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GeneralLiberia news

Boakai ambushes tenure holders 

Following a recent Supreme Court opinion that went against his attempt to forcibly remove commissioners of the Liberia Telecommunication Authority and other tenure position holders from office, President Boakai has taken the route of suspending all five commissioners of the LTA, including its chair, Madam Edwina C. Zackpah.    

Monrovia, April 29, 2024-The Executive Mansion in Monrovia announced during the weekend that President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr., has suspended, with immediate effect, Madam Edwina C. Zackpah, Mr. Israel Akinsanya, Mr. Zotawon D. Titus, Mr. James Gbarwea, and Mr. Osborne K. Diggs, Chairperson and Commissioners respectively of the Liberia Telecommunication Authority for allegations of questionable financial transactions and other alleged malpractices at the Authority.

The release says the President has requested a comprehensive audit of the LTA by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to investigate the allegations at the Authority.

He urged the suspended officials to cooperate fully with the GAC as they undertake the investigation.

President Boakai is confident that the investigation would reveal any financial impropriety and help identify corrective measures to prevent such occurrences.

Last week, the Supreme Court of Liberia ruled that rights to due process of officials holding tenure positions were being violated by the President’s attempt to remove them forcibly.

Delivering the ruling on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in the Supreme Court Chamber, Chief Justice Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh said the alternative writ of Prohibition issued by Justice in chambers Yussif D. Kaba is hereby affirmed, and the peremptory writ prayed for by the tenure groups is granted.

Chief Justice Yuoh, at the same time, ordered that nominations made by President Joseph N. Boakai to those various positions and institutions giving rise to these petitions are hereby ordered revoked and withdrawn.

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She ordered the clerk of the Supreme Court to inform all the parties about the court mandate accordingly.

The Chief Justice noted that there is no showing of the existence of any of the conditions for the tenure, which is the petitioners’ removal from office as stipulated in the acts creating the respective entities to which the tenure is appointed.

“Their said removal from office prior to the expiry of their tenure without due process is ultra vires” Chief Justice Yuoh stressed.

Chief Justice Yuoh said the Supreme Court has held that Article 89 of the constitution of Liberia (1986), which gives Legislature the authority to create autonomous agencies does not contravene Article 56 of the same constitution, noting that the act by President  Boakai, in nominating persons to tenure position, who are the petitioners to the positions while their tenures are still in force and unexpired is tantamount their removal from office.

However, barely a day after the High Court’s ruling last week, the President suspended tenure position holders Garrison Doldeh Yealue, Chairman Governance Commission, Andrew Peter, Executive Director, National Identification Registry, Edwina Crump Zackpah, Chairperson, Israel Akinsanya, James Gbarwea, Zatowon Titus and Osborn Diggs, Commissioners, Liberia Telecommunications Authority and Reginald Kpan Nagbe, Director General, Liberia National Lottery Authority, respectively.

The Executive Mansion stressed that the LTA is a critical institution responsible for regulating the telecommunications sector in the country and should uphold high standards of integrity and accountability in carrying out its mandate.

It maintains that the suspension of the Chairperson and Commissioners clearly indicates the President’s confidence in his Administration’s commitment to ensuring that the LTA operates in the best interest of the Liberian people.

President Boakai has emphasized that the government is committed to promoting transparency and accountability in all sectors and has urged all public officials to uphold the highest standards of integrity and accountability in carrying out their duties to the Liberian people. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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One Comment

  1. I highly welcome the president decision of the suspension of Garrison Yealue of the Governance Commission for activities inconsistence with the Governance Commission act. This is not a witch hunt, it is appropriate and in the right direction. Mr. Yealue action as chairman of that noble institution went totally against the functionary and ethic of GC act. Furthermore, the suspended chairman was directly involved in the reelection bid of his former boss former president George Weah to the extent of being chairman of the CDC campaign team without resigning from the G Commission Even though, civil society organizations engaged Mr. Yealue on his unlawful act but rather down played those critics.

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