Liberia’s Former Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Ordered to Report to LACC

MONROVIA, Montserrado – Barely 48 hours into his resignation as deputy minister of foreign affairs, President George Weah has directed Elias Shoniyin to report to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission to comply with the laws of the state.

On Monday, May 6, Shoniyin tendered in his resignation. The former deputy minister of foreign affairs did not provide a specific cause for his resignation but said it was for personal and professional reasons.

On Tuesday, May 7, the Executive Mansion issued a statement thanking Shoniyin for his 13-year service to the government.

“The president has, however, directed Shoniyin, who served both in the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the current administration, to report to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission in adherence to official exit process consistent with best practice and the laws of the land,” the press statement said.

Shoniyin is the first senior government official in the CDC government of President Weah to tender in a resignation.

In 2006, Shoniyin was first appointed to the government by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as assistant foreign minister. He was later elevated as deputy minister for international cooperation.

During Sirleaf’s administration, Shoniyin was accused of impropriety connected to grants provided by the Japanese government. The Daily Observer reported that the Foreign Ministry’s Internal Audit Bureau had found Shoniyin partly responsible for “misappropriating” the funds. When President Weah reappointed Shoniyin, there were many calls for a change in direction, given the corrupt reputation Shoniyin had built.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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