–Embattled-Cllr. Martin Proclaims
By: R. Joyclyn Wea
MONROVIA-Article 2 of the 1986 Constitution provides that “this Constitution is the supreme fundamental law of Liberia and its provisions shall have binding force and effect on all authorities and persons throughout the republic.
Accordingly, any laws, treaties, statutes, decrees, customs, and regulations found to be inconsistent with it shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void and of no legal effect. The Supreme Court, pursuant to its power of judicial review, is empowered to declare any inconsistent laws unconstitutional.”
On this basis, Edwin Kla Martin has dragged Weah’s administration before the nation’s highest court to resist any and all forms of tampering with his six years tenure from going down the drain.
Martins prays the honorable court to order the issuance of an alternative writ of prohibition, restraining and enjoining the Executive Branch Of Government from enforcing sections 16.1 and 16.2 of the act to amend and reinstate an act to establish and re-establish the LACC, approved on July 22, 2022 and printed into handbill on July 25, 2022 thereby upholding the approved Act of August 2008 and the provisions contained therein pursuant to which he was nominated, confirmed, appointed and commissioned as Executive Chairperson of the LACC.
The National Legislature of Liberia passed into law “An Act to Amend and Restate and Act to Establish the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and to Re-Establish the LACC” which was approved on July 22, 2022 and printed in handbill July 25, 2022.
The Act at sections 3.1 and 3.2 abolished the Act which established the LACC in 2008 and in its stead, established a new independent and autonomous commission in the government known as the LACC as a successor to the LACC establishment in 2008.
He holds that the amended Act is a gross violation of articles 20 and 21 of the 1986 constitution of Liberia and that only the Supreme Court is empowered by law to declare said act unconstitutional.
Petitioner says, assuming without admitting that the legislature had the authority to create and pass into law the provision of section 6.10 as contained in the act to amend and restate and Act to establish the LACC, which it does not have, the creation and passage of said law would be discriminatory under Article 8, as it relates only to petitioner and other commissioners currently serving as commissioners if LACC.
Under the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, the power to appoint and to dismiss officials within the Executive Branch of Government is vested in the President of the Republic Of Liberia and which authority must be exercised consistent and in keeping with the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia and agencies created and established by the legislature pursuant to the said constitution.
“Accordingly, the provision of section 6.10 of An Act to Amend and Restate an Act to establish the LACC and to re-establish the LACC, is a usurpation by the Liberian Legislature of the authority vested in the President of the Republic,” Cllr. Martin.
Article 20 of the 1986 Constitution provides that: “no person is to be deprive of life, liberty, security of the person, property, privilege or any other right except as the outcome of a hearing judgment as laid down in the Constitution and due process of law.”
Petitioner Martins submits that “he was nominated by the President as Executive Chairperson of the LACC to serve for a period of six years, except as otherwise provided for in the Act to establish the LACC was approved August 21, 2008 and printed in handbill on August 28, 2008, specifically section 6.8.
He further contending that to remove him from the office of Executive Chairperson of the LACC inconsistent with the provision of the herein mentioned Act would be a gross violation of the privilege granted him by the President to serve in the capacity of the Executive Chairperson of the LACC and the Constitutional provision quoted herein.
Cllr. Martin says, he was nominated, confirmed, and appointed as Executive Chairperson of the LACC by the President in keeping with the An Act to establish the LACC which was approved and printed in handbill August 2008, therefore, can only be dismissed, considered dismissed in keeping with the provision oif the herein mentioned Act.
The LACC boss maintained that his July 15, 2021 tenure as Chairperson of the LACC runs up to, and including July 14, 2026, consistent with the 2008 Act creating the LACC.
According to him, the Act is not the provision contained therein are not applicable to him; for to hold otherwise would be a gross violation of the principle and doctrine of the expo facto law as enshrined in Article 21 of the 1986 Constitution of the Republic of Liberia which states “no person shall be made subject to and law or punishment which was in effect at the time of the commission of an offense, nor shall the legislature enact any bill of attainder or ‘expo facto’ law.”
He informed the high court that the co-respondent, the Ad Hoc Committee setup by the President, published a vacancy announcement in the frontpage Africa Newspaper vol. 16 No. 187, Friday, September 30, 2022, announcing vacancies for the positions of Executive Chairperson or Chief Executive, Executive Vice Chairperson And Commissioners For The LACC.