The United States is designating Liberian government officials Nathaniel McGill, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Chief of Staff to President George Weah; Sayma Syrenius Cephus, the Solicitor General and Chief Prosecutor of Liberia; and Bill Twehway, the Managing Director of the National Port Authority, for their involvement in ongoing public corruption in Liberia.
McGill has used his position to undermine the integrity and independence of Liberia’s democratic institutions and subvert government priorities for personal gain. Cephus has developed close relationships with suspects of criminal investigations and has received bribes from individuals in exchange for arranging for their cases to be dropped. Twehway has used his position at the National Port Authority to corruptly advance his own personal wealth and political agenda. All three are being designated pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world.
“Through their corruption these officials have undermined democracy in Liberia for their own personal benefit,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson. “Treasury’s designations. . . demonstrate that the United States remains committed to holding corrupt actors accountable and to the continued support of the Liberian people.”
Corruption has long undermined Liberia’s democracy and its economy, robbing the Liberian people of funds for public services, empowering illicit actors, degrading the business environment, and damaging the rule of law and effective governance in the country. Corruption also contributes to diminished confidence in government and public perception of impunity for those with power.
These designations reaffirm the commitment of the United States to hold corrupt actors accountable. The United States stands with the people of Liberia in support of democracy and the rule of law and will continue to promote accountability for corrupt actors, regardless of their position or political affiliation.