Africa

Liberian president suspends son Charles Sirleaf

  • 21 August 2012
  • From the section Africa
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has faced accusations of nepotism

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has suspended one of her sons from the post of central bank deputy governor for failing to declare his assets, her office has said.

Charles Sirleaf was among 46 officials suspended for not making the disclosure to anti-corruption officials, it said.

He was one of three sons appointed to top posts by his mother following her re-election last year.

Critics accuse Mrs Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace laureate, of nepotism.

She has appointed her son, Fumba, as head of the National Security Agency and another son, Robert, as a senior adviser and chairman of the state-owned National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL).

Good governance

Robert Sirleaf is suing two local newspapers - the Independent and The Analyst - and opposition politician Jefferson Kogie for libel for suggesting that he has benefited financially from the posts.

In a statement, Mrs Sirleaf's office said Charles Sirleaf and the other 45 officials would remain suspended until they declared their assets to the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Other suspended officials include the presidency's Chief of Protocol David Anderson, Solicitor-General and Deputy Minister of Justice Micah Wilkins Wright and Deputy Director General for Broadcasting Ledgerhood Rennie.

Mrs Sirleaf, who took power in 2005 at the end of 14 years of conflict, has repeatedly pledged to tackle corruption and to promote good governance in Liberia.

She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year, shortly before she was elected for a second term in polls marred by allegations of widespread rigging.

Corruption remains a major obstacle to development in Liberia, where most people live in poverty despite the country being rich in mineral resources, analysts say.

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