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Several Lawmakers Back JNB

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By: H. Richard Fallah

MONROVIA: Former Vice President, now Presidential Hopeful, Joseph Nyuma Boakai (JNB), has been holding talks with some thirty (30) Lawmakers who are in support of his ‘Rescue Mission’ philosophy, cautioning them to be very robust in confirming nominees serving tenured positions ahead of the October 10, 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections.

The meeting which was held on Monday, June 19, 2023, at the Golden Key Hotel in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, brought together Representatives and Senators from the former ruling Unity Party, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence’s faction of the Liberty Party and other independent Lawmakers who are serving in the National Legislature.
The Unity Party Leader used the meeting to thank the Lawmakers for pledging their support to the mission to rescue Liberia from what he described as ”the destructive hands” of the Weah-led Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) administration.

During the political engagement with the Legislators, the UP Standard-Bearer highlighted several pertinent national issues that are affecting the country and its people, especially issues requiring actions from the Legislature.

Former Vice President Boakai encouraged the Lawmakers to continue being proactive in the performance of their oversight responsibilities to ensure proper checks and balances over the government’s operations.
He called on the Lawmakers to demand budget performance reports regularly from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning for proper accountability.

The former Vice President of Liberia also urged the lawmakers to critically review all latest financing and loan agreements, as well as nominations being made by the President, especially for tenured positions.

The Unity Party political leader’s caution to the lawmakers comes few days after President George Manneh Weah selected new Commissioners for the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC).
President Weah made the nomination on Thursday, June 8, 2023, replacing the former Chair, Cllr. Edwin Kla Martin.

The Commissioners recently named to the LACC include Cllr. Alexandra Kormah Zoe, Chairperson; Mr. Ernest R. Hughes, Vice Chairperson; Mr. Randolph E. Tebbs, Commissioner – Monitoring and Investigation; Dr. Miatta Jeh, Commissioner – Monitoring and Investigation, and Atty. Samuel F. Dakana Commissioner, Monitoring and Investigation.

Others are Cllr. Oretha Snyder Davis, Commissioner – Prosecution, and Cllr. David A. B. Wilson, Commissioner, Prosecution. The nominations are subject to confirmation by the Senate.

However, prior to JNB’s meeting with the ‘Rescue Mission Lawmakers’, the decision of the President to nominate new names to the LACC was strongly contested by the outgoing Chairman of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, Cllr. Edwin Kla Martin.

Cllr. Martin has since challenged his removal from the post by President Weah, terming the Liberian leader’s action as “illegal and wanton constitutional violation.”

According to the former LACC boss, his “ill-legal dismissal” as head of the LACC contravenes Article 20 (a) of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia which guarantees every Liberian the right to due process of Law when there are issues of legality and human rights.

He contended that said rights and privileges, under the laws of Liberia, were not given him prior to his removal from the LACC Chairmanship by President Weah.
Article 20 (a) of the Liberian Constitution says “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, security of the person, property, privilege or any other right except as the outcome of a hearing judgment consistent with the previsions laid down in this Constitution and in accordance with due process of law. Justice shall be done without sale, denial or delay; and in all cases not arising in courts not of record, under courts-marital and upon impeachment, the parties shall have the right to trial by jury”.

The President’s decision to replace Cllr. Martin and others at the LACC is said to have been warranted by a Joint Amendment of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission Act of 2008, passed by the National Legislature (Senate and House of Representatives).

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters after the meeting, Nimba County Senator, Jeremiah Kpan Koung, disclosed that “JNB” decision to meet with them as lawmakers is in furtherance of the rescue mission.

Koung, a running-mate to JNB noted that all lawmakers who attended the meeting are expected to respect the outcome of the meeting.

Some Lawmakers and Senators who attended the meeting with the Unity party standard bearer include Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence of Grand Bassa County Liberty Party (LP); Senator Jeremiah Kpan Koung, of Nimba County and the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR); Senator James Biney of Maryland County and the National Patriotic Party (NPP); Senator Prince Moye of Bong County and the Unity Party; Representative Francis Dopoh of River Gee County.

Others include: Representative Hassan Kiazolu of District#17 Montserrado County; Senator Botoe Kanneh of Gbarpolu County (Independent); Senator Conmany Wesseh of River Gee County and the Unity Party; and Senator Abraham Darius Dillon of the Liberty Party and Montserrado County; among several others.

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