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.
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.