Opposition leader Mr. Benoni Urey is considering options to sue President George Manneh Weah if it is advised by lawyers, following the latter’s recent claim that Mr. Urey is an alleged killer and thief.
“But let me tell you something, we’re looking at all legal options. Nobody ain’t going to call me a criminal and gets away at that level,” Mr. Urey told an exclusive interview with the NewDawn Tuesday, 16 July in Logan Town, Bushrod Island.
“And I want to say and overemphasize it, if you say I am criminal, bring the war crimes tribunal. I never financed warring faction. I never held no gun, I never ever been arrested one day in my life,” Urey who heads Liberia’s four collaborating opposition parties says.
“I will sue him if he doesn’t publicly offer me an apology. I will sue him. Even if I will win or don’t win … he has no right to violate my right. I have never publicly abused Mr. Weah or accused him of anything. Why should he publicly go and abuse me and insult my family?” Urey wonders.
The businessman – turned politician tells this paper that he is not a warrior, neither does he know how to support warring factions financially.
“I never fought any war; I never have been accused of anything, you know. But when the UN put us on this list … to influence the removal of President [Charles] Taylor from office, at the conclusion of it, they should have written to say these people committed no crime,” Urey complains.
According to him, he has made it clear to the UN Human Rights office how putting somebody’s name on a list without investigating them has got people going on national radio to call him a criminal.
Notwithstanding Mr. Urey says of all of the noise here with people accusing him falsely, he is not afraid of anything.According to Mr. Urey, he was put on sanctions list not because he stole, but because of his association with imprisoned former President Charles Ghankay Taylor.
He indicates that for years he was investigated and audited by many international institutions including the European Union, the State Department, the Government of Liberia and the local auditing firm here, saying “all those were cleared.”
“Nobody can point to one cent that I have ever stolen in my life. I challenge them. I have never even been forward to the GAC (General Auditing Commission) for audit or LACC (Liberia Anti – Corruption Commission) for investigation. Never in my life,” Mr. Urey argues.
He says as the longest serving Commissioner at the Liberia Maritime Affairs, he was never a signatory to any of the accounts abroad or locally.
Further, Mr. Urey explains that if he used his proximity to the president to make money, or his connection to make money, “it’s not a crime.”
“It’s not a crime. I did it, and I did it successfully. All the people who were higher than me in government under Mr. Taylor, where are they today?” he asks.
The 2017 presidential candidate expresses observation that while others spent their money flying first class, he flew economy class when he had to travel.
Additionally, Mr Urey reveals that all the time he was commissioner of Maritime, he never bought a new vehicle, but all his deputies and assistants had new vehicles.
Speaking of his business, Mr. Urey explains that he did not buy the land on which he is farming today, but he inherited it.
He believes that the greatest crime in Liberia is to be successful, as he challenges anybody to say that he was investigated for misappropriation or corruption.By Winston W. Parley