Home Politics Margibi’s Dilemma!…As Senators-elect: McGill, Nuquay Fall Prey To US Sanctions

Margibi’s Dilemma!…As Senators-elect: McGill, Nuquay Fall Prey To US Sanctions

by News Manager

By: H. Richard Fallah

KAKATA, MARGIBI CO: The United States Department of States recent list of sanctioned Liberian officials has not only affected the government of Liberia, but also placed one of the countrys fifteen (15) political sub-divisions, Margibi County, in a tight position as two of its Senators-elect have been sanctioned for alleged public corruption. Margibi County which is just a stone-throw away from Montserrado County, has been cut in the web by the United States recent actions. The Countys dilemma began when former Minster of States for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel Falo McGill, was sanctioned by the United States government months to the the October 10, 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections during which he was elected as Senator of Margibi County.

The County made the decision to elect former Minister McGill after the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) apparently ignored the US sanction and allotted its party`s slot to McGill to contest.

Despite the U.S. Government’s warning of a possible sanction against anyone or institution doing business with former Minister McGill, the ruling CDC did not hesitate in awarding him a slot to contest for the Senatorial seat in Margibi County.
The decision of the sanctioned former Minister (McGill) to contest as approved earlier by the ruling CDC remains a discussion across the country; as many critical observers, and commentators, then, questioned the incumbent government`s sincerity in the fight against corruption.
Some commentators are of view that the previous move by the CDC to have ignored the US sanction and fielded two officials; Nathaniel McGill of Margibi and Bill Tweahway of Rivercess Counties undermined the fight against corruption as declared by the incumbent government.
Other political analysts hold the view that such step taken by the people of Margibi even after several publicity on the U.S action against McGill, was a slap in their own faces.

During the campaign period, while on his (McGill) campaign activities, some citizens in the county who were pro-McGill supporters, were heard on many occasions singing; “sanction, or no sanction, we will vote for you.”
In August 2022, the United States Treasury Department sanctioned the now Margibi Senator-elect, Nathaniel McGill, and two other top Weah’s officials, Bill Tweahway; former Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA), Bill Tweaweay; and Cllr. Sayma Syrenuius Cephus, former Solicitor General of Liberia, for public corruption and misuse of power.
The statement noted, that under the sanctions, all property and interests in property of the three (3) officials that are in the United States must be blocked and reported to Treasury, while people who engage in transaction with the officials may themselves be subject to sanctions.
McGill, along with the two, were immediately suspended for time indefinite by President George Weah. The accused officials later resigned from the Weah-led government.

However, McGill and Cllr. Cephus categorically denied any wrong doing and requested for evidence from the United States government to substantiate the claims made against him. Both Cephus and McGill calls for investigation of the claims to prove either their innocence or guilt in a court of competent jurisdiction.
Specifically, in a reaction to the U.S sanction against him, in August 2022, McGill insisted that while he sincerely believes that the US Treasury, out of good intention, tries to identify individuals who are engaged in corruption, he was wrongly targeted.
He added then, that individuals the US may have spoken to may have “misinformed them about his involvement in corruption.

McGill noted that while there were other allegations he could not speak to, he maintained that he has never been engaged in corruption.
It seems the United States government has shut the door of a possible support to Margibi County through its two Senators-elect, when Washington designated Senator-elect, James Emmanuel Nuquay of Margibi for sanction.

On December 11, 2023, the United States Department of State designated the Margibi County Senator, James Emmanuel Nuquay alone with Liberia`s Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah, and Grand Kru County Senator and President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Albert Chie for visa restriction.
The U.S Department of States in its statement noted that in Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the United States is publicly designating Tweah, Chie, and Nuquay, for their alleged involvement in significant corruption by abusing their public positions through soliciting, accepting, and offering bribes to manipulate legislative processes and public funding, including legislative reporting and mining sector activity, an allegation that has been denied by Pro-tempore Chie and Minister Tweah.
However, Emmanuel Nuquay who got elected during the 2022 Special Senatorial Mid-term election, is yet to officially respond to the U.S action.

But in a video which has been circulating on social media, Nuquay is heard saying “if America condemns you, that means, the whole world has condemned you” in apparent reference to McGill.
According to social media report, such assertion was made few weeks ago during the campaign period, when he was apparently throwing jabs on the CDC candidate, and now Senator-elect, Nathaniel McGill, who was sanctioned along with Cephus and Tweahway.
Many keen observers and commentators now see the situation of the county as not a good sign for the people of Margibi and that it could undermine the progress and development of the county.
Margibi County, established in 1963 is situated on the North to Central Coast of Liberia. It is one of 15 counties that constitute the first-level of administrative divisions in the country. Margibi County has five Electoral Districts, with Kakata as its Capital.

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