Fact CheckLiberiaPolitics

Misleading! McGill and Cllr. Cephus were not sacked; they resigned

Claim: A senior strategist on the Campaign Team of the Collaborating Political Party (CPP), George Wisner, claimed “Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus, former solicitor general of Liberia and Nathaniel McGill, former minister of state and chief of staff of Liberia’s President, George M. Weah were fired.”

Verdict: Misleading! McGill and Cllr. Cephus were not sacked. Instead, they resigned after President Weah suspended them.

Full Text

A senior strategist on the campaign team of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), George Wisner, has claimed “Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus and Nathaniel McGill were fired.”

Nathaniel McGill and Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus were a former senior official of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change-led government who served as Minister of State and Solicitor General of Liberia, respectively.

The United States Treasury Department sanctioned the two men for acts of corruption under the Global Magnitsky Act.  

In discussing the issues on Wednesday, July 18, 2023, on Truth 96.1FM, Mr Wisner claimed the officers were sacked around the 1:52:40 – 1:53:55 of the recording.

Mr Wisner alleged that the reason why former Minister McGill and Cllr. Cephus were disgraced by the United States of America and subsequently left the government because they lied against his political leader, Alexander Benedict Cummings.

Mr Wisner indicated, “Mr Cummings is a son of a pastor, and so when people lie against Mr Cummings, there will always be consequences.”

Mr Wisner alleged that both McGill and Cephus instigated the lawsuit and chief prosecutor of the case involving a court case against the standard bearer of the ANC and the CPP, respectively.

It can be recalled that a constituent member of the CPP, the All Liberian Party took Mr Cummings to court over allegations of tempering with the CPP’s document but was set free based on lack of evidence. 

Verification

To begin with, DUBAWA first contacted the claimant, Mr Wisner, via WhatsApp to provide evidence of his claim.

As seen in the screenshot below, Mr Wisner has yet to respond to the message. 

DUBAWA then discovered through several media outlets, including the Voice of America (VOA-Africa) and The Analyst Newspaper, that the two former senior government officials of the ruling CDC resigned instead of being fired.

DUBAWA obtained copies of their resignation letters and found a statement on the official website of  Liberia Executive Mansion, wherein the Liberian president accepted letters from his two senior officials.

Below is an excerpt from the letter of resignation dated September 9, 2022, former Solicitor General of Liberia, Cllr. Sayma Syrinus Cephus to President George Manneh Weah.

Conclusion

Mr Wisner’s assertion that Mr McGill and Mr Cephus were sacked is misleading.

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