“I didn’t Receive $30k” -Dillon, Dares Govt, Others to Disprove Him

MONROVIA – In the wake of controversies trailing the insinuation that lawmakers have each received the amount of $30k as legislative engagement from the recast budget, Senator Abraham Darius Dillon of Montserrado County has stoutly denied the allegation linking him to being one of the recipients and has thrown an open challenge to the government whom he accused of trying to destroy his character and any other person to come up with facts to disprove whatever he said.

Senator Dillon said it is unfortunate that the government and other detractors will want to go after him simply because he has set for himself a high standard, good character and reputation that he has vowed to protect in order to prove to those who elected him to be the example they want to see in leadership and spelt out categorically that there was no iota of truth whatever in the stories flying around that he benefited from $30k and has failed to disclose it to the people.

Over the last few days the public has been made to believe that some money has changed hands here at the Capitol Building with reference to the $30k for lawmakers. This allegation has brought public outcry and I owe it as a duty to my employer, my employer being my people who employed me with their votes and also owe it to my own character.

“Let me be blunt. I receive no $30K; Senator Abraham Darius Dillon received no $30k”

On the allegation that lawmakers have even taken loans from some commercial banks in the country and that through bribes, the government offset those loans, Dillon said that since he became Senator in 2019, he only took a $10K loan from the Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) and have since paid and there is no other obligation whatever he has with any financial institution which the government of Liberia has paid or will pay on his behalf.

“Anyone who believes lawmakers received bribes through bank loans and that the government will repay it, this is an open challenge to anybody to bring me any source of loan that I have taken besides the one I took in 2019.

“I am ready to issue power of attorney to any bank to release any information about me without recourse to me for verifications and if they bring information from the bank with a repayment channeled through the government system I will leave this office today”, Dillon said

The tough talking lawmaker provided some education on the allocation for the national legislature through the budget process, stating in a normal manner when allocation is made for the lawmakers, both the senate and the house of representatives meet to apportion their allocation where based on the numerical strength of the two houses, the house of representatives takes 66% and the Senate takes 33% and how the money will be expended is spelled out under the budget item.

“When we received the first $30k there was a public outcry from the public and someone who believed in listening to the people, we took an action with our colleagues that we will no longer take any money under any form besides our just salaries and benefits. So in this budget, we did not take anything and if you look at the item, it is not reflected under the allocation but in the house of representatives, it is spelled out how the money was going to be used. We voted in the senate not to include it in our budget, but when the printed version of the budget came out, the amount for the senate was there which was wrong”, he said

The Montserrado lawmaker who is affectionately referred to as “the light” said the $30k issue was a ploy by the government to divert attention from some of the issues he has been flagging out in the upper chambers of the national legislature and it felt that diminishing him was the best option. He named the audit report at LISGIS, the financial recklessness at the National Road Fund and just few days ago, the detection he made about the suspicious $30m expected from HPX a Guinean company desirous of using the Port of Buchanan to convey iron ore products from Guinea to the foreign market with legal reliance.

He said the $30m from HPX was a trick being used by the government to cover up the shortfall of $25m placed in the budget to be revenue expected from ArcelorMittal but because the new MDA has not been signed by the government, the steel giant is not willing to release any money to the government. He termed it as an embarrassment because the national legislature that should be in the know to rectify such arrangement is not aware and it will have a bad reflection on the government if at the end of the day the money is paid and the anticipated deal between the government and HPX does not come through.

Dillon warned the government from using his name to score cheap political capital, stressing that he is not moved by its antics as his target is directed to make sure that President George Manneh Weah is democratically removed from the Executive Mansion come 2023.

“My target is very clear and it is not directed at those who want to divert our attention from the real issues. My target is to bring down Weah from the Executive Mansion in 2023. I have the keys to the doors of the 17 apartments, representing the 17 electoral doors of Montserrado and we are going to make  sure that we will defeat them in Montserrado. So they are now going out from Montserrado County to places like Bong, Lofa, Nimba dividing money but for Montserrado they know they will be defeated and it is not out of arrogance. I am going to lead the charge against them in Montserrado and defeat them from here

Senator Dillon said the mistake he made with the ticket issue where he later on had to apologize for not telling the truth that he had control over, has been a big lesson for him and will not be repeated. He has put it behind him and is looking forward to protecting his character and reputation so the government and its agents should find another better way to get at him if they are serious and that they will fail woefully.

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