.

Senator Johnson would later tell reporters: "We were able to meet two white guys, one was Dr. Alan White and another guy and they introduced themselves as the lobbyist for Benoni Urey, but the way they said it was Washington wants Benoni Urey to be the next President since Donald Trump is a businessman so they want me to work with Urey"

White a 'Paid Propagandist', CDC Says

The latest revelation from Mr. White is also drawing rebuke from the CDC.

Janga Kowo, the party's secretary general told FrontPageAfrica at the weekend that it too is appalled by comments from Mr. White, who the party describes as "a paid propagandist" for insinuating that its standard bearer Weah, as President will appoint Mr. Robert Sirleaf as Senator of Montserrado County.

"These diabolical comments are a reflection of Mr. White's ignorance of Liberian laws and further proves that he is a paid agent on a mission to discredit the CDC.

Mr. Allan White's reckless and irresponsible comments about CDC amounts to interference with the Liberian elections and an open violation of Liberian laws. Mr. Allan White is a known Consultant to Mr. Benoni Urey and his comments should never be taken seriously." Mr. Kowo said the party will shortly lodge a complaint with the relevant institutions of the US Government on what he terms Mr. White's destabilizing activities in Liberia.

Representative Acarous Moses Gray (District No. 8, CDC) for his part questioned the neutrality of Mr. White in the ongoing controversy.

Rep. Gray said in 2010, Mr. White was introduced to a core group of Cdcians as a lobbyist, who could do some international and regional lobby for a CDC victory in 2011.

Said Rep. Gray: "This introduction was done by Alex Whapoe and Richelieu Urey who are currently stalwarts of Benoni Urey's ALP.

Allan White presented a document that was contrary to what was discussed and interestingly he had received US$10,000 dollars prior to him presenting the document.

His quest was for consultancy with astronomical fees attached and this was turned down which provoked his anger against Patriot Weah and the CDC.

Interestingly, Allen White in 2017 was again introduced to Urey by the same crew and this time White pocketed hundreds of thousands from stolen wealth Urey got from the Charles Taylor regime."

"It is no secret that Urey identified with CDC in 2011 so he heard about White mission."

A 'Dangerous Lie' on Weah

Continued Rep. Gray: "Allan White had not stop there but he went further to meet Vice President Boakai, according to highly-placed sources and got some financial benefits.

Mr. White was quick to justify his accepted lobby money by going all out on the international wire to say only Urey and Boakai will establish war crimes court and failing to understand that Urey is no exception to facing war crimes if a court comes to Liberia."

Rep. Gray went on to say that Mr. White in his failed attempt to take Urey off the US Homeland Security list regarding perceived international deviants has chosen to deliberately lie on the CDC's standard bearer after his recent visit to Liberia seeking some cash from the LP, ALP and UP unholy collaboration.

"He has gone on the VOA to dangerously lie that Weah has promised not to prosecute corrupt officials and that Weah has a deal to appoint Robert Sirleaf as Senator.

White has to understand that Senators are not appointed but rather elected by the popular will of the people and his assertions are baseless and misleading, and intended to justify the recent cash he took from the unholy collaboration.

The people of Liberia are destined to make Senator Weah the next President and Allan White alleged advice to those rejected politicians to subvert the constitution of Liberia through an interim government will be rejected as we jealously protect our constitution."

"Nothing will stop the people of Liberia from deciding on who is best to lead our nation."

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