Lifetime Ban imposed on Liberia!

Perry B. Zordyu — As Liberian Government officials continue to face the wrath of the United States Government, the US Embassy near the Liberian capital, Monrovia has disclosed that all sanctioned officials and their families will be banned for life from entering the United States.

This latest statement was reechoed by the Chargé d’Affaires at the United States Embassy in Monrovia Catherine Rodriguez who reminded the sanctioned Liberian Government officials that they and their families will be banned from entering the United States for life.

Last week on Friday, December 8, and Monday, December 11, the U.S. Government added to its sanction list several other Liberian officials including Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee, Finance, and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah, Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Chie, and Margibi County Senator Emmanuel Nuquay, along with their spouses and minor children using the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and authorities under Section 7031(c) for visa restrictions.

Mayor of Monrovia, Jefferson Koijee, was designated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818. The order targets individuals engaged in serious human rights abuses and corruption. Koijee, in addition to human rights abuses, has been accused of corrupt acts such as bribery and misappropriation of state assets. He is alleged to have pressured anti-corruption investigators to cease all corruption investigations.

For Tweah, Chie, and Nuquay, they were accused of abusing their public positions by soliciting, accepting, and offering bribes to manipulate legislative processes and public funding, including activities in the mining sector. The immediate family members of the designated individuals, including spouses Delecia Berry Tweah, Abigail Chie, and Ruthtoria Brown Nuquay, as well as Tweah and Nuquay’s minor children, are also included in the sanctions.

In her media press roundtable, Chargé d’Affaires Rodriguez said calling out corruption and human rights abuse is a Biden Administration foreign policy priority that is advanced globally, and in these most recent cases, the designations were the result of the official’s individual actions, not those of a political party or the country itself.

“For those individuals who have been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control under Global Magnitsky, they and their families will no longer be able to utilize the U.S. banking system and they and their families will have a lifetime ban on visiting the United States,” she said.

She furthered “those sanctioned by the U.S. Department of State under Section 7031(c), they and their families will have a lifelong ban from entering the United States. 7031(c) provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that foreign officials have been involved in significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.” She added. She therefore calls on all Liberians to be steadfast in their discharge of their constitutional duties.

Meanwhile, some sanctioned Liberian Government officials have vehemently taken serious exception to the latest sanction imposed by the United States Government.

Senate Pro-tempore Albert Chie has vehemently denied all allegations brought against him the United States Government and said he will take advantage of the law to fight against the sanction. Others including Minister Tweah are yet to speak on the latest US sanction imposed on them.

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