Home Politics Constitution Desecrations! …As Several Boakai Officials Begin Work Without Being Commissioned; No INFO Yet On Declared Assets

Constitution Desecrations! …As Several Boakai Officials Begin Work Without Being Commissioned; No INFO Yet On Declared Assets

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By Our Staff Writer

MONROVIA: Several civil society activists have raised serious concerns bordering on what they characterized as a blatant violation of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, as scores of presidential appointees for public offices have begun executing their official duties without being commissioned as requires by the Liberian Constitution.

James Jacob Teypison, a civil society activist in Central Monrovia, told this paper yesterday February 14, 2024, in an interview that the commencement of jobs by several public officials without them being commissioned is not only a gross violation of the Nation’s Constitution but also an afront to the Rule of Law which is part of President Joseph Boakai’s pronounced flagship national development policy, styled: “ARREST” which includes “Agriculture, Roads, Rule of Law, Education, Sanitation and Tourism.”

He said one of the primary reasons Liberians voted Joseph Boakai, as Standard-bearer of the Unity Party (UP) is for him to ensure the sacrosanct nature of the Liberian Constitution, which is the organic law of the land, and other statutory provisions of the country, measures, which in yesteryears, were largely ignored by previous regimes.

He quoted Article 54 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia which states that: “The President shall nominate and, with the consent of the Senate, appoint and commission–
(a) cabinet ministers, deputy and assistant cabinet ministers;
(b) ambassadors, ministers, consuls; and
© the Chief Justice and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and judges of subordinate courts;
(d) superintendents, other county officials and officials of other political sub-divisions;
(e) members of the military from the rank of lieutenant of its equivalent and above; and
(f) marshals, deputy marshals, and sheriffs.”

Despite this major Constitutional Provision, Activist Teypison, maintains that the newly inducted administration of President Joseph Nyuma Boakai has gone contrary to the Constitution as it relates to the President’s demonstrated failure to commission his officials before beginning to exercise their statutory functions.

He expressed displeasure that several senior officials of the Boakai-led government have taken their respective seats in various ministries and agencies without being ‘Commissioned’ in line with the Liberian Constitution.

Another activist, Saylee Tweh, named some of the presidential appointees who have begun their official duties without being commissioned by President Boakai.

Some of the non-commissioned officials who have begun official duties in the various ministries and agencies include the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Sylvester Grigsby; Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Boima Kamara and his Principal Deputies; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Sara Beysolow Nyanti; Comptroller & Accountant General of Liberia, Ewood Nettey; and Inspector-General of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Gregory Coleman, among many others.

Although, they are yet to be commissioned by President Boakai in line with the Liberian Constitution, a circular released by officials of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning have issued a formal “Circular to Heads of Line Ministries, Agencies and Commissions, Requesting the Submission of Dummy Payrolls By the 10th of Every Month.”

The Circular, a copy of which is in the possession of this paper, and dated February 9, 2024, with reference code: MFDP/cag/09/812 states: “We present our compliments and herewith request the submission of dummy payrolls for all Government entities by the 10th of every month for scrutiny and adjustment before we can commence with the processing of payroll.”

The Circular was signed by Comptroller & Accountant General, Ewood Nettey, and approved by Finance and Development Planning Minister, Boima S. Kamara.

Another issue raised by John Benson Toe, a resident of New Kru Town relating to the commencement of work by many appointed public officials without indicating whether or not they have declared their assets as required by Liberian law.

Toe praised President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, for announcing declaration of his assets through the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC).
Mr. Toe stressed the need for President Boakai, along with Vice President, Jeremiah Koung and other state officials who declared their assets to make public such declarations for proper verification and authentication.

Madam Cecelia Thompson, a grade school teacher wonders: “What is the essence of any official telling the public that her/she has declared their assets without stating their actual financial and material worth?”
Madam Thompson: “How the assets declared can be verified?”

“I asked this question because Liberians at home and abroad do not even not know the actual financial or material worth of former state officials who were asked by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission to (LACC) to declare their exit assets,” Madam Thompson stressed.

In a related development, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), says while Liberian law falls short of requiring publication of the declaration, President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Vice President Jeremiah Koung and other Liberian officials would be taking a critical step towards public accountability by publishing their respective assets as declared to the LACC.

According to CENTAL Boss, Anderson Miamen, secrecy in assets declaration to the LACC serves no useful public purpose as the public is unable to participate in the asset verification process.

CENTAL commended President Boakai for taking positive actions geared towards promoting accountability in government including the declaration of his assets and liabilities at the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC).

On Thursday, February 8, 2024, the Liberian leader declared his assets in keeping with the Code of Conduct for public officials, which mandates all public officials to declare their assets upon taking office.

The decision followed a January 28, 2024, Open Letter of CENTAL addressed to President Boakai which joined voices with many others to call on the Liberian leader to lead by example through a timely declaration and publication of his assets, incomes, and liabilities.

In a statement issued in Monrovia, Executive Director, Anderson D. Miamen, Sr. said the decision on the part of President Boakai to declare his assets and the numerous anti-corruption public pronouncements made so far, since his ascendancy to the Liberia Presidency are steps in the right direction to promote transparency and accountability across government.

Also, CENTAL has welcomed the bold decision of President Boakai to mandate the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to conduct a comprehensive audit of three key government institutions, including the Central Bank of Liberia, the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Executive Protection Service (EPS).

“We are hopeful that the audit of these institutions will be the beginning of more to come. “We want to see audits done more holistically, including all institutions entrusted with public funding, and the reports and recommendations timely and fully implemented,” the statement said.

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