Liberia’s Sirleaf Suspends Son, 45 Other Top Officials In Assets Investigation

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (seen in Accra on August 9) Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has suspended 46 government officials, including her son, for failing to declare their assets, the presidency said Tuesday.

“President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has, with immediate effect, suspended 46 government officials for failing to declare their assets to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission,” said a press release.

Charles Sirleaf, son of the president and deputy governor of the Central Bank, and David Anderson, chief of protocol at the executive mansion, are among those suspended.

The list also includes several deputy ministers and provincial superintendents.

When appointed to their respective positions, the officials were given 14 days to declare their assets.

“The suspension will remain in force until President Sirleaf receives confirmation from the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission that they have met the assets declaration requirements,” according to the press release.

Before being reinstated, the suspended officials will have to pay the government an amount representing the value of their salaries and allowances for the period of suspension, it said.

When first elected in 2006 Sirleaf declared war on corruption, but failed to make serious inroads despite dismissing several ministers.

Africa’s first elected female president, Sirleaf won a second term in 2011 elections and tackling graft is still one the most pressing issues in the country nine years after the end of a devastating civil war.

At Sirleaf’s swearing-in ceremony in January, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: “Corruption is one of the roadblocks to greater prosperity here in Liberia.”

In June the International Crisis Group released a report warning that corruption, along with nepotism, impunity and unemployment, could “jeopardise Liberia’s democracy.”

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