Home Governance Incorrect! …UBA-GH Slams McGill’s Account Seizure ‘News’

Incorrect! …UBA-GH Slams McGill’s Account Seizure ‘News’

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By: Varney Dukuly

MONROVIA: The United Bank for Africa (UBA), in Ghana has reacted to speculations via social media platforms that it has seized US$ 4 million financial deposit, allegedly belonging to suspended State and Presidential Affairs Minister, Nathaniel Falo McGill, in line with the recent imposition of the United States government against him.

The Head of Marketing and Communication of UBA-Ghana, Henry Dotay, indicated that it is unfortunate that online users and media institutions are spewing falsehoods without reaching to the Bank for clarity on the allegation.

“The information came to us as surprise because, as I speak to you, we have checked the compliance department and operation department, and there is no account with Nathaniel McGill name on it in this bank; and so, we do not have any record of this man in question here in Ghana,” Dotay said.

After the US government slammed Mr. McGill and two other senior Liberian government officials with sanction for public/political corruption, several online news agency and pages of individual social media platforms were awash with claims that UBA-Ghana, has blocked the McGill’s private account, amounting to a whopping US$4m while others put the purported total sum allegedly seized to US$10m.

Interestingly, others quoted sources as saying the money seizure order was issued to the bank by the United States government, and that said alleged order was subsequently passed onto other banking institutions where McGill may have deposited his money.

The widespread claims come in the wake of the United States Treasury Department sanction against Minister McGill along with Liberia’s flamboyant Solicitor-General, Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus, referred to in many quarters as “Chief Prosecutor”; and powerful National Port Authority (NPA) Manager Director, Bill Twehway, also known by multiple aliases including “ELEPHANT” and “Gbekugbeh Jr.”

However, the United Bank for Africa-GH rubbished the McGill money seizure allegation, terming it as “incorrect” and strongly urged those who are spreading such information to check with the Bank for confirmation before releasing it to the public.

Mr. Dotay, in a telephone interview with a local radio show, OK FM in Monrovia, added that the US government did not sanction the UBA Bank in Ghana, least to mention authorizing the bank to take any action against Minister McGill.

Among other things, he said: “We have done some rigorous check on our system; and I can confirm to you that there is no such account with the name McGill or the Nathaniel McGill that exists in our data base here in Ghana. So that information cannot be correct, because the account does not exist.”

Still on the account issues, the Bank maintained that it does not want to be seen in any picture as taking things that do not exist or belong to it.
Prior to the UBA-GH’s clarification, the suspended State and Presidential Affairs Minister categorically debunked the allegation in the media, linking him to owning a mouthwatering US$ Four (4) Million Dollars bank account at the United Bank for Africa branch in Ghana.

“I am one official of the government who does not have any foreign bank account. GAC or whoever can audit me, I don’t have any foreign account, neither am I a signatory to the Ministry of State’s account. I don’t take government money,” Minister McGill told Front Page Africa.

Recently, in its statement, the American Treasury Department pointed out that corruption has been a long challenge for Liberia’s democracy and its economy, robbing the Liberian people of funds for public services, empowering illicit actors, and destroying the rule of law.

All three government officials are being designated for being a foreign person who is a current government official who has engaged in corruption, the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain and corruption related to the extraction of natural resources.

The Treasury Department added that during his tenure in government, McGill “bribed business owners, received bribes from potential investors, and accepted kickbacks for steering contracts to companies in which he has an interest”.

According to the statement on sanction, McGill manipulated public procurement processes to award multi-million dollar contracts to companies in which he has ownership and used government funds allocated to other Liberian government institutions to run his own projects.

The US Treasury Department added that McGill also “made off-the-books payments in cash to senior government leaders, and organized warlords to threaten political rivals.” The Department did not, however, name the senior government officials to whom McGill made off-the-books payments in cash.
The Department did not also identify warlords, organized by him to threaten political rivals.

For the Solicitor General Syrenius Cephus, the US Government indicated that he “received bribes from people in exchange for having their court cases dropped and has also shielded money launderers and helped clear them through the court system.”

Prosecutors, in an attempt to quash probes, have been tampering with evidence in cases that involved members of opposition political parties.

Commenting on NPA Managing Director Bill Twehway, the US Treasury Department pointed out that he orchestrated the diversion of US$1.5m in vessel storage fee funds from the NPA into a private account and formed a private company to which he later unilaterally awarded a contract for loading and unloading cargo at the Port of Buchanan, in Grand Bassa County.

According to the Sanction statement, Twehway and others used family members to obfuscate their own involvement in the company while still benefitting financially from the company.

Howbeit, President Weah has suspended the three top officials until they are investigated, although it is not stated which state entity would probe these officials and when such investigation, as assured by President Weah, will commence.

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