The Leadership of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) says it is a total misrepresentation of the facts, statements made by the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs on the Spoon TV Live on Tuesday, December 28, 2021 to the effect that the LNBA benefitted from his personal financial contribution to host the 2019 African Bar Association (AfBA) Conference in Monrovia.
The LNBA wishes to set the record straight that at no time did the leadership of the LNBA ever make a request to Min. Nathaniel McGill seeking his personal financial support or gesture to hold the African Bar Association (AfBA) Conference in October 2019.
In a statement, the LNBA says it wishes to further clarify that when the AfBA made the request in August of 2019 for the annual conference to be hosted in Liberia in October of the same year after Egypt had declined to host same earlier in July, both the Government of Liberia (GOL) and the LNBA were excited and saw the request as a great opportunity to showcase the country under the George Weah Administration. Both the GOL and the LNBA felt it was an honor for Liberia to host lawyers of the African Continent for the first time in the history of the LNBA. Predicated upon these discussions and due to the short notice given the LNBA, the AfBA delegation and the LNBA leadership met with Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor who was the first senior official that met with the AfBA delegation and pledged the GOL fullest support for the successful hosting of the conference. VP Howard Taylor made the initial commitment of making the Ministerial Complex available for the holding of the event.
The LNBA maintains that in the preparation leading up to the event, the Government of Liberia made a commitment to contribute Fifty Thousand United States Dollars ($50,000USD) which was not a personal request by Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, President of the LNBA, to Min. Nathaniel McGill, but rather it was to the Government of Liberia. The LNBA says the 2019 Conference was hailed as the best AfBA Conference in recent years, for which the LNBA and the Government received commendation and accolades at home and abroad for the fine partnership and collaboration which made the event a big success.
The LNBA makes it clear that in further show of support for the event, President George Weah extended an invitation for the conference delegates to have a dinner at his condominiums near his Forkle Krohn Prayer Chapel. The LNBA further maintains that under no circumstance will the Bar ever ask Min. Nathaniel McGill as an individual to provide US$50,000.00 or to give personal support to the LNBA and neither was such request ever made to him and never will such a request ever be made to Min. McGill who just a few years ago could not afford the luxury he enjoys now to make such wild claims.
The LNBA wishes to make it emphatically clear that it will never fan for handout from government officials including Min. Nathaniel McGill. The LNBA says that the contribution received in 2019 was a fulfillment of a commitment by the Government and people of Liberia to contribute to the hosting of the AfBA Conference. The Bar further says it is constrained to correct the misinformation spewed out in the public domain by Min. McGill in his quest to gain personal gratification at the expense of the LNBA. The LNBA says resources of the Government are not the individual funds of Min. McGill, except this is the impression he is creating, in which case it is a cause for concern that Government resources have being personalized by Min. McGill.
Meanwhile, the LNBA says the commendation and applause the Government and people of Liberia received back in 2019 for the hosting of a historic conference of African lawyers for the first time has been seriously undermined and rolled back by the latest assertions that the funds contributed were the personal funds of Min. Nathaniel McGill which the LNBA vehemently rejects.