By Lincoln G. Peters
The Monrovia City Court has lifted the travel ban it earlier placed on dismissed Liberia Airport Authority (LAA) Managing Director Bishop John Allen Klayee and other accused officials on the request of the Liberia Anti – Corruption Commission (LACC), ruling that LACC’s writ of Ne Exeat Republica was wrongfully filed and lacked legal justification and reliance.
“The law provides that before the writ of Ne Exeat Republica is issued, there should be a pending matter before a court to warrant a writ of Ne Exeat Republica. However, the Government of Liberia through the Liberia Anti-corruption Commission did not meet that benchmark and went against the law therefore,” the City Court Magistrate ruled on 23 August 2021.
Magistrate Jomah Jallah said the court had no option but to quash, dismiss and trash the writ of Ne Exeat Republica against Bishop Klayee, Liberia Water and Sewer Cooperation boss Duannah Kamara and LAA Chief Financial Officer George D. Youh.
In July, President George Manneh Weah dismissed Bishop Klayee amid serious health protocol lapses at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Margibi County, which led to the mass entry of travelers from India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, three countries heavily infested with the Delta variant, a new strain of the deadly COVID-19.
The Executive Mansion noted that under the leadership of Bishop Klayee, employees of the Liberia Airport Authority were beset by unpaid salaries, greeted by a consistent outcry from the workforce.
The LACC subsequently sought a travel ban against Bishop Klayee and other officials accused of corruption, including Mr. Kamara and Mr. Youh.
Reading the court’s ruling, Magistrate Jallah cited the LACC’s inabilities to properly follow the law accordingly as a ground for the release of three of the five officials.
He explained that the government’s request to prevent and stop the officials from traveling was premature due to its failure to present a pending matter before the court which would have enabled the court to grant the writ of Ne Exeat Republica against the five officials.
He added that the LACC can’t be conducting an investigation and then issues a writ of Ne Exeat Republica against the accused officials to prevent them from traveling.
The magistrate termed such move as an abuse of the constitutional human rights of the accused, saying the investigation conducted by the LACC is not enough to warrant the writ of Ne Exeat Republica.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/bishop-klayee-challenges-travel-ban/–Edited by Winston W. Parley
By Lincoln G. Peters