Plot to impeach Justice Ja’neh intensifies

Two lawmakers of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Thomas P. Fallah and Acarous Moses Gray have submitted an impeachment bill against Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia Kabineh M. Ja’neh at the House of Representatives.

The CDC Montserrado County District #5 Rep. Fallah and District #8 Rep. Gray are accusing Justice Ja’neh of alleged proved misconduct, abuse of public office, wanton abuse of judicial discretion, frauds, misuse of power and corruption.

The two lawmakers are requesting an immediate investigation of Justice Ja’neh and his subsequent removal from the Supreme Court Bench for allegedly committing a serious official misconduct by engaging in the wanton and unsavoury exercise of his purported judicial description.

Rep. Fallah and Rep. Gray claim that Justice Ja’neh’s exercise of judicial description far exceeded the bounds of elementary judicial interpretation of issues simply to satisfy his personal ego and perhaps vested interest “as it was in controversial Code of Conduct debate just to unduly hurt, shamefully impede and gross frustrate the administration of justice.”
The two lawmakers say Justice Ja’neh continues to behave as if he were a law unto himself to the detriment of others.The petitioners say the constitutional guarantee of immunity to judges and justices under Article 71 of the 1986 Constitution is not absolutely free.

They argue that the immunity becomes constitutionally sacrosanct when justices express views, opinions, render judgments or rulings on matters of law by applying both statutory and customary laws in accordance with the standards enacted by the Legislature.

Meanwhile the petition was turned over to Speaker Bhofal chambers and he has set up a seven - man committee to report in three weeks.But in a counter argument, Montserrado County District # 10 Rep. Yekeh Kolubah says the petition should not be passed because it is not in the interest of the Liberia people.

Rep. Kolubah believes that if there is anybody to be impeached it should be President George Manneh Weah.He accuses President Weah of allegedly violating all the laws in the country including the Code of Conduct.

Rep. Kolubah threatens to present a petition for the impeachment of President Weah after the July 26 Independence Day celebration.In reaction to President Weah’s call for Liberians to hold their hearts and be patient, Rep. Kolubah says he thinks it is the president that should hold his heart and stop building houses around in the country.He says he is not afraid to talk for the Liberian people.-

By Bridgett Milton-Edited by Winston W. Parley

No real suggestions

The political leader of the Alternative National Congress, Mr. Alexander Cumming criticizes President George Manneh Weah’s nationwide address on the economy on Monday, 16 July noting that the President’s statement lacks real suggestions for the huge economic challenge that has engulfed the country.

Speaking at his party headquarters in Monrovia on Tuesday, 17 July during dedicatory ceremony for a resource center, he observes that the President’s statement failed to provide direct policy suggestions and guidance, meaning it should have given more suggestions for the country to explore but to the contrary, not many suggestions came out, Cummings notes.

In his speech Monday, President Weah said his economic team will start to study economic constraints facing the country and the reform will soon commence. Weah discloses the team will comprise of relevant officials of the Central Bank of Liberia and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, among others.

He said in the short-term government is infusing US$25 million in the economy to mop up excess liquidity and strength the Liberian dollar.But Mr. Cummings, who contested for the presidency in 2017 and lost, says the opposition bloc, comprising the former ruling Unity Party, Liberty Party and his own Alternative National Congress are preparing to issue a joint statement shortly on the President’s statement and proffer recommendations to salvage the economy.

Commenting on the impending senatorial by-elections in Montserrado and Bong Counties, he says the ANC has already pledged its support to Independent Candidate Dr. Henrique Topkah of Bong County and Unity Party Candidate, Madam Josephine George Francis, for Montserrado County, respectively, adding that the grand opposition coalition will soon issue a statement of endorsement to that effect.

On the resource center, the ANC strongman explains the facility is in line with the party’s motto; Liberia first, and the party cares about the intellectual plight of the people.

According to him, the center is a manifestation of the goodwill of the ANC’s United States of America branch, disclosing that the USA branch also provided a ‘smart television and projector that had allowed Liberian kids and youths to entertain themselves daily.

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

Flood kills baby

A six month old baby is said to have drowned while about 300 residents remain stranded in Duor Town, Margibi County on the fifth day of a consistent heavy down pour of rain that left several parts of Montserrado and Margibi Counties flooded.

A police authority who is also affected by the flood in Duor Twon behind Doe Estate on Bernard Farm, Mr. Lewis Norman told this paper Tuesday, 17 July that water is passing through his widows.

“When you see the river, people are moving, they’re swimming in the water with their goods,” he told this paper Tuesday, 17 July via mobile phone from the scene.

Mr. Norman who heads the public affairs section at the Liberia National Police Training Academy (LNPTA) says he slept on duty on Monday, 17 July, and when he returned home on Tuesday, all the houses in the community at Duor Town had been abandoned due to flooding.

He says displaced residents are being hosted in school buildings in the community. Duor Town Community Chair Mr. Andrew Roberts says a baby about six months old left in the water on Tuesday and had not been found more than five hours before speaking with this paper Tuesday evening, 17 July.

According to Chairman Roberts, the parents of the kid are not residents of Duor Town, but they had come to seek shelter as a result of flooding within their community when the six - month old drowned and could not be traced anywhere.

He says the situation is getting intense in the community, narrating that people are holding mattresses on their head and are stranded. According to Mr. Roberts, about three hundred residents are stranded from several houses in the community.

He says they are worried about where they will sleep, and he has been making contacts with authorities but he is yet to get response regarding rescue efforts.Roughly five days of consistent heavy down pour here has seen areas in Montserrado including Johnsonville and Margibi County flooded.The flooding waters have caused traffic jam.

Among the many residents displaced so far are police official Lewis Norman; the head of the Women and Children Protection Section (WACPS) of the Liberia National Police (LNP) Mount Barclay depot Annie Wislon; Community Chairman Andrews Roberts and community resident Madam Joyce Nunoo, among others.They are calling on government and humanitarians to come to their aid, as parents and their children remain stranded.

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

Tragedy hits family at Upper Caldwell

A fire disaster reportedly resulting from candle is said to have killed two persons in Banana Farm Community at Upper Caldwell, Montserrado County.

The victims identified as Hawa Colemon, 21, and Siah Kwella, 18, died when fire hit a six - bedroom house in which the victims were sleeping.The uncle of the two victims, Mr. Lawson Colemon narrates that while sleeping around 3 am on Saturday, 14 July, they heard some of their neighbors alarming fire.

When they woke up, Mr. coleman says they saw the six - bedroom house burning, adding that the blazing fire had already engulfed the entire structure in which the victims were.

According to Mr. Coleman, all attempts by neighbors to extinguish the fire did not succeed in rescuing the victims.He says they called in fire fighters from the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation (LPRC) and the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS), but the fire fighters arrived on the scene when the house had burnt already.

According to Mr. Coleman, victim Hawa Colemon was a marketer who sold dry fish at Upper Caldwell General Market while Siah Kwella was the granddaughter of his uncle identified as Mr. Patrick Kwella.

Colemon narrated in tears, recalling how on many occasions he gave advice to his nieces to stop lighting candle in the house and warning them of its danger.
But he says they never listened to him.

In a related development, a motor accident broke two other persons’ legs from the same family while returning from the burial of the two fire victims and riding on motorbike.

The motorbike that the two unnamed victims were riding on was hit by a speeding light green jeep, breaking their legs instantly.They were returning from the burial site in Mount Coffer, and the two accident victims are currently undergoing traditional treatment.

By Emmanuel Mondaye--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Labor Min. raps on Child labor

Labor Minister, Moses Y. Kollie says plans are underway for full endorsement of the National Action Plan (NAP) Document on the elimination of Child Labor in the country by cabinet. He said the move will set the platform for addressing child labor through mainstreaming in all sectors of the economy.

Mr. Kollie said the government through the Ministry of Labor, has committed itself to this process by the development of a National Action Plan (NAP) Document that is to address child labor issues in Liberia from 2018-2030.

The Labor Minister made comment on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 when he delivered a special statement at the opening of the Legislative Reform Committee (LRC) Validation Workshop on Hazardous list for Liberian children held at the Cape Hotel, Mamba point Monrovia.

Minister Kollie reminded the participants that Liberia as a member State of the International Labor Organization (ILO), ratified ILO Convention 182 in June 2003 which calls for the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor.

He said that the ILO Convention 138, which sets the minimum age for admission to work, recommends that all ratifying countries to this convention develop a list of Hazards as a key step to establishing a legal framework that enables children to participate in the labor market while ensuring that such action is not taken at the detriment of their education but rather, they are properly protected against works that would be harmful to their health and safety.

He noted that as Liberia move on the path of sustainable development, there is a need to include all well-meaning stakeholders in partnership to achieving Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals which calls for member states of the ILO to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate force labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking by 2030 as well as, secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labor in all forms.

He used the occasion to extend his Ministry gratitude to the Winrock International Family; the Country Level Engagement and Assistance to Reduce Child Labor (CLEAR II) and the Lawyers Without Borders (LWOB) for partnering with the Ministry of Labor in achieving this goal.

The workshop is organized by the National Commission on Child Labour (NACOMA) if the Ministry of Labour, Winrock International Country Level Engagement and Assistance to Reduce Child Labor (CLEAR II) and the Lawyers Without Borders (LWOB) with support from the United States Department of Labor.

Bush takes over Bong Sup. Office

The structure hosting the office of the Superintendent of Bong County, other local government officials and the County Service Center is heavily engulfed by bush.

Former Superintendent Selena Polson Mappy’s successor Esther Walker is yet to operate from her official home since taking over about five months ago for the same reason.

Our Bong County correspondent says the Gbarnga Administration Building and the Superintendent Compound have drastically lost beautification as grass continues to enter the Superintendent’s house and the Administration Building.

Our correspondent’s tour has established that passersby and residents of nearby communities are using the abandoned backside of the Administrative Building and the Superintendent’s compound as places for defecation.

The back of the Administration building faces the National Election Commission Bong County head office which has also been used by some members of nearby communities to ease themselves.

Our correspondent says NGO Workers, especially those that go to Gbarnga for workshop usually complain about the poor maintenance of the facility. There are claims that the Gbarnga City Hall is constantly being rented by the county leadership without account of how the money is being used.

During the administration of former Superintendent Mappy, some members of a local women group under the banner “Whlekerma Women United for Development” (WAWUDE) were usually seen at the two public facilities working to give them facelift.

Despite the collection of city fees from businesses in Gbarnga, the Gbarnga City Corporation appears to be paying deaf ears to the situation as Mayor Lucia Hebert has traveled to the United States of America.

She said to have promised to give the city facelift during her induction as Gbarnga City Corporation (GCC) Mayor, but it appears that nothing has been done about the situation since four months of being head of the city government.

By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong --Edited by Winston W. Parley

Ellen at Nelson Mandela Lecture

Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf is among several current and past world leaders at the sixth Nelson Mandela lecture in Johannesburg, South Africa at the quest of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The event is in observance of programs marking the Centennial birth anniversary of late former South African President Nelson Mandela. A release says the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, in partnership with the Motsepe Foundation is delivered by former U.S. President Barack Obama in Johannesburhg on 17 July.

In an impassioned address marking the 100th anniversary of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela's birth Tuesday, 17 July, Mr. Obama urged people around the world to respect human rights and other values now under threat.

The immediate past U.S. President observes that these days "we see” much of the world threatening to return to a more dangerous and more brutal way of doing business.

The Nelson Mandela Annual lecture is one of the Foundation’s flagship programs to honor its founder Nelson Mandela.Every year since 2003, global leaders have used the lecture to raise issues affecting South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world.

The lecture on Tuesday took place a day before Nelson Mandela International Day.Former President Sirleaf, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon were among several others at the lecture.-News release

ECOWAS deploys election observers in Mali

Twenty ECOWAS Long-Term Observers (LTOs) have been deployed across four of Mali's eight administrative regions and Bamako District, the nation's capital, ahead of the country's July 29 crucial presidential election.

The team made up of election operations, legal and constitutional experts, gender, civil society and communication specialists, and supported by a Technical Team from the ECOWAS Commission, will be observing various stages of the electoral processes in the Segou, Sikasso, Koulokoro and Kayes regions, and Bamako district.

Before their deployment, the LTOs were briefed on Tuesday 17th July, by the ECOWAS Special Representative to Mali, Amb. Cheaka Aboudou Toure, who gave a brief background to ECOWAS' interventions towards the restoration of peace, democracy and good governance in the country.

He described Mali as an important country in the region, saying: "there might be challenges, but with great hope for a bright future for the country."The LTOs, who were also given security briefings by an official of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA), and the ECOWAS Standby Force personnel, will be joined on 24 July by 150 of their Short-term counterparts, making a total of 171-member ECOWAS Observation Mission, headed by Burkina's former Prime Minister and ECOWAS Commission President, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo.

As part of their mandate, the LTOs, who have been on ground for more than one week are meeting with political stakeholders, including the Electoral Commission of Mali, CENI, the Constitutional Court, which is charged by the national constitution with the responsibility of announcing final results of the presidential vote, and the Ministry of Territorial Administration, which is in charge of the conduct of the polls.

The team will also consult with the High Authority for Communication, HAC, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the Ministry in charge of security. They will set up an Election Situation Room, provide analysis for early response or preventive diplomacy by ECOWAS authorities, if necessary, and also prepare the ground for the arrival of Short-term Observation Mission.

Mali's incumbent president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, 73, who took office in 2013 and is seeking a second five-year mandate, and opposition leader Soumaila Cisse, are frontrunners in the July 29 vote being contested by 24 candidates, including one female contestant, Madame Djeneba N'Diaye.

Some eight million Malians, made up of 4.1 million males and 3.89 million females are registered to vote in the 23,041 polling stations in 12,925 Voting Centres across the 748 Communes of the country's eight administrative regions on 29 July.

One key challenge of the on-going electoral process is the slow distribution of voter registration cards, with officials putting the rate at under 45% by the end of last week. The electoral management authorities have, however, assured that the cards would be made available on polling day for registrants to use for balloting.

A candidate requires at least 50 percent plus one vote to win Mali's presidency, failing which the two frontrunners go into a run-off contest.On a much wider scale, Mali, with an estimated population of 18 million, has been struggling with governance and insurgency challenges in its northern region since 2012.

International intervention led by ECOWAS resulted in the 2012 Algiers Political Peace Accord, which enabled the 2013 elections to take place, and this has been followed by the 2015 Peace and Recompilation Agreement, urging the rebels to end the conflict.

However, insecurity persists in the Kidal, Gao, Timbuktu and Mopti regions of the north and central regions, with MINUSMA and French troops providing a level of stability.

MINUSMA replaced the African Union-ECOWAS African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA), in July 2013.The ECOWAS Observation Mission to Mali, which includes Secretariat staff of the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commission (ECONEC), is supported by the European Union (EU), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).

Grandma Jestina graduates at 75

It was a joyous and historical moment at the Effort Baptist Church in Paynesville City, specifically Town Hill community when 75 years old Grandma Jestina S. Freeman receives her high school certificate and diploma as a proud graduate of the Nathan E. Gibson Memorial Academy.

A mother of nine successful children and many grandchildren, Grandma Jestina stole the entire show on Tuesday, 17 July neatly dressed in green skirt and light green long sleeves blouse with a green and black necktie, as she majestically steps out to receive her high school credential.

Hundreds of eager residents, including family members, well-wishers and flower sellers as well as by-passers who could not make their way into the jam-packed church edifice, stood outside with alert ears as the ceremony continued inside.

It was not too long when the church went vibe with jubilation as Grandma Jestina was called out to receive her medal and diploma, walking majestically on stage with beaming smile.

After the official program, the waiting crowd for several hours fought their way thru family members and photographers to take a glance at the woman who has defied age to pursue and successfully complete secondary education, and joined her for photo shots.

Madam Freemen in an interview expresses heartfelt thanks to God, her husband and the Momo B. Kamara Scholarship for affording her the opportunity to achieve her dream of competing high school.

She admonishes the young generation, especially females not to forsake or downplay educative, stressing that no knowledge is wasted and no one is too old to learn.

“Before, I never knew ABC or talking about identifying it; I could not even read a line in the Bible. One day I took up the challenge, I told myself I can make it and I started going to school but here I am now walking out of the walls of high school,” she proudly narrates.

Grandma Jestina says her life and bold achievement should serve as an example to the young generation that it is never too late to take up an opportunity to better their lives.

One of her biological sons, Assistant Commissioner of Police for In-Service Training at the National Police Training Academy in Paynesville, Kalemo D. Kayo, says he is filled with joy to see his mother successfully walks out of high school.

Commissioner Kayo explains that his mother has nine living children some of who are in and out Liberia along with scores of grandchildren many of whom are themselves out of high school and in universities.

He says he is very proud of his mother and wants others to emulate her daring courage to achieve.As the convoy carrying Grandma Jestina left the compound of the Effort Baptist Church for her residence where a very big party was being held, onlookers lined the road to see the proud graduate and waive at her for a job well done.

By Ben P. Wesee--Editing by Jonathan Browne

Lawmaker accuses business community for counterfeits

Nimba County District One Representative Jeremiah Kpain Koung publicly accuses business communities here of involvement in printing Liberian banknotes in Chine and bringing them to the country to flood the money market.

He says some unscrupulous business people travel from Liberia to China under the pretext of going to buy goods, but their actual motive is to print money.Representative Koung discloses that he has proffered a bill in the House, calling for the printing of new Liberian banknotes to help combat the wave of counterfeits in the money the market.

He says the new banknotes would be printed under the watch of state security to avoid counterfeiting.The Nimba lawmaker laments the current economic hardship in the country as a result of depreciation of the Liberian dollars.

He suggests the country seeks loan from outside to print new banknote.In a live address to the nation on the current state of the economy on Monday, 16 July President George Manneh Weah announced series of medium and long-term prescriptions to salvage the economy, including immediate injection of US$25 Million in circulation to mop up excess liquidity and strength the Liberian dollar, at least in the short term, while other measures are being considered.

By Thomas Domah/Nimba--Editing by Jonathan Browne

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