The sanctioned Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill, has denied owning a foreign bank account in Ghana contrary to media report.
“I am one official of the government who does not have any foreign bank account whether in Ghana or anywhere,” the minister said.
McGill, who, along with two other government officials, has been sanctioned by the US Treasury for public corruption, claims that he is willing to be audited as a means of showing that he does not own any foreign account.
“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, and nor am I a signatory to the Ministry of State’s account. I don’t take government money,” said McGill in audio shared with the Daily Observer by Frontpage Africa.
The Minister’s defense comes in the space of a few days after GNN, which is owned by veteran Liberian Journalist Joel Cholo Brooks, reported that McGill’s private account at United Bank for Africa (UBA) in Accra, Ghana, allegedly contained over US$4 million, and has been blocked as a result of his sanction designation.
Brooks who has worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service noted in his story that the order to block McGill’s account was issued to the bank in the United States, and to other banking institutions where the minister deposited his money.
McGill is being sanctioned by the US for public corruption in line with the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
“He used his government position to bribe business owners, received bribes from potential investors, and accepted kickbacks for steering contracts to companies in which he has an interest,” the US Treasury Department said.
“McGill has manipulated public procurement processes in order to award multi-million dollar contracts to companies in which he has ownership, including by abusing emergency procurement processes to rig contract bids.
McGill is credibly accused of involvement in a wide range of other corrupt schemes including soliciting bribes from government office seekers and misappropriation of government assets for his personal gain. He has used government funds allocated to other Liberian government institutions to run his own projects, made off-the-books payments in cash to senior government leaders, and organized warlords to threaten political rivals,” the Treasury added.
The US also said the Minister has received an unjustified stipend from various Liberian government institutions and used his position to prevent his misappropriation from being discovered — and that regularly distributes thousands of dollars in undocumented cash to other government officials for government and non-government activities.”
“McGill is being designated for being a foreign person who is a current government official who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery,” the Treasury said.
His sanction is pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world.
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