Liberia: Sen. Dillion Accuses Some Colleagues of Conflict of Interest

Senator Abraham Darius Dillon of Montserrado County.


…. Says  he is in possession of a  highly classified document that exposes  some of his colleagues' close financial ties to road construction contractors.

Senator Abraham Darius Dillon of Montserrado County has alleged that he is in possession of a highly classified document that exposes some of his colleagues close financial ties to road construction contractors.

Dillon, who accused several lawmakers whom he did not name individually, claimed that the corrupt act is leading to the continuous delay or incomplete nature of road projects across the country, which  is struggling to rebuild.

"[I have in my] possession, a document connecting some  lawmakers with local road construction contractors," Dillion alleged.  

"As a result of these connections, some construction companies that are especially owned or controlled by lawmakers and/or government officials have defaulted in the completion of contracts duly paid in full." 

According to Dillon, such activities not only violate Liberia's conflict of interest law but also compromise the quality of road infrastructure projects.  

He is of the view that the secret arrangements undermine the principles of transparency, accountability, and fair play that are essential for public resources to be utilized effectively and equitably.

Dillion’s allegation, if  proven true, would be a clear violation of the country's conflict of interest law, which aimed at prevent any public official from engaging in activities that could compromise their objectivity, impartiality, or judgment. 

The laws exist to ensure that public officials act solely in the best interest of the country and its citizens, rather than pursuing personal or financial gains. The allegations by Dillion are, however, expected to spark outrage and raise concerns among the public, which has long endured the consequences of poor road infrastructure. 

In Montserrado County, particularly, roads are riddled with potholes and often go for years without any maintenance or repairs. The consequence is devastating for rural areas, not just in Montserrado, which is the country's most populated county with large rural communities. 

Dillon's revelation came in response to Senator Milton Teahjay of Sinoe County's concerns about the deplorable state of roads across the country. Specifically, Teahjay highlighted the Southeast Corridor as an area where contractors have been paid but have failed to fulfill their contractual obligations.

The ensuing debate among Senators became heated, leading Grand Cape Mount County Senator, Varney  Sherman, to demand that the Public Works Minister and other relevant agencies be held in contempt. 

The Senate then unanimously supported this motion, voting to cite the Public Works Minister Ruth Coker-Collins, the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PCC), the authorities of the National Road Fund, and the CEOs of companies that have received road rehabilitation and maintenance contracts from the government.

These authorities and companies are expected to appear before the Senate Committee of a whole on July 11, to address the Senate's inquiries about the incomplete implementation of contracted projects, which has kept road conditions in a deplorable state nationwide.

Among the companies summoned to appear are Desire, Millennium, SSF, Prime Plus, JD Construction Company, Future Builders, and Chen Construction Company. Other companies that have received government contracts in the same field but were not specifically mentioned will also be asked to attend.

The Senate has requested that all cited companies to submit all relevant documentation regarding their contracts by July 10 so that Senators are adequately prepared for the subsequent hearings.

As the controversy unfolds, all eyes are on the document promised by Senator Dillon. The truthfulness and impact of his allegations will be revealed once the evidence is presented.

The outcome of this revelation, whichever way it goes, will have significant implications for the political landscape in Liberia. If the document proves to be legitimate and accurate, Public trust in the Legislature would further diminish, and pressure for accountability will intensify. 

On the other hand, if the claims are unfounded or fail to be substantiated, Dillon's reputation might be at stake, affecting his credibility as a politician.