Politics

Police probe woman, 39, for alleged kidnapping

Thirty-nine-year-old Lynce Wallace, is presently facing interrogation for allegedly kidnapping an 11-year-old girl identified as Comfort Brown from Yorpu town, in Bong County to Maryland, southeast Liberia.


Police deputy county commander Superintendent Sampson Wah, says Police received tip off from Jeremiah Wee, an employee of the Ministry of Agriculture in the county that the victim was being mal-handled by Lynce Wallace on a daily basis.

Jeremiah told police preliminaries that while walking along the street in central Harper, he heard women sitting by the road side discussing how badly the victim was treated by her mother, something which he says led him to contact the Police after he saw bruises on the child’s body and selling water under such condition.

The victim narrates to this paper at police headquarters in Harper that she was taken from her parents under the pretense that she was being brought to Monrovia for school purpose, but did not know how the plan for her education changed.

She continues that upon her arrival to Harper, she has been working all day for suspect Lynce Wallce, selling cold water, beaten and insulted daily. The victim, who is presently in the hands of police authority in the county, is asking to be re-united with her parents in Bong County.

Speaking in the Kpelle vernacular, the victim, who spoke with her parents after efforts by Police deputy county commander Sampson Wah to trace her parents, says she feels insecure to live in any environment where suspect Lynce Wallace resides because her life is at risk.

Meanwhile, police investigation has charged the alleged perpetrator for kidnapping, tempering with child custody, and human trafficking. Lynce is to be forwarded to court.

Speaking to police via mobile phone, the girl’s parents Emmanuel Brown and Hawa Brown, who did not explain how their daughter went to live with Lynce Wallace, laud the Maryland County detachment of the Liberia National Police for ensuring that the girl is safe.

Superintendent Wah narrates that upon the arrest of suspect Lynce by police officers in the county, she claims to be biological mother of the minor but later twisted her tongue that the girl is the daughter of her sister’s residing in Monrovia.

He continues that when contacted, the purported sister whose name he did not disclose, claims to be the biological mother of the victim. Meanwhile, Superintendent Wah says police in Maryland County are doing all they can to ensure that those connected to how the child was taken to the county are interrogated.

By George K. Momo/ Maryland-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Brumskine cries over party’s emblem

Liberty Party political leader Cllr. Charles Walker Brumnskine is lamenting over decision by some LP executives, including Vice Standard Bearer Harrison Karnwea, national Chairman Benjiman Sanvee, and Campaign CEO Musa Hassan Bility, among others to use the party’s T-shirts and emblem to endorse the candidacy of Coalition for Democratic Change Standard Bearer George Weah.


Speaking at the LP headquarters over the weekend following his return to the country, Cllr. Brumskine says the decision by the three LP executives did not meet the approval of the entire national executive committee of the party and Liberty Party partisans in general.

The three LP executives declared their support for Senator Weah with Liberty Party’s T-shirts and emblems along with Weah’s photograph printed and put in the streets, while Brumskine was out of Liberia.

However, Cllr. Brumskine notes that officials involved and other LP partisans have right to endorse candidate of their choice for the runoff presidential election, adding that they are still members of the party.

He calls on LP partisans everywhere to embrace the three officials whenever they return home. Cllr. Brumskine notes that since Liberty Party lost the October 10, 2017 polls, partisans have the right to support any of the two candidates going for the runoff or better still, to remain with the LP and keep silent.

Cllr. Brumskine himself has not made an official declaration of support for either CDC’s George Weah or Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the governing Unity Party.

He says the Liberty Party is a peaceful political institution and it would not seek change for change sake, but for the interest of Liberia.  Political observers say Cllr. Brumskine has no choice, but to play safe in the eyes of the public, having enjoyed support of the governing Unity Party and other parties in its recent case against the National Elections Commission.

The LP filed a complaint of fraud and irregularities from the October 10 polls, calling for a re-run of the entire polls, but lost the case.

-By Jonathan Browne

LRA welcomes Nigerian tax expert

LRA CG Tamba in a handshake with Mr. Gbonjubola during Monday’s meeting with a cross section of senior management team at the LRA Hq The Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Elfrieda Stewart Tamba has welcomed to Liberia a Nigerian international tax expert, from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) of Nigeria.


According to a release, Mr. Matthew Gbonjubola, Head of International Tax at FIRS, is on a week-long assessment visit to Liberia under the auspices of Tax Inspectors Without Borders.

This visit is also in pursuance of implementation of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between FIRS and the LRA in fostering South-South Cooperation and knowledge-sharing to help attain target 17.1 of the Sustainable Development Goal.

This target seeks to strengthen Domestic Resources Mobilization (DRM) and promote partnership in achieving the SDGs. The partnership with the Nigeria FIRS was possible under the framework of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and the West African Tax Administration Forum (WATAF).

The visit is aimed at strengthening the audit capacity of the LRA and in general, domestic resource mobilization. Speaking during the opening meeting with Mr. Gbonjubola recently, CG Tamba expressed confidence that the visit will yield the needed results in strengthening LRA international tax audit capacity and also the audit of other specialized sectors such as manufacturing and the various subsectors in manufacturing.

For his part, Mr. Gbonjubola praised the LRA Commissioner General and team for the warm reception and noted that the aim to strengthen LRA international tax audit and other specialized audit training will contribute to domestic resource mobilization.

He assured that he would work with the LRA team to identify and assess potential unreported domestic revenue in the said sectors. “With my experience in tax auditing, it is important to note that working and sharing ideas together will help all of us to move forward, Mr. Gbonjubola noted, adding, “It is my expectation that at the end of this program, domestic tax staff will gain more knowledge to enable them work independently.”

 

UP wants runoff halted again

Liberia's ruling Unity Party (UP) is requesting the Supreme Court to issue another stay order against the conduct of a presidential runoff scheduled by the National Elections Commission (NEC) for 26 December, informing the Court that NEC has failed to clean-up the Final Registration Roll (FRR) as mandated.


The UP and opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) are due to meet at a runoff scheduled by the Commission for 26 December, following an alleged elections fraud and irregularities case filed by opposition Liberty Party (LP) against the NEC that initially stalled the runoff originally due on 7 November.

In a number of requests made in the Bill of Information filed Thursday morning, 14 December, the UP asks the Supreme Court to stay the runoff, rule that NEC lacks authority to set December 26 as new date for runoff election; and order that for the purpose of the runoff election the FRR given by the NEC to political parties in September 2017 shall be considered as a "Provisional Voters Roll" which shall be cleaned, sanitized and published in the manner dictated by the Court.

The UP backed LP's case that halted the 7 November runoff elections, but the NEC and the Supreme Court refused to grant LP's request for a rerun of the entire polls, though the Court acknowledged irregularities occurred to some extent in the October polls challenged by the two parties.

In the Bill of Information, the UP says NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya "created the impression that the FRR is cleaned, something the UP says defies the Supreme Court's opinion and judgment." It asks the Court to order that Chairman Korkoya and NEC's Executive Director be disqualified from participating in anything regarding the runoff.

The Bill of Information claims that during meeting with the NEC on 9 December, the UP and CDC had underscored the need for the cleaning of the FRR prior to the conduct of the runoff election as a matter of compelling necessity.

But the UP claims that as the meeting became intense on the matter of cleaning - up the FRR, Cllr. Korkoya allegedly ended the meeting in a rather abrupt manner with a promise that he would have cited the parties to another meeting."Up to the filing of this Information, Respondent NEC has failed, neglected and refused to cite the parties to a meeting," the UP alleges.

In an effort move the process forward, the UP says its representatives and CDC representatives met on Sunday, 10 December and agreed on what full cleaning - up of the FRR shall entail and reduced the agreement into writing and submitted it to the NEC as their recommendation regarding the FRR cleanup process.

But the party says NEC has failed to react to the recommendation allegedly submitted by the two parties due to meet in the runoff and did not call them into a meeting to discuss it. It says the NEC instead announced on Tuesday, 12 December that the pending presidential runoff would be conducted on Tuesday, 26 December.

Upon the NEC's pronouncement, the UP says it immediately registered its objection, claiming that NEC's announcement of the date for the runoff constitutes an irregular and improper execution of the Supreme Court's mandate.

The UP contends that the opinion of the Supreme Court calls for collaboration and consultation in NEC's cleaning up of the FRR with the UP and CDC, accusing the Commission of failing to exercise such collaboration and consultation in spite of repeated demands made on the NEC by the two political parties.

The UP wants the Court to order that ballots for the runoff polls carry serial numbers on each ballot stub corresponding to the serial number on the ballot itself in order to preserve the integrity of the ballots in the runoff.

It requests the Court to order that 15 days be allowed NEC's publication of the cleaned and sanitized FRR; and order consistent with Elections Law that provides that the FRR shall not be altered within 30 days immediately before an election, after the 15 days public inspection period of the cleaned and sanitized FRR has expired, an additional 30 days shall lapse before the runoff election shall be conducted by the NEC.

By Winston W. Parley

Women group protests at NEC

A group of women under the banner Movement for the Removal of the National Election Commission Chairman Cllr. Jerome Korkoya staged a peaceful protest Thursday, 14 December at the headquarter of the National Elections Commission (NEC) on 9th Street, Sinkor.


Speaking at the NEC Headquarters, the group's coordinator Madam Miatta Fahnbulleh said the women of Liberia are represented by diverse groups across party, religion and political affiliation, being concerned about the peace and security of the country, especially a conducive environment in which Liberians can elect their president and vice president without any fear or favor.

She echoes the group's call for President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf to ensure the removal of Chairman Korkoya from the Commission and the full implementation of the Supreme Court ruling and mandate before the runoff election is conducted.

Madam Fahnbulleh says the group believes that the failure to adhere to their call will not only taint the hard earned peace they fought for, the legacy of being the first female President of Liberia and Africa, but will also create an insecure atmosphere and expose their children and families to unnecessary fear and instability.

By Bridgett Milton--Edited by Winston W. Parley

MOE orders schools to remain opened

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has directed all principals, District Education Officers, and County Education Officers to ensure that all schools remain in session until the beginning of the Christmas vacation on 22 December.


An MOE press release issued on 14 December in Monrovia also says after years of civil war, Liberia’s education system has been in a state of crisis. The release furthers that the educational system was later made worse by the Ebola epidemic which caused the overage enrollment at schools to remain a significant challenge at all levels of the system.

The MOE press release notes that approximately 40 percent of primary school students are more than three years older than the appropriate age for their grade.
It says that Liberian children do not need any additional disruption that can negatively impact their ability to be productive citizens in the future.

The release says it is the Ministry’s responsibility to ensure that all of the children of the country have access to quality education. The release then concludes that the Ministry has been working to improve the education system and ensuring that children are in the classrooms and learning is absolutely important to them.--Press release

MOE orders schools to remain opened

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has directed all principals, District Education Officers, and County Education Officers to ensure that all schools remain in session until the beginning of the Christmas vacation on 22 December.


An MOE press release issued on 14 December in Monrovia also says after years of civil war, Liberia’s education system has been in a state of crisis. The release furthers that the educational system was later made worse by the Ebola epidemic which caused the overage enrollment at schools to remain a significant challenge at all levels of the system.

The MOE press release notes that approximately 40 percent of primary school students are more than three years older than the appropriate age for their grade.
It says that Liberian children do not need any additional disruption that can negatively impact their ability to be productive citizens in the future.

The release says it is the Ministry’s responsibility to ensure that all of the children of the country have access to quality education. The release then concludes that the Ministry has been working to improve the education system and ensuring that children are in the classrooms and learning is absolutely important to them.--Press release

HIGAB harvest cassava project in Gbarpolu, but…

A local Non-Governmental Organization known as Hope in God Association of the Blind (HIGAB) has begun harvesting its cassava project in Totoquellie, Gbarpolu County.


Mr. Johnson K. Dorbor, National President of HIGAB made the revelation Thursday, 14 December when he spoke to the NewDawn in the Township of Gardnerville in Montserrado County. He says the four- acres agricultural project started with the production of rice through a grant of US$3, 000.00 from an international group based in Finland.

According to him, the rice project was interrupted by the outbreak of the Ebola crisis, compelling the organization to redirect portion of the grant toward the implementation of its cassava project.

The HIGAB boss who himself is a blind person, also says apart from the cassava project in Northwestern Liberia, the organization is currently renovating a ten - classroom elementary school building in order to meet the educational needs of blind children of the organization.

He explains that children of HIGAB have been finding it difficult to acquire basic education due to the lack of fund to secure a building for the use of the kinds about hundred in number.

He observes that although the harvest of the cassava is ongoing in Gbarpolu County, the organization is in dire need of cassava processing machines which can only be possible through the help of donor organizations and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).

He adds that even though HIGAB is renovating the building, the organization would need chairs, black boards, doors, and other items to facilitate the smooth learning process of the affected blind kids, most of whom he says have lost their parents during the period of the Ebola crisis in the country.

He calls on philanthropists organizations operating in the country to come to the aid of HIGAB, complaining that the organization is unable to provide all the services needed for the growth and development of the kids sheltering at HIGAB national headquarters.

By Emmanuel Mondaye--Edited by Winston W. Parley

LPRC retires eight employees

The Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) has retired eight of its employees, following several years of work with the Company and making contribution to its growth and upliftment.


The company says the retirement ceremony is in line with the government's recognition plan that says once an employee serves any governmental institution over 3o years, such employee must be retired honorably to provide the opportunity for others to serve.

At a well-attended and colorful honoring program held at the Paynesville City Hall in Paynesville, Montserrado County on Wednesday night, 13 December, the LPRC management expressed delight over the services rendered by the eight employees, saying they contributed immensely to the company's success.

LPRC's Charles K. Kolee attributed the many successes of the Company to the retirees, encouraging them to move on with their lives, giving them encouragement that they will always be a family to the LPRC and their contributions will forever be remembered.

The program was held in two forms, one of which included the recognition of employees, and the honoring of retirees. The Company adds that the essence of certificating current employees is to encourage them to continue to work at the institution.

The eight retirees include Mrs. Alice M. Ketter, (1992-2017), Mr. Al-Josephus Taybior (1992-2017), Mr. John Y. Miller (1992-2017), Mr. Mark Toe, (1994-2017), Mr. Nyeah A. Tarpeh, (1996-2017), Mr. Joseph B. Quoinah, (2000-2017), Mr. Patrick Flomo, (2006-2017), and Mr. J. Momolu Dukuly (2008-2017).

The LPRC Management also honored Bernadette K. Grandoe as employee of the year, Wilrusha O.F. Kemokai as Assistant Manager of the year, and Jeremiah Wheagba as contractor of the year, respectively.

“Today we are not to retire people, but to honor for their service rendered over the years to the LPRC and our country at large. Their contribution has help the LPRC to what it is today and for that we want to appreciate you the retirees," says Managing Director Jackson F. Doe, Jr.”

He notes that today LPRC wants to recognize the efforts made by its wonderful employees who were being retired Wednesday tonight because of age tenure, saying many of them have done tremendous job for the company and the country as a whole.

The LPRC MD gives special praises to one of the retirees, Mr. John Dukuly who was the Manager for Application and software in recognition of his help in transforming the MIS system at the company.

He says many of LPRC's retirees have been a great help, recalling that two years ago, the he was able to meet those employees that were to be retired, asked them if they were prepared to be retired, and that they were all are prepared to be retired”.

Mr. Gbandoe encourages employees that will be retired in coming years to follow the example of their retired colleagues. Representing the Board Chair, Mr. George Kpawulu reminds the retirees that they should always continue the working spirit they started at the LPRC, saying he wants them to stand firm and continue the good work in their private lives.

"When we were retiring from this company we did not get the kind package that you are getting from here, so I want to wish you well in your next life, he concludes.

By Lewis S. Teh--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Pres. Sirleaf praises level of transformation at UL

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has praised the level of transformation at the State-run University of Liberia. She said she remains proud of the institution even after her administration particularly the general stability, remarkable improvement and the overall quality services provided at the University of Liberia.


“Today is a wonderful day; It is a, day we can all be proud of as I reflect on 2006, the first convocation in which I participated as visitor, the University had gone through some very difficult times: not sufficient budgetary appropriation, students sometimes staying at the University 4 years, 5 years and 6 years because the University was always closed; violence protest, difficulties in admission because of impropriety in the process :All of those; quality of work, quality of instruction, all requiring some efforts on the part of everybody to make this University what it supposed to be, Today am proud of all of you who have graduated, am proud of this University family-going back to Dr. Dennis, now Dr. Weeks with the progressive transformation that we now see,” President Sirleaf noted.

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the statement on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at the University of Liberia 98th Commencement Convocation at UL Fendell Campus in Louisiana –Montserrado County. The Liberian leader who is also the Visitor to the University recalled in 2006 when the University of Liberia was in an appalling condition with persistent students’ demonstration something she said caused major setbacks to the University calendar of events among others.

She lauded the collective efforts of past and present leaderships, members of the University of Liberia including students for their noteworthy efforts over the years in transforming the University at different levels. She congratulated the graduates and recognized their many sponsors, parents, and guidance and family members for the support given them and the high studies among others. Some 3,448 students graduated in various disciplines.

Delivering his commencement address, Ghanaian President, Nana Ado-Dankwa Akufo Addo thanked the University of Liberia for the invitation to serve as the 98th Commencement Speaker of the University of Liberia and for honor bestowed on him. He noted the December 7 recent ruling made by the Supreme Court of Liberia on the presidential election, must ensure that Liberia will have its first peaceful handover of power from one democratically elected leader to another in 73 years.
“The work undertaken by that truly historic figure, the first elected female leader of an African nation, President Sirleaf, in stabilizing the country, after a bitter and protracted civil war has been very solid and commendable,” he said. He continued: “I am anticipating that, at the end of the day, Liberia’s institutions, particularly the Supreme Court and the Electoral Commission, will be up to the task, and shepherd the country through a successful transition.” He used the occasion to congratulate the graduates for their academic achievements. Meanwhile, President Akufo Addo departed Liberia on Thursday for Ghana.

Earlier, Dr. Ophelia Weeks, President of the University of Liberia commended President Sirleaf for the support given to the University over the years and the maintenance of peace, progress and stability in Liberia and described her as a great leader. Dr. Weeks, in appreciation of President Sirleaf's contribution to the University of Liberia and excellent leadership skills exhibited presented a Certificate of Appreciation to President Sirleaf.

She used the occasion to praise the UL Administration and students for their involvement in dialogue in moving the university forward.Dr. Weeks stared at acts of violence at the university campuses that almost created unhealthy situation for the 98th Commencement convocation. She named peaceful dialogue as a possible means of addressing critical situation confronting students who feel disenchantment and not violence. “Today we celebrate all our graduates and say well done,” Dr. Weeks intoned.

The ceremony was graced by several senior government officials, international partners, members of diplomatic missions accredited to Liberia, family members, among others.

 

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