Politics

NPP man flees Taylor’s revenge?

Information reaching the NewDawn suggests that former ruling National Patriotic Party or NPP lawmaker Rep. George Mulbah has ran from the NPP to survive a perceived imminent revenge by jailed ex-president Charles Taylor’s estranged wife Sen. Jewel Howard Taylor and dethroned House Speaker Alex Tyler.


Information reaching this paper on Tuesday, 25 April says Rep. Mulbah who allegedly campaigned against Sen. Taylor’s 2014 senatorial bid and was also instrumental to the removal of Mr. Tyler as House Speaker late in 2016, now finds himself in trouble with his two political rivals that appear to be threat to his chances of maintaining his Bong County Electoral District #3 slot.

There are claims that Sen. Taylor and Mr. Tyler whose parties NPP and the Liberian People Democratic party or LPDP have formed coalition with Sen. Geroge Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change or CDC, are blocking Rep. Mulbah from contesting on the ticket of the Coalition for Democratic Change or CDC in Bong Electoral District #3 in an apparent revenge.

In the wake of claims that Rep. Mulbah is being entangled by his rivals Sen. Taylor and Mr. Tyler, the NPP man is said to be seeking refuge in the hands of CDC breakaway Alternative National Congress or ANC to run on the party’s ticket for the Bong District #3 election this October.

The current situation is said to have constrained Rep. Mulbah to start looking for new political home that will enable him pursue his third term ambition. The NewDawn’s Bong County correspondent says Rep. Mulbah appears to be in some serious negotiations to join opposition ANC of Mr. Alexander Cummings in the heat of his battle with the Coalition for Democratic Change that his Party NPP is part.

There are claims that Rep. Mulbah is negotiating to go on the ANC’s ticket without a primary. If he is denied a free ride on the party ticket, the NewDawn correspondent says Rep. Mulbah will have to face District #3 representative hopeful Augustus B.C. Flomo who recently joined the ANC. When contacted, Rep. Mulbah said anything is possible during this political period, though he maintains that he remains with the NPP.

By Papa Morris / Bong County-Editing by Winston W. Parley

Last rush

The over praised interim Management of the Liberian Electricity Corporation or LEC is said to be involved into last rush big spending as its tenure nears an end.


Amongst some of its huge spending which has raised eye brows is the US$200,000 payment allegedly made for a disputed 1.84 acres of land situated within the Joe Bar Community in Paynesville on March 7, 2017, which management claims has stalled work on the Monrovia - Kakata corridor transmission lines project for over a year.

But what seems to be more strange about this payment is that documents available to the New Dawn shows that the US200, 000, which was purported to have been paid to the administrator of the George Jackson Interstate Estate, was actually received and signed for by Mr. Joel Refell of the Presidential Delivery Unit or PDU at the Executive Mansion, with Jones & Jones Law firm as the Payee.

The NewDawn on Tuesday, 25 April made several phone calls, followed by text messages to authorities at the LEC including Managing Director Mr. Foday Sackor and Chief Accountant Titus Morlu and Mr. Refell of the PDU to provide clarity on the payment, but neither the corporation nor Mr. Refell responded to any of the calls or text messages as at press time.

Another thing noted in the payment received and signed for by Mr. Refell is that LEC’s sector Ministry, the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy appears not to be involved in the payment arrangement as documents show.

Thus there are emerging concerns over how the Assistant Director of the President’s Delivery Unit Mr. Reffell, who is expected to have ensure due diligence became recipient of the US$200,000 and not the alleged land administrator of the Interstate Estate of George T. Jackson.

This paper has made repeated efforts to contact Mr. Reffell by calls and text messages through his phone number placed on the document on which he is listed as recipient, but did not succeed.

Further, there are also concerns as to how the Jones and Jones Law Firm that had in some cases represented the legal interest of those accused of power theft by the LEC became the “payee” in the contested “Interstate Estate of George T. Jackson LEC Land Payment” deal.

Given the signatures on the document that specifies the payment and recipient of the US$200,000 in person of Reffell, this paper is yet to verify as to whether the money was given to the administrator of the disputed land as was supposed to be.

In a legal memorandum authorized by the Director of LEC Legal Services Mayalan Keita - Brown on 22 February this year, the LEC reported that due to disputes over title or ownership to the Joe Bar, Paynesville, LEC Substation Land, the Monrovia-Kakata project had experienced delays with high variation costs of almost a million dollar.

The corporation says the variation cost includes the arrival into the country of contracted workers who were waiting for resolution of the land disputes before they could commence work on the Monrovia – Kakata corridor of the transmission lines.

“For over a year and a half the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) and the Administrators of the Intestate Estate of the Late George T. Jackson have disputed over the issue for the title/ownership to a 1.48 acres of land situated in the Joe Bar, Paynesville Community”, the LEC says.

It adds that on three separate occasions, the land administrators have disrupted construction and development activities at the Paynesville Substation, while claiming ownership of the property.

Citing time factor, the LEC says it sought advice from LME and the Ministry of Justice or MoJ, and that “based on the advice from the Ministry of Justice” to discuss with the land administrators, the  Corporation aversely agreed to pay a total of US$300,000 out of US$675,000 initially demanded by the party on grounds that LEC used the property since 1966.

By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

LTA campaigns for cross-border SIM Cards

Liberia Telecommunication Authority or LTA Chairperson Madam Angelique Weeks says participants at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names or ICANN Regulators Conference should brainstorm and strategize on how the telecommunications operations can be harmonized among ECOWAS countries.


She told participants Tuesday, 25 April at the Bella Casa Hotel in Sinkor, Monrovia that when SIM Cards are harmonized among ECOWAS states, citizens of the sub-region would not have to change their SIM Cards whenever they travel to ECOWAS states.

She argues that citizens of ECOWAS countries are presently using a single traveling document which is the ECOWAS Passport, noting that it harmonizes the work of the sub-region and gives easy passage to citizens.

During the conference on Tuesday, Madam Weeks noted the absence of a representative from neighboring Ivory Coast’s Telecommunications Authority. She did not say why Ivory Coast, one of ICANN’s key telecommunications member countries was absent from the conference.

Speaking via satellite, the head of ICANN Africa Strategy Mr. Pierre Dandjimou challenged the participants meeting here in Monrovia to strategize and come up with further regulations that would harmonize the workings of ICANN member countries.

Mr. Danjimou says the conference is very significant to the growth of the telecommunication business in the ECOWAS region. At Tuesday’s session, the participants discussed the overview, structure and outcomes, understanding the ICANN ecosystem, policy development process at ICANN first in Africa, Internet Critical Resources, K and K Roll Over, and ICANN Africa Strategy.

The conference also touched other topics including TLD management by regulatory body, presentation of experiences, ICANN online learning platform and IPv4 to IPv6 Transition. The conference continues on April 26 at the Bella Casa Hotel in Sinkor with other important aspects due to be discussed.

By Emmanuel Mondaye-Editing by Winston W. Parley

Trump’s America deports17 Liberians

The headquarters of the Liberia Immigration Service or LIS was a scene of sorrow and tears when relatives and friends went to receive family members deported from the United States of America for crimes committed and convicted of.


Immigration officers prevented reporters from interviewing the deportees and refused to release their names to the media on grounds that they are Liberians and deserve the right of protection from the Government of Liberia, said Abraham Dolley, Press and Public Affairs Director of LIS.

The Ministry of Justice and the Liberia Immigration Service received the 17 Liberians from the United States on Tuesday, 25 April onboard a chartered flight. According to Dolley, government is under obligation to protect their civil rights and ensure that they return to normal life.

Mostly males, the deportees were charged for various crimes committed in the U.S., convicted and subsequently served their sentences before being sent back home. Crimes committed include robberies, rape, street fight and illegal stay in the United States, among others. They were received by the Liberia Immigration Service and turned over to their relatives, who signed for them with the understanding of three months of psychosocial consoling in order to put them back on track with normal life.

The deported Liberians were transported from the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County onboard a LIS truck with police escort to the LIS headquarters in Monrovia, dressed in white T-shirts with their belongings in rice bags.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Ellen makes new appointments in Govt

President Ellen Johnson has made several appointments in Government affecting the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Labor, the Judiciary and the Grand Bassa Community College.


According to an Executive Mansion release dated 25 April; those appointed include Dr. Nathaniel G. Gbessagee, President of the Grand Bassa Community College with immediate effect. He replaces Madam Augurie Herring who has served as Interim President of the College since the removal of Dr. Levi Zangar.

While appointing a new head of the Grand Bassa Community College, Mrs. Sirleaf has dissolved the Board of Trustees of the College. An Executive Mansion release says the Board of Trustees will be reconstituted shortly consistent with the Charter of the College.

His appointment comes as a result of an independent Vetting Process instituted by the Commission on Higher Education of the Republic of Liberia. The Vetting Committee was chaired by retired Methodist Bishop Arthur F. Kulah and included representatives from the University of Liberia, the Commission on Higher Education, amongst others.

At the Judiciary, President Sirleaf has appointed Counselor Serena F. Garlawolu as Resident Judge of Criminal Court “E”, and Counsellor Scheaplor R. Dunbar as relieving Judge, Republic of Liberia. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Sirleaf has appointed Cllr. Lois Bruthus as ambassador to the United States of America and Mrs. Musu Ruhle as Liberia’s ambassador to neighboring Sierra Leone.

Mrs. Sirleaf has also appointed Atty. Jerome B. Kolleh as assistant minister for standards at the Ministry of Labor. These appointments are subject to Senate confirmation, where applicable. --Press release

Ellen admonishes youth at peace building conference

President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf says the responsibility to carry Liberia forward rests with the young people, recognizing that they make up a majority of the nation’s population.


Mrs. Sirleaf was speaking Tuesday, 25 April at the Paynesville City Hall when she delivered a special statement at the opening of the Liberian Youth Peace Building Conference initiated under the auspices
of the Accountability Lab Liberia.

The event held in partnership with the Swedish Embassy and the United Nation Mission in Liberia or UNMIL, targets about 200 young Liberians from the 15 counties here. It intends to deliberate on challenges relating to peace and security, and to generate concrete actions for youth’s engagement ahead of the 2017 presidential and representatives’ elections.

Participants at the conference include young men and women from diverse groups including the physically challenged and the less fortunate. The youth conference is first of its kind here, and it will enable young people to discuss five key areas including economic prosperity, entrepreneurship, diversity, tolerance, reconciliation, and sports and culture, among others.

In her special statement, Mrs. Sirleaf says young Ministers can be seen today in her administration, but there are quite few others who are the ones trying to make sure that they are part of the pillars and part of what enables government to keep going.

She told the conference that young people are going to be the ones that will have the responsibility to carry on the development of the economy, reminding them that they are lucky ones who had gathered to exchange ideas of learning, participate and contribute” to the learning process.

Mrs. Sirleaf has encouraged young Liberians to pursue their dreams with steadfastness, determination and commitment, saying they must be deterred by the obstacles that they will face along the way. She says there are many others who wish to be like those attending the conference.

Also speaking at the conference Tuesday, 25 April in Paynesville, Liberian -born Nollywood Actor Van Vicker cautioned youth here to have self-esteem if the they must be the change they want. Actor Vicker says change doesn’t come with empty talk, but it rather requires actions.

“If we the youth in this country are so desirous of making a change, then there is a need to follow our dreams; that’s the only way we can achieve the change. Our actions will determine whether we want change or not”, Mr. Vicker says.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Winston W. Parley

Bong County Service Center at records 6731 users

Bong County Service Center records six thousand seven hundred thirty-one (6731) Service users in its first year of operations.Tuesday, April 25, 2017 makes it exactly one year since the Bong CSC was opened.


Over the one year period, the Bong County Service Center generated more than six million Liberia Dollars. Bong CSC Coordinator, Mr. Jefferson Gbaryan puts the total figure at LD $ 6,998,520.35 equivalent to US $ 69,431.97. According to Mr. Gbaryan, birth certificate tops the number services offered at the CSC with a total of 4032 services.

Others include psychosocial services 1437, Business registration services 523 and Vehicle registration services 211.Deed registration services amounted to 106, Traditional Marriage services 60, while the CSC recorded 53 Letter of administration, 48 School registration services, 40 Motorcycle registration, 36 Drivers’ Licenses and 33 Western Marriage certificates among others.

The County Service Center is a one-stop shop for the issuance of documentation services relating to certificates, permits and licenses.

Implementation of the Liberia Decentralization Support Program is being carried out by the Liberian Government with funding from the European Union, Swedish Government, USAID, UNMIL and UNDP.

Already, Government and partners have opened seven County Service Centers in Grand Bassa, Margibi, Nimba, Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount, Bomi and Grand Gedeh Counties.

Lawmaker wants eviction halted at 72nd Barracks

Montserrado Country district#5 Representative, Thomas P. Fallah, is appealing to the Ministry of Defense to ongoing relax eviction of former soldiers and their relati9ves from the 72nd military barracks in Paynesville.


Speaking Tuesday during regular session of the House of Representatives, he says the eviction of the occupants from the barracks at this time is very crucial, particularly when the country is going to elections and preparing for a peaceful transition.

He argues that the decision by the Ministry of Defense to evict the ex-soldiers followed an urgent meeting with the Minister of Defense, Brownie Sumakai, including the leadership of the ex-soldiers and his office to discuss the matter.

He says during the meeting, he made a candid appeal to Minister Samukai on behalf of his constituents, currently residing within the barracks to give a volte-face of the decision preferably to January, 2018.

According to Rep. Fallah, in response the Defense boss requested that
because of the urgent need for accommodation for soldiers of the new Armed Forces of Liberia, the occupants should make available some units within the barracks to accommodate soldiers in active service with the AFL with immediate.

The Montserrado County lawmaker disclosed that 12 units were made available to the Defense Ministry authorities in keeping with their request, but regrettably and to his utmost surprise, the outcomes of that meeting were allegedly negated by Minister Samukai without an informed consent.

Rep. Fallah continues that his position for a volte –face on the eviction order released by the Ministry of Defense should not be misconstrued as interposing or objecting to the rule of law, adding that he is fully aware that the facilities in reference are owned by the AFL.

However, he would like to give a rational perspective on a “care
based thinking” approach than acting on emotionality.

Meanwhile, after discussions in session, plenary took a decision to invite the Minister of Defense to appear before the House of Representatives tomorrow, Thursday, 27 April at 10 A.M. to provide clarity.

By Bridgett Milton-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Nimba embarks on streets pavement

Authorities in Nimba County have embarked on re-opening streets in all six major cities in the county. County Superintendent, D. Dorr Cooper, said the exercise is being executed in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works.


Superintendent Cooper further disclosed that an amount of US$300,000 has been provided thru the Ministry to carry on interventions between Bong and Grand Gedeh counties during the rainy season. He added that the county administration was asked to use its earth-moving equipment to carry on the intervention. The opening of streets in Nimba came to a standstill for over a year due to some hitches.

By Franklin Doloquee, Nimba County-Editing by Jonathan Browne

Voice of Truth gets 250-kilowatt transmitter

Voice of Truth, a community based radio station in Pleebo City, Maryland County has received a 250 kilowatt transmitter. The American-built transmitter was donated by Mr. Eric Giko, a Marylander based in the United States.


According to Eric, the gesture is aimed at helping to upgrading the station’s capacity to extend its s coverage in the county. He says he has been encouraged to do more for the station based on handling of prior donations by the management there. Eric Giko told this paper in Pleebo that in the past, he provided a 20kilowatt FM transmitter, which the Voice of Truth is using presently.

A former representative aspirant of Pleebo Sodoken Statutory District, he says the donation has no political string attached. “I am not a political material in the upcoming elections, but will let my people know if a decision is reached to venture into politics”, Eric notes.  Meanwhile, he promised that during his next visit to Liberia in October, he would provide another 250 kilowatts transmitter to the Board of Radio Harper to get the station back on the air.

Radio Harper, the county’s premier community station, has been off air for over a year as a result of technical fault, but critics attribute the situation to poor management.
Eric is admonishing the management of the Voice of Truth to use the transmitter for its intended purpose, and calls on community dwellers and county authorities to provide financial support to the station.

Receiving the transmitter, the manager of the station appreciated Eric for the donation and promised that it will be used for the intended purpose. Mr. Dioh Wah however calls on other well-meaning Marylanders to emulate the good example of Eric.

By George K. Momo/ Maryland

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