Politics

VP Taylor runs to court

There appear to be a brewing tension up on Capitol Hill, the seat of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor and members of the Legislators as the sitting Vice President has dragged a staff of Deputy House Speaker Prince Moye to court over a Facebook post.


Mrs. Taylor, the estranged wife of jailed former President Charles Taylor and another representative of Bong County, Mr. Josiah Marvin Cole on June 12, last week dragged the Deputy Speaker who also hails from Bong County staff to court for what both officials term as criminal libel following a Facebook post on social media allegedly by the accused Aliue Sackor (alias ‘Haircrates Sackor’).

Information gathered by this paper suggests that Mr. Sackor was dragged before Associate Magistrate Judge William Capehart at the Gbarnga Magisterial Court in Bong County for criminal libel and criminal malevolence in violation of Section 11.11 and Section 11.3 (a) of the New Panel Code of Liberia.

In addressing the issue of presidential immunity in legal suits and proceedings in Liberia’s Constitution, Article 61 did not particularly name the Vice President of the Republic, but the Article says the President shall be immune from any suits, actions or proceedings, judicial or otherwise.

It says the President shall be immune from arrest, detention or other actions on account of any act done by him while President of Liberia pursuant to any provision of this Constitution or any other laws of the Republic.

But it concludes that the President shall not, however, be immune from prosecution upon removal from office for the commission of any criminal act done while President.

Some have concluded that the fact that the president is immune from lawsuits, the president cannot also sue, which they suggest might be the case with the Vice President.

But Vice President Taylor’s legal action against Mr. Sackor is reminiscent of former President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf’s lawsuit in 2009 filed for Action of Damages against a local daily New Broom Newspaper.

Mrs. Sirleaf demanded up to US$5 million dollars after the paper published in September 2009 that she took US$2 million dollars bribe to award a contract. The latest case involves Vice President Taylor and Rep. Cole who have taken legal action against their kinsman on 12 June in Bong following a Facebook post reportedly on the page believed to be that of Mr. Sackor.In that post, he is alleged to have rained insults at Vice President Taylor and Rep. Cole.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor--Edited by Winston W. Parley

VP Taylor runs to court

There appear to be a brewing tension up on Capitol Hill, the seat of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor and members of the Legislators as the sitting Vice President has dragged a staff of Deputy House Speaker Prince Moye to court over a Facebook post.


Mrs. Taylor, the estranged wife of jailed former President Charles Taylor and another representative of Bong County, Mr. Josiah Marvin Cole on June 12, last week dragged the Deputy Speaker who also hails from Bong County staff to court for what both officials term as criminal libel following a Facebook post on social media allegedly by the accused Aliue Sackor (alias ‘Haircrates Sackor’).

Information gathered by this paper suggests that Mr. Sackor was dragged before Associate Magistrate Judge William Capehart at the Gbarnga Magisterial Court in Bong County for criminal libel and criminal malevolence in violation of Section 11.11 and Section 11.3 (a) of the New Panel Code of Liberia.

In addressing the issue of presidential immunity in legal suits and proceedings in Liberia’s Constitution, Article 61 did not particularly name the Vice President of the Republic, but the Article says the President shall be immune from any suits, actions or proceedings, judicial or otherwise.

It says the President shall be immune from arrest, detention or other actions on account of any act done by him while President of Liberia pursuant to any provision of this Constitution or any other laws of the Republic.

But it concludes that the President shall not, however, be immune from prosecution upon removal from office for the commission of any criminal act done while President.

Some have concluded that the fact that the president is immune from lawsuits, the president cannot also sue, which they suggest might be the case with the Vice President.

But Vice President Taylor’s legal action against Mr. Sackor is reminiscent of former President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf’s lawsuit in 2009 filed for Action of Damages against a local daily New Broom Newspaper.

Mrs. Sirleaf demanded up to US$5 million dollars after the paper published in September 2009 that she took US$2 million dollars bribe to award a contract. The latest case involves Vice President Taylor and Rep. Cole who have taken legal action against their kinsman on 12 June in Bong following a Facebook post reportedly on the page believed to be that of Mr. Sackor.In that post, he is alleged to have rained insults at Vice President Taylor and Rep. Cole.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Weah resubmits Act for African Export-Import Bank

President George Manneh Weah has resubmitted to the House of Representatives for ratification a bill titled an Act Ratifying the Agreement for the establishment of the African Export-Import Bank.


The Act was earlier submitted by Mr. Weah’s predecessor Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on 27 November 2017, referenced “EJS/MOS/RL/645 2017.” The AFREXIMBANK is a pan-African financial institution founded in October 1993 to accelerate the growth of trade in Africa.

It has mandates to finance and promote intra and extra-African trade through credit (trade and project financing), risk bearing (guarantees and credit insurance) and trade information and advisory services.

According to a communication sent to the House of Representatives by the president, the country stands to benefit from the bank’s support in development of financial markets, facilitation of trade beyond the extractive sector and attraction of foreign exchange among others.

He says as he seeks to build a strong and vibrant financial system that will support private sector development and inclusive economic growth, he asks the Legislature to ratify this legal instrument for the establishment of the African Export-Import Bank in Liberia.

Meanwhile the House of Representatives has forwarded the communication to the House Committees on Banking and Currency and Judiciary to report within two weeks.

By Bridgett Milton--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Liberia, World Bank sign US$11.07M agreement

The Government of Liberia and the World Bank have signed a new grant agreement, totaling US$11.07 million for the Global Partnership for Education-funded “Liberia Getting to Best in Education Project.”


The signing ceremony took place Tuesday, 19 June at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia. An Executive Mansion release issued in Monrovia Tuesday, 19 June says Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah, signed on behalf of Government, while World Bank-Liberia Country Manager Madame Larisa Leshchenko signed on behalf of World Bank.

“Liberia Getting to Best in Education Project” is a four-year initiative intended to improve equitable access to early childhood education, improve teacher quality in early childhood and primary education and support the government to strengthen national school accountability systems, the release says.

During the signing ceremony, the World Bank Liberia Country Manager, Madame Larisa Leshchenko said the project will focus on six counties.“Through the project, which focuses on six counties including Rivercess, Sinoe, Grand Kru, Maryland, River Gee and Bomi, over 570 schools will benefit from school grants, nearly 1400 teachers and 1500 principals will be trained and a new School Quality Assessment tool will be implemented to improve education system monitoring and assessment,” Madame Leshchenko underscores.

According to her, “The GPE-funded “Liberia Getting to Best in Education” supports the Government’s ongoing efforts to strengthen teachers’ workforce by furthering the teacher payroll reforms and creating the fiscal space to bring in qualified teachers.”

The World Bank Liberia Country Manager adds that the project will also support the Government to establish a national assessment at grades 3 and 6 in English and Mathematics.

Also speaking, Finance Minister Samuel Tweah appreciates the World Bank for its continued show of support to the people of Liberia.He expresses excitement over the US$11.07 million grant, stating: “We are particularly delighted to sign this US$11.07 million grant through this global partnership because of potential education.”
He says there is no more significant sector in the country today than the education sector, adding that the Government considers the education sector as one of its strongest priorities.

He however promises World Bank that the Weah-led government will deliver the needed results under the grant agreement.The signing of this grant agreement further confirms Government’s commitment to promoting quality education under its Pro-Poor Agenda.--Press release

Chiefs dump lawmakers

Two weeks after Bong County Legislative Caucus signed a joint resolution calling on President George Manneh Weah to take steps against the dismissals of some chiefs by the office of Superintendent Esther Nyamah Walker, more than 50 Chiefs from the county have signed a resolution distancing themselves from the Lawmakers’ previous resolution.


Our Bong County correspondent says the Chiefs stated that they do not support the Lawmakers’ action to have signed a resolution about their dismissals, leaving many to wonder if they Chiefs were not forced by Superintendent Walker to sign such resolution. The latest development has brought serious misunderstanding between the Caucus and Superintendent Walker’s office.

It has been speculated in the County that some chiefs were allegedly dismissed due to their refusal to support the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in the 2017 general and presidential elections.

Their alleged dismissals prompted a joint legislative resolution by Bong County lawmakers, seeking President Weah’s action. The lawmaker had made claims that the wave of dismissals of chiefs in the county did not meet the standard of Article 56-B which, among other things calls for the election of chiefs for a six - year term and their removal only by the President for prove of misconduct.

But the Lawmaker’s resolution drew the attention of the public with some expressing disappointment on grounds that it was not important for the Lawmakers to sign said resolution.

According to some of the citizens, the Caucus should have engaged the President on implementing Article 56 (b) of the Constitution to have those chiefs elected. 
Our Bong County Correspondent says the Chairman of the Caucus Senator Henry Willie Yallah has described the Superintendent’s action as total disrespect to Lawmakers of the County.

Meanwhile, Madam Esther Walker says whether dismiss or not, those that are able to do the job will be given the chance to work.

By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Physically challenged people demand inclusion

People living with disabilities in Liberia are demanding inclusion in the governing process of the State. According to them, they have contributions to make in society and want the Government of Liberia to include them in the country’s workforce.


The national vice chair for the National Commission on Disabilities or NCD, Fallah Boima says, persons with disabilities have their own contributions to make in society.

"We are calling on the national government to include us in their work plans for the country, we might be disabled, but we have our own skills that we can contribute for the development of our country," he underscores.

Speaking here Monday, 19 June at the opening of a two-day UNDP-sponsored validation workshop on the national action plan for the inclusion of persons with disabilities at a local hotel in Monrovia, Boima lauds UNDP for putting in place the national action plan that would include people with disabilities in the national workforce and planning process.

The national action plan for the inclusion of persons with disabilities aims at promoting an inclusive society where people with disabilities can reach their full potential and participate in everyday’s life in their communities.

The plan recognizes that disability is an issue impacting all aspects of the Liberian society, and the Government of Liberia values all its citizens, and is committed to promoting inclusion of persons with disabilities in public services and private enterprise.

Also speaking at the opening of the workshop, UNDP team leader for governance and public institution pillar, James Monibah, pledges the UN agency’s support in promoting the agenda of people with disabilities across the country.

"With the National Action Plan to implement the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, the Government of Liberia is setting a process in motion which will exert a major influence throughout the next five years, not only on the lives of persons with disabilities, but on all citizens of Liberia," he concludes.

Under its pro poor agenda, the government has committed to prioritizing, among others, persons with disabilities and older adults with the intent of shaping the mindset and culture of all people in building a stronger and more diverse society.The Government of Liberia has a national body, Group of 77 supervised by the First Lady of Liberia that caters to people living with disabilities in the country.

By Ethel A. Tweh

Suspected armed robber killed; police probe another

One of two suspected armed robbers, who went to armed rob a residence in Slipway Community, Montserrado County has been reportedly stabbed to death by his victim with his intestine pulled out while the other is facing police probe at the Slipway Police Depot.


Community eyewitnesses narrate that the ringleader, only identified as ‘Bodyman,’ huge and light in complexion, was stabbed Monday night by an unidentified resident whose premises they had gone to steal.

According to eyewitnesses, prior to stabbing the suspect to death, the deceased had allegedly stabbed his victim during a scuffle, but was eventually overpowered.

They also explained that thereafter ‘Bodyman’ escaped the scene and was early Monday morning discovered dead in the same community lying in pool of blood.

Further information obtained by this paper revealed the second suspect only identified as Washington, was arrested by members of the Slipway Community Policing Group and turned over to the police depot for investigation.

Meanwhile, the victim of the attack who is a resident of the community is said to be responding to medication after he was rushed to a local hospital.

Residents claim the robbers had been involved in several other armed robberies, terrorizing victims before taking away their properties, including money.

They are commending members of the community watch forum for swift intervention which led to the arrest of one of the suspected armed robbers, bringing great relief to the community.

When contacted Tuesday, police authorities at the Slipway Depot confirmed the arrest of suspect Washington and said he is undergoing preliminary investigation.

By Emmanuel Mondaye--Editing by Jonathan Browne

High Level Chinese Business Delegation Pays Courtesy Call on Foreign Minister

Foreign Minister Milton Gbehzohngar Findley has told a high level visiting Chinese Business Delegation to Liberia that under his administration Liberia will work closely with the People’s Republic of China to cement the cordial ties and cooperation subsisting between both countries aimed at attracting investment opportunities for Liberians.


Minister Findley made the statement Monday, June 18, when the visiting Chinese Business Delegation paid a courtesy call on him at his Foreign Ministry Office.The high-powered Chinese Business delegation was headed by Mr. Ge Yong, Senior Engineer and Board Chairman of the State Certified Supervision Engineers.

The business delegation was accompanied by Liberia’s Ambassador accredited to the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Mr. McKinley Thomas. The Delegation is in Liberia on a fact-finding mission with the aim to invest in the country. While in the country, the delegation will hold business discussions with officials of the Liberian Government, the Liberian Business Association as well as other private companies.

While recounting the cordial bilateral relationship with China, Minister Findley assured the visitors that his Ministry will work harder to strengthen the existing bilateral cooperation with the PRC for the mutual benefit of the two countries and peoples.

“Ambassador McKinley Thomas is our diplomatic Envoy in China. If there is any issue that may affect your coming to Liberia, you may contact him for assistance,” he told the delegation.

He thanked them for coming to seek investment opportunities in Liberia; adding that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the first line of entry for all foreign companies wishing to invest in Liberia.

According to the Foreign Minister, Liberia’s main focus right now is Economic Diplomacy; adding, that one of President George Manneh Weah’s “pro poor” policy agendas is to attract investment in commerce and trade thereby leading to job creation and empowerment of young Liberians. For his part, Mr. Ge Yong, head of delegation, thanked Minister Findley for the warm reception accorded his delegation since their arrival.

He lauded the efforts of Grand Country Senator Jonathan L. Kaipay and Ambassador Thomas whom he said were very instrumental in making sure that the team visits Liberia, especially Grand Bassa County.

“This is not a political delegation but rather a business investment team that is here to explore investment opportunities in various sectors including energy, construction, education, trade and commerce.”

He further told the Minister that two of the companies are ranked among the top 500 companies in the world.Mr. Ge also said they are interested in coming to buttress Liberia Government’s development agenda under a win-win approach that would lead to job creation for Liberians.

Also speaking, Liberia Ambassador to China said the visit was made possible through the collective efforts of Liberia Mission in Beijing, the Ministry of Foreign Affair, the Office of the First Lady of Liberia and the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs.

Ambassador Thomas said the delegation is termed as the ‘2018 win-win to Liberia from the Henan Province.’ He emphasized that the delegation will tackle investments in the areas of construction and energy, as well.  “We want to thank your Excellency and remind you of the close ties that exist between the PRC and Liberia which can be deepened and well cemented through such visits,” he added.-Press release

Children Parliament calls for inclusion

The Speaker of the Liberia Children Representative Forum Jutomue Doetein has called on government to prioritize children participation in national decision making process of the Country.


Serving as guest speaker on the observance of the Day of the African Child in Bong County recently, Speaker Doetein stated that children too have valuable contribution to the nation building process and as such, they must be involved.

Speaker Doetein says as representative of the voices of the future leaders of Liberia, the concerns of children must be respected and considered during decision making processes especially the ones that concern them.

Jutomue notes that children are considered the light of the future because they are referred to as future leaders on frequent occasions.

He stresses that national decisions prioritize other sectors, but with less concentration on children, adding that children must be involved by playing a role in making decision that affects them as future leaders.

The children forum Speaker says government should be proactive in ensuring that issues affecting children are accurately and substantively addressed under the pro - poor government.

He pleads with government to pay attention to children, especially children with special needs by instituting programs that are tailored towards their growth and development.

He says the children law of Liberia should be integrated into national school curriculum in order to abreast children with their rights and responsibilities, adding that government should provide budgetary allocation for the implementation of activities for the children especially the Liberian National Children’s Representative Forum.

By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong --Edited by Winston W. Parley

Health, WAEC bosses kicked out of hearing

Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah and the West African Examination Council (WAEC) Registrar General Mr. Dale Gbotoe were kicked out of the budget hearing session on Monday by a joint legislative committee on Capitol Hill for their failures to provide explanation on request for budgetary allotments in the 2017/2018 national draft budget.


Both officials had appeared before the joint committees on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget of the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate on Monday, 18 June for a budget hearing.

Appearing at the William Richard Tolbert Joint Chambers of the Capitol Building in Monrovia, Monday, the two senior officials of the executive branch found it very difficult to explain why there should be increment in allocations for their respective institutions.

They could not justify why the joint committee should accept the amounts attached in their various draft budgets.

Dr. Jallah and the Health Ministry had submitted the total of US$58 million to the Legislature for possible consideration by the committee.

The Health Minister was questioned by Montserrado County Representative and Committee Chair Thomas Fallah over the request to increase the ministry’s budget from US$54 million which it received in 2016/17 budget year.

But Minister Jallah fumbled over Rep. Fallah’s inquiry and tried to seek assistance from her deputy for administration and the comptroller, bending her head to the floor.

Unfortunately for Minister Jallah, members of the committee looked very dismayed in the failure of the minister to defend her allocation as her search for assistance from her deputies yielded no result.

The Health Ministry officials also reportedly failed to include donor funding to the health sector.

When further quizzed by River Gee County Representative Francis Dopoh as to why the US$11 million committed by the donor community was not reflected in the ministry’s budget, Dr. Jallah again became dumbfounded before the committee.

Given the drama, Montserrado County Representative Dixon Sebo made a motion that the ministry be sent back home to put its house in order.
Similarly, WAEC boss Mr. Gbotoe failed to explain the US$60.00 charged by the agency to every student, and how WAEC arrived at the figure and how the amount is expended.

Mr. Gbotoe stood mute as lawmakers tried to quiz him further, prompting Representative Fallah to ask the WAEC boss to leave and prepare in the near future.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor--Edited by Winston W. Parley

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