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Liberia: Lawmakers Accuse President Sirleaf of Shielding U S Citizen Son to Evade Taxes in the United States

The Liberian House of Representatives over the weekend accused President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of concocting a  scheme to shield her son, Robert Sirleaf , a United  States citizen to evade  taxes in the United States by appointing to as head of Liberia lucrative National Oil Company on a pro bono basis.

Robert Sirleaf

According to a  May 7th  publication of a local Liberian daily, ‘New Democrat’, the lawmakers made the accusation last Friday at a news conference and disclosed that the President’s son is a United States citizens and the pro bono capacity which she appointed her son to is a ploy  meant  to avoid him paying taxes in the United States.

The lawmakers then called on the President to set a salary structure for Mr. Sirleaf and emphasizing  by recalling the President’s assertion by saying  “we have heard the President talk about Mr. Sirleaf is working pron bono because of his love  for his country and we do not challenge that”. The lawmakers said  Mr. Sirleaf’s pro bono status at the helm of Liberia’s lucrative oil sector is meant for the United States and intended to shield Mr. Sirleaf from paying taxes in the United States, giving the impression that he is not working in Liberia that the United States government will know and he won’t have to pay taxes.

Representative James Barney, lawmaker from Maryland County of  the southeastern part of  the country which borders Ivory Coast said  “and 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 the United States’.

The Liberian lawmaker in a strong posture disclosed that Mr. Sirleaf remains as the head of the country’s most lucrative state agency in a pro bono capacity, he would be “less accountable” to the people of Liberia, implying, “we want him to be more accountable”. Let’s pay him so that he can be more accountable”, Representative Barney asserted.

Liberian lawmakers latest accusation of the Liberian leader’s apparent ploy to shield her son to evade taxes in the United States as  a US citizen is yet another pressure and continual public  outcry  of many Liberians and the international institutions  condemning the Liberian leader for appointing her son to head the country’s lucrative oil sector while at the same time serving as Adviser to the President. President Sirleaf has been accused of nepotism and conflict of interest and has been pressured to recall her son from the National oil Company but has remained defiant and defends her action, stating her son is qualify for the job.



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4 Responses »

  1. I find it very difficult being a Liberian. We talk about things we do not know enough about, we reach conclusion on matters before knowing the full story, point fingers at people not realizing what we would do if we were in their shoe.I believe Robert is well qualifiled for the position and with his qualification he is one of the most loyal person in his mother’s administration and therefore he should seize the oppurturnity of appointment.

    I feel Madame Sirleaf has all rights to appoint him in a position she feels will be in her best interest and that of the country, however if he abuses the position then it is a different matter.I feel Mrs. Sirleaf did not abuse her position. I know it is an honorable thing for a man to serve his country on a pro bono basis, however I agree with Hon. Barney ‘s request to give Mr. Sirleaf a salary as it would usher in more transparency and accountability.

    On the matter of tax evasion, I believe it should be more a concern of The United States Internal Revenue Service then that of a Liberian Law Maker.In my status as a born Liberian residing in the United States, I humbly appeal to Hon. Barney and the Liberian Legislature to please propell and legislate the dual citizenship law as it would also be a tax benefit for Liberia as it is for the United States.


  2. Frankly , I would be too embarrassed to appoint any of my children to any position in government , whether qualified or not . Certain things are ettically wrong ; regardless of which and any way it goes . There are many others who are equally , and or more qualified than Madame Johnson Sirleaf”s son . Of course she expected some form of criticism . All this negative press is “tarnashing” her record of success . I pray she does the right thing and appoints someone else for everyone’s sake . May God be with us all .


  3. I agree that Mr. Sirleaf is qualified for the position he is appointed to. I also agree, however, that he be paid for his services.


  4. It na waste! So we know the real story. Liberia is in serious trouble having these clowns in government.


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