LIBERIA NEWS:Gov’t Defeated

…As Supreme Court Upholds Tenure Positions

By: R. Joyclyn Wea

MONROVIA-The Supreme Court of Liberia has mandated President Joseph Boakai to withdraw nominations to the Liberia Telecommunications Authority, Liberia National Lotteries Authority, the National Identification Registry, and the Governance Commission.

According to the high court, those nominations were illegal and the president acted outside the law on tenure positions.

TEMPLE OF JUSTICE, Monrovia- All eyes and ears are set on the Supreme Court of Liberia regarding its verdict on the legality of President Joseph Boakai’s action to nominate/appoint new people to tenured positions at various state institutions since he came to power last January.

The Governance Commission (GC), National Identification Registry (NIR), Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), Liberia Lottery Authority, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been at the front of controversy in recent months.

During the argument into the case, Justice Minister Oswald Tweh is seen to have contradicted President Boakai’s legal advisor’s statement that the cabinet has authorized the President to scrap all tenured officials except those protected by the constitution—urging him to appoint his trusted lieutenants in those positions.

Tweh said those individuals were only nominees who had not gone for confirmation hearings therefore, the petitioners have suffered no inquiries and that the petitions were prematurely filed.

He further told the full bench at the time that holding public office is a privilege and not a right as such the president’s action does not run contrary to any law.

But the court in its judgment on April 24, 2024, disagreed with the government that its action was in conformity with the law and order those individuals removed from their positions restored.

The court said that there has been no showing of the existence of any condition of petitioner removal from office as stipulated in the act creating the respective entities to which the petitioners are appointed, their said removal from office before the expiry of their tenure without a due process is ultra vires.

The supreme court further held that Article 89 of the 1986 constitution which gives the legislature the authority to create autonomous agencies does not contrive Article 56 of the constitution hence the act by the president of Liberia in nominating persons to the petitioners’ positions while their tenure is still in force and unexpired is tantamount to their removal from office.

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