CENTAL Wants Pres. Boakai Withdraws Recent LTA, Other Appointments

By:Laymah Kollie

Liberia/April 29,2024: The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) is echoing calls to the President of the Republic of Liberia Amb. Joseph Boakai to withdraw appointments at the Liberia Telecommunications Authority, the Governance Commission amongst others.

The anti-corruption institution believes Pres. Boakai’s action to suspend current officials of these agencies and immediate appoint new officials into these posts right after the Supreme Court’s ruling in tenure positions portrays the leader unwillingness to adhere to rule of law.

on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, President Joseph N. Boakai nominated several individuals to the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), the Governance Commission (GC), National Lottery Authority (NLA), and the National Identification Registry (NIR), all of which are already occupied by officials protected by tenure. Following a wave of public backlashes over his decision, Cllr. Bushuben Keita, Legal Advisor to President Boakai referenced constitutional powers of the President to appoint and dismiss those in the executive branch by “will and pleasure”.

In a press statement released on February 22, 2024, CENTAL voiced disappointment over the action of the President citing disregard for relevant laws. CENTAL argued that tenure security is a settled matter and that interferences with it in the form of appointments to positions of active tenures were unlawful. However, in its April 25, 2024 ruling on the matter, the Supreme Court of Liberia upheld its previous decisions on the matter, noting that President Boakai did not act in line with law.

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.

This action CENTAL believes it is meant to undermine the rule of law especially appointing the very individuals whose appointments sparked the controversy leading to the Supreme Court’ ruling.

“We believe that this sends a very wrong signal about then tenured officials substantive due process and not a mere procedural one that helps attain the president’s goal of replacing tenured officials. We believe that such is important if the Supreme Court’s ruling must be sincerely respected and upheld”.
CENTAL however encouraged the President to make use of the office of Ombudsman in handling legal matters of such. It seeks the government’s intervention in fully supporting the office of Ombudsman as to function properly.

“As the office of the Ombudsman has been established, we encourage the government of Liberia to provide it with the needed financial, logistical and other support to commence full operation. This includes alleged violation of the code of conduct by the chairperson of the governance commission and other similarly-situated tenure officials, especially during the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.”

CENTAL therefore reaffirmed its commitment in the fight against corruption and the rule of law.

“We conclude by reaffirming our commitment to remaining robust in meaningfully supporting national efforts/initiatives to promote and entrench the culture of accountability, transparency, and integrity in Liberia, in all sectors, institutions and places”.

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