By Lewis S. Teh
The Political Leader of the opposition Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) businessman Simeon Freeman has threatened to take legal action against the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) for abruptly shutting down his business, the Consolidated Group or DStv office in central Monrovia.
Mr. Freeman in a news conference over the weekend said it was unfortunate for inspector of the MCC to have locked his business office for allegedly evading taxes for two years.
“The City Corporation has no right to lock up anybody’s business; our businesses are registered as corporations and incorporated under the laws of Liberia”, he challenged.
He said if the City Corporation has unpaid bills, there is a rule set aside as to how it can pursue those payments, but not to order the closure of his business without any formal complaint.
Mr. Freeman said some institutions have permitted those kinds of action, but he won’t allow such ‘recklessness’ from the city corporation.
“We in Liberia make people in government to appear bigger than who they are, but people like us are to correct those missteps”, he continued.
He said Liberia is not a banana republic or Gestapo, where group of gangsters would just do anything they like, saying that “some of us are here to correct those wrongs.”
“The City Corporation will be receiving a lawsuit from us for depriving us of income and for the reputational exposure they caused us.”
The MPC leader said it’s saddening that certain people will ignore the fact that Liberia is a country of law, and observed that on many occasions, people will choose to walk away from the law when their right is being violated.
“We are going to court because we strongly believe Liberia is a country of law, and not of man”, he said and noted that few people standing under a canopy or in a government position, who believe within themselves that because they stand in said position or office, can do anything in violation of the law.
He noted that people who used their government position to hide and cause problems are individuals the MPC intends to use the law against something, he said, will serve as a warning to all other persons working in government that they don’t just take matters or the law into your own hands.
Freeman argued that if every government institution starts by locking up various businesses across the country for alleged tax evasion, then there’s no need to have a court in the country.
The former Liberian presidential candidate stressed that if government institutions that should be providing alternatives would get themselves into creating chaos, then there’s no need for business people to operate.
The MCC through its tax department is on record for locking up private businesses without prior notices in demand of tax, a situation that has created serious friction with business owners. Editing by Jonathan Browne