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Appointment backfires?

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National Lottery Authority (NLA) Deputy Director General Ms. Agnes Effiong’s lawyer Cllr. Stanley S. Kparklin says his client will return to work on Wednesday until her tenure expires this September, following Supreme Court’s ruling in her favor in a case challenging her removal by President George Manneh Weah.

The Supreme Court cited the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the NLA to a conference due Tuesday, 10 July, following Ms. Effiong’s claims of police threat to force her out of office and install new presidential appointee Mr. Neved Kortu.

But Cllr. Kparklin told journalists Tuesday, 10 July after a closed door conference with Justice in Chambers Jamesetta Wolokolie that the State allegedly conceded, saying “they had no argument to raise.”
“Certainly the Deputy Director General will go to work tomorrow as per the Minister of Justice’s position and that they have nothing to do to tamper with this,” he says.

In her complaint to the Supreme Court, Ms. Effiong claimed that President Weah was in violation of the Liberian Constitution because he does not have the power and authority to make appointment for the position of Deputy Director General at NLA, but such power rests with the entity’s Board based on the Act creating it.

She says she’s a member of the Group of 77 here and that she was appointed by NLA’s Board of Directors on 20 September 2016 as Deputy Director General. She says the position has a statutory duration of two years and it runs up to September 19, 2018.

She said while going about her normal duties, one Neved Kortu visited NLA in June 2018 to take over as Deputy Director General over claims that he had been appointed by President Weah.

Ms. Effiong says when Mr. Kortu’s planned takeover did not materialize, he allegedly issued threat that he would return with police to have him take over the office.

On 29 June, Ms. Effiong adds that Mr. Kortu returned with police loaded in three pickups, allegedly blocking NLA’s entrance in demand of Mr. Kortu’s installation.

She says the installation did not take place again that day because she was not in office, but the officers allegedly left warning that they would return Monday, 2 July to break into the office if Ms. Effiong did not turn it over to Mr. Kortu.

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

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