Liberia’s Finance Minister, Samuel Tweah May Be Designated For Sanctions If….

Liberia’s Finance Minister, Samuel D. Tweah

GNN has credibly gathered that one of the confidants of the Liberian presidency may be heading for trouble in falling into the web of the United Treasury Department via the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act which recently sanctioned three senior officials of the Liberian Government.

Recently the dismissed Deputy Director General for Statistics and Data Processing at Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) Alex Williams broke silence on the president’s action, and further accused the Minister of Finance and Planning, Development, Samuel D. Tweah of being on the frontline of the failure of LISGIS’s activities.

Speaking recently in a live interview on Spoon online TV, Monday, November 14, 2022, Alex M. Williams said he was never appointed by the president; therefore, he cannot be dismissed by him.

“I am not a presidential appointee; I do not work at the will and pleasure of the president; I encourage the office of the president to show any communication where the president appointed me as Deputy LISGIS Director General…..there is no such communication,” Williams noted.

Williams explained that Section 50 (A).2 of the 2004 LISGIS Act talks about the president appointing the director general of LISGIS while the Board is charged with the responsibility to appoint the three deputies, adding “it did not say the president should appoint the deputies…”

He disclosed that after three months of probation, the Board of LISGIS appointed him as Deputy Director General for Statistics and Data Processing, arguing that the president cannot fire him because he was not hired by him.

Commenting on his dismissal, Williams said he tendered in his resignation on Saturday, November 12, 2022, two days before the president dismissed him.

But he said the government called him and said the content of his letter of resignation was embarrassing and reportedly asked him not to leak it to the media, something he did.

Williams furthered that after he resigned, he had an interview with VOA but later pleaded with the station not to air it after the government contacted him not to go public.

The dismissed LISGIS boss said even the Minister of Gender wrote him through an email on Monday, November 16, 2022 responding to his resignation.

“…how can I resign and then you say, you are dismissing me…you allow the president to dismiss me when you know that I am not a presidential appointee,” Williams said in apparent reference to the Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel Tweah who is the board Chair for LISGIS.

Regarding the census which did not start last Friday as earlier announced, Williams said far before the announced date, he knew that the exercise could not go ahead because of several issues. He explained that all around the world before a country conducts enumeration; it has to do canvassing and households listing.

This, he said, has to be done a minimum of three days before the counting which is the day of the proclamation. According to him, this was never done, thus making it impossible to have commenced the census last Friday as announced.

He accused dismissed acting LISGIS boss Wilmot Smith and other senior management team at the statistical house of misleading the president to have declared a national holiday when they knew that all was not well to begin the process.

“…how can you be having census Friday when you have not completed the training of the enumerators? He wondered. Williams accused his colleagues of massive corruption; something he said has impeded the smooth holding of the long awaited census.

He recalled that on August 25, 2022, a board meeting was held to discuss his suspension by the Director General of LISGIS Francis Wreh in February 2022.

During that meeting, Williams said the board, comprising of international partners said that he was illegally suspended, thereby ordering his reinstatement and the return of his vehicle.

The board, he stated established that the head of LISGIS and others were reportedly found guilty of what he referred to as rampant corruption.

Williams said he later resumed his duty as coordinator for the census, but surprisingly, Smith was undertaking programs without his knowledge.

He among other things alleged that some of those selected to serve as enumerators did not apply but were selected by Smith and others against his expressed will which he informed the partners about through a written communication.

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