Home Governance CENTAL Talks Tough On Boakai’s LTA Board Audit

CENTAL Talks Tough On Boakai’s LTA Board Audit

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By Elbie Sebleh
MONROVIA: A local anti-graft institution, Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), has expressed grave concern that audits and other investigations are being weaponized to get rid of those suspected to be political opponents.

Addressing a press conference in Monrovia this week, CENTAL Executive Director, Mr. Anderson D. Miamen, referenced the recent suspension of the Chairperson, and the entire Board of Commissioners of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), who recently challenged the Liberian government at the Supreme Court of Liberia, over President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, previous appointment of several individuals to occupy tenure positions.

CENTAL also said, it is taken aback that the LTA Chairperson and Commissioners who sought legal relief from the Supreme and whose removal by President Boakai was declared as ‘ultra Vires’ have now been suspended by the Liberian President from their positions and subsequently ordered audited at the LTA on allegations of corruption and malpractices.

CENTAL further said it is also deeply concerned that individuals the President previously appointed to the LTA tenure positions, prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the matter, have been appointed by President Boakai as Acting Commissioners of the LTA Board.

CENTAL noted that barely 24 hours after public acceptance of the Court’s ruling, President Boakai suspended the Chairman of the Governance Commission and the entire board of commissioners of the LTA and appointed Acting Board of Commissioners including Abdullah Kamara, Patrick Honnah, Clarence Massaquoi, Ben Fofana and Angela Bush who were the very individuals earlier nominated against which the court ruled.

CENTAL, however, applauded the Supreme Court of Liberia for its ruling on presidential appointment of individuals to o tenure positions which were ultra veires and revoked by the Supreme Court.

CENTAL stressed that it is deeply concerned over these developments, including suspension of the very officials who won the lawsuit against the government of Liberia.

“While CENTAL acknowledges the powers of the President to suspend officials of government involved in corruption and other suspicious dealings, it is important for such measures to be taken in a fair manner,” he pointed out.

According to Mr. Miamen, “a true fight against corruption should be holistic or dispassionate and not one that sets out to find fault at all costs in order to settle scores for political and other reasons.”

Miamen said, “other affected tenure positions appear that audits or investigations commissioned by the President do not seek to accord those investigated substantive due process but a mere procedural one to justify removal from tenured positions.”

CENTAL recommended that President Boakai reconsiders his decision to appoint the very individuals whose appointments sparked the controversy leading to the Supreme Court’ ruling.

CENTAL believes that this sends a very wrong signal about the President’s dedication to the rule of law, especially in this instant case.

He stressed that it is important if the Supreme Court’s ruling must be sincerely respected and upheld.
While stressing that if the Supreme Court’s ruling must be sincerely respected and upheld, President Boakai “should genuinely accord tenured officials substantive due process and not a mere procedural one that helps attain the president’s goal of replacing tenured officials.”

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