Senator Abraham Darius Dillon has admitted to lying about a controversial business plane ticket he flew on to the United States recently.
On the Spoon Talk Tuesday evening, Dillon said he regrets that he had lied and taken full responsibility for bringing himself to public disrepute for something he should have said yes about when news broke out that he bought an expensive plane ticket on Delta Airlines while in Ghana for his trip to the US.
"I regret that I have made my mother ashamed. I regret that I made my support base and friends shame for what I did. I am sorry and I promise never to repeat it," the self-proclaimed light at the Liberian Legislature said.
Dillon is Senator for Liberia's most populated County of Montserrado and is a staunch critic of President George Weah and his cabinet officials for what he refers to as the government officials' lavish spending of public funds and being insensitive to the plight of the masses.
Before him becoming Senator, he claimed that the entire Legislature was in the toilet and he has opposed everything concerning extravagance and lavish spending of public funds and while at the Senate now, he is on record for referring to his colleagues as "spineless" (not courageous) for not compelling Weah and his Cabinet Officials to account for their alleged corrupt practices.
It can be recalled that on June 26, 2021, Sen. Dillon wrote on his Facebook account claiming that he used economy class plane tickets for his trip to the US and condemned Front-page Africa Newspaper’s publication exposing him for lavish spending, even though he criticizes his colleagues and Weah for doing the same.
He bragged in his June 26th social media post that he has money and can choose to use it and travel on whatever ticket he wishes to but Front-page Africa’s report was inaccurate and only intended to get at his hard-earned reputation and political relevance.
He condemned Front-page Africa for the publication and termed the Newspaper's work as a smear campaign against him.
Rodney Sieh, Managing Editor of Front-page Africa took exception to Senator Dillon's outburst which was heavily supported by his followers against his Editor, Lennart Dodoo.
Sieh, while on the Spoon Talk in the evening of Friday, July 9, 2021, challenged Dillon to prove the publication wrong to further guarantee that he is indeed the political light he claims to be.
When contacted over by Stanton Witherspoon, Chief Executive Officer of Spoon Network, a conglomerate of media institutions in Liberia, Dillon said he couldn't answer at that time but on Tuesday which was July 13, 2021, he could put to bed the claims and counterclaims.
Contrary to his supporters’ expectations, Dillon admitted to lying about the ticket and apologized.
"The Friends of Dillon in the US facilitated my trip to the US but I upgraded my plane ticket to business class when I got to Ghana," the tough-talking Legislator further confessed.
He said his trip was not about lobbying for support to help fight against COVID-19 in the country but he used the time of his stay to seek assistance to make some contribution in the fight against the deadly virus disease.
"They invited me for a container full of supplies for the rehabilitation center we are building but we also sought some other help that will be coming soon, mainly to help in the fight against COVID-19," he said.
Dillon boasted of meeting with ranking officials of the US government who have committed to helping Liberia in some ways, including the construction of a public library in Montserrado.
Before his controversial trip, Dillon was under serious scrutiny and criticism for accepting US$15,000 as a Legislative engagement fund from the Ministry of Finance when the country was sinking deeper into many crises, including lack of enough medical supplies at public medical centers due to lack of enough funding.
He later made up his mind to return the money after Senator Emmanuel Nuquay of Margibi made public the receipt of the money and his plan to use it.
For Dillon, he planned to build a public library, although ignorant of the cost of building a modern library-something that costs over a hundred thousand United States Dollars.
After several lashes, he succumbed to the public outcries and decided to return the money through the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) but LACE rejected the money on the ground that it has no mandate to implement individual Legislator's projects as per Dillon's wish.
After some time, he made a donation of US$7,500 to the Montserrado County Health Team (CHT), something that also later experienced its challenge as the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah called on the CHT to return the money to the Senator.
There's no record to prove that the money was returned, though but Dillon has flip-flopped several times and at each point in time, came back and said sorry.
Lots of Senator Dillon’s supporters have expressed their frustration and disappointment in the Lawmaker for letting them down in the area of truth-telling.
Most of those who have posted or commented on the posts of others wished that Dillon had not slipped as he did, knowing that he did not commit any crime, nor could he be sentenced for telling the truth he says he stands for.
Some still hail Dillon for the courage to own up to his lie and apologize.
For the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)’s supporters, it has become a plus for them as the Senator’s blunders would be used for campaigning against his Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) base in 2023 general and Presidential elections.