Lofa County Senatorial By-Election Postponed.

MONROVIA – The Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission has announced a postponement of the Lofa County by-election scheduled for May 10, 2022.

Making the announcement over the weekend, the chairperson of the Commission, Mrs. Davidetta Brown Lansannah said the By-Elections will not be held as expected due to ongoing legal issues between the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Unity Party (UP) and the All Liberian Party  (ALP).

As it is, the NEC is awaiting a mandate from the Legislature to schedule a new date for the conduct of the election and it is believed that lawmakers have made an early return because of the situation involving the NEC and the Lofa County by-election.

The decision came after NEC Hearing Office claimed that he lacks jurisdiction to render any judgment in the matter due to the constitutional questions and concerns raised.

The NEC staff ruled that due to the constitutional issues, in the case, the NEC is hereby prohibited from proceeding with any action regarding the endorsement of the Unity Party’s candidate for the Lofa County Senatorial by-election until the Supreme Court considers the constitutional questions involved.

The Supreme Court now has to decide whether or not the candidate on the ticket of the former ruling Unity Party (UP) should be allowed to contest in the Special Senatorial By-Election in Lofa County. 

Meanwhile, the chairperson of the national elections commission has announced that the NEC has received the budgeted amount of US$1.2 million for the conduct of the election in Lofa County.

Bong County Legislative Caucus Launches Investigation Into Recent GAC Report

BONG: Bong County legislative Caucus chair Moima Briggs Mensah says the county leadership is committed to ensuring that the recent General Auditing Commission findings on Bong’s mismanagement of governments resources is not taken lightly.

According to Representative Mensah a two man committee has been set-up and will report to the caucus in the soonest possible time.

She named Representative James Kolleh of electoral district#2 and Representative Robert Flomo Womba of district#4 based on their legal understandings.

The bong County law maker further disclosed that they have also sought some legal interpretations before engaging the accused parties.

Representative Mensah then promised citizens of bong that this audit report will not go unnoticed as it had been done with other reports in the County.

Speaking to newsmen, madam Mensah disclosed that all companies or contractors that were mentioned of receiving money without implementing projects in the County will refund the county’s money.

As it can be recalled, a recent GAC report uncovered several financial misappropriation in the county. The diminishing GAC report on Bong County with a physical verification of about sixteen (16) uncompleted projects amounting to over US$411,500.00.

On the issue of the county sitting, Madam Briggs Mensah announced that the pending April 15-16 County sitting has been postponed to ensure that those regulatory processes of getting its 1million United States dollars from the government is guaranteed as they have written the government through the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Finance as a reminder.

She clarified that the postponement was not triggered by recent calls from CSOs or sentimental talks in the county.

“Rescue, Rebuild and Restore Strategy by Representative Edward Karfiah is Deceitful”.Says Jonathan Devine Williams

BONG:The chairman of an organization purporting to be “the movement to retire representative Karfiah comes 2023” has described the recently launched “Triple- R” strategy by Rep. Karfiah as a failure.

Speaking in the district recently, Mr. Jonathan Divine Williams said the “Rescue, Rebuild and restore” political strategy launched in Palala, Kpaai district by Representative Edward Karfiah is deceitful and not in the interest of Bongese.

Divine Williams wonders why Rep Karfiah after approximately twelve years at the legislature has not “Rescued, Rebuilt and restored” district #5, a mini portion of the county but promising to do so when elected senator to steer the affairs of the county.

” If you truly have the intention to rescue, rebuild and restore liberians, why you have not done that for the people of district #5 for over twelve years at the legislature but promising to do so when elected as senator for the county “.

Williams named the lack of office space for the district, the underdevelopment of electoral district #5, among others as continuous failures for the representative for nearly 12th years at the helm of power.

Meanwhile, the purported chairman against Karfiah’s re-election comes 2023 vowed to vigorously campaign against him to deliver the county.

“Liberia became like a Second home to me, and you, the Liberian people, welcomed me as a sister”.    Says Christine Elder Former United States Ambassador to Liberia.

Monrovia, Liberia – Former United States Ambassador to Liberia has expressed her gratitude to the government and people of Liberia for the love and support shown to her during tenure as Ambassador.

Ambassador Christine Elder’s statement was contained in a farewell video message released on Wednesday March 25, 2020.

Madam Elder in her farewell video said such support was the medium for deepening ties between Liberia and the US, which resulted to the success of her Mission.

In her statement below, the former US Ambassador extended warmest greetings and expressed gratitude to Liberians and said she was very moved by the expressions of concern for her health.

“To my many friends in Liberia, I send you greetings from Washington, D.C. On Monday, the U.S. Embassy shared news with you, the Liberian people that my tour as U.S.Ambassador to Liberia had concluded. As the Embassy statement noted, I have been deeply honored to serve in this role for almost 4 years. It was a gift to be asked by my government to extend beyond the traditional 3-year assignment, ultimately having served in Liberia longer than any U.S. ambassador in 35 years. I was touched by your comments about my departure, and I wanted to offer my appreciation and some remarks in return”.

“I am quite well, but over the past 15 years, I have had 3 surgeries on my lungs. With the closure of international air routes, the U.S. government and I decided that this was the right time to transition the leadership of our Embassy, which had been anticipated for this May or June. The Embassy’s very experienced Deputy Chief of Mission, Alyson Grunder, will serve as Chargé d’affaires until there is a new U.S. Ambassador”.

In continuation of her farewell message, Madam Elder further disclosed that it was an honor to have contributed to the strengthening of the US to Liberia relationship. 

“It has been the highlight of my career, and the honor of a lifetime, to have had a small role in strengthening the unique relationship between the United States and Liberia. I am deeply appreciative of the warm friendship extended to me by the Liberian people”.

Christine Elder said she has already expressed thanks to Liberian Leader George Manneh Weah and the Foreign Minister on Saturday, March 21, 2020 and hoped to return to Liberia on a personal visit in the future express thanks and say goodbye to Liberians in person.

“Until then, I wish to extend my deep appreciation for all of our work together to President Weah, to former President Sirleaf, to the government, members of opposition parties, in particular the young political leaders, to the Members of the Legislature, the Judiciary, the security sector, the business community, the United Nations family, the Dean and colleagues in the diplomatic corps, traditional and faith leaders, and our many, many partners and friends in civil society, most especially the media” she noted.

She then expressed thanks and appreciations to the U.S. Embassy team for their tireless efforts, alongside Liberians, to protect public health and stability, to promote economic growth, while strengthen civil society and human rights.

Liberia Ministry of Commerce Terms Increase in Prices of Rice as Illegal and Totally Unacceptable.

MONROVIA, LIBERIA– Authorities at the Ministry of Commerce says they have observed an unapproved increment in the retail price of a bag of rice by businesses on the Liberian market.

According to a release from the Ministry, businesses are increasing the price of rice on the Liberian market against Government’s approved retail price despite purchasing the commodity at a wholesale price of thirteen ($13.00) United States Dollars.

The Ministry further disclosed that instead of Government’s approved retail price, some businesses are selling a bag of rice up to twenty-two US Dollars.

The Commerce Ministry is however warning citizens against panic-buying, hoarding and selling above Government’s approved price, stating anyone found engaging in such activities will be closed down with penalties imposed.

Meanwhile, the Liberian Government through it’s information Minister Ledgerhood Rennie wants the public to exercise patience, amid ongoing talks between the government and rice importers to find a amicable solution in stabilizing the price of the product.

Minister Rennie reiterated Government’s stance against arbitrary hike in the price of rice on the local market, warning against any act of profiteering at the expense of ordinary citizens.

Minister Rennie re-echoed that there is a sufficient stuck of rice on the Liberian market, and as such, and there is no need for panic buying.

President Weah Identifies with Muslims Across Liberia

MONROVIA, LIBERIA- The President of the republic of Liberia, George M. Weah has identified with the Muslims community as they go through the month of Ramadan.

Speaking to news men, Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf disclosed that President George M. Weah provided several items including bags of rice and cash to Muslims across the country.

” President Weah provided over three-thousand bags of rice, four-million Liberian Dollars for cooking, and five-hundred-thousand Liberian Dollars to cover transportation cost.”

According to Minister Sirleaf the President’s contribution to the Muslim Community, for this year’s Ramadan, is his way of showing his for the religion.

He said the item will be distributed among Muslims across the fifteen counties.

Minister Sirleaf, however, called on Muslims to continue to offer prayer and supplication for the peace and stability of the Country.

For his part, the Chairman of the National Muslim Council of Liberia, Imam Abdullah Mansaray, appreciated President Weah for identifying with them, during the month of Ramadam.

“The Technical Team, With Support From The National Government, Is Working To Resolve The Issue That Has Given The Airport Bad Press In Recent Weeks”

Says Liberia Airport Authority Boss

MONROVIA, LIBERIA– The Government of Liberia has assured Liberians of solving the problems associated with the Roberts International Airport (RIA), in the eight months.

The disclosure was made on Monday, April 4,2022, during a news conference addressed by the Airport Authority, Ministers Nathaniel McGill, Samuel Tweah, Frank Musa Dean and Ledgerhood Rennie, at the Executive Mansion.

RIA Board Chairman, Musa Shannon said the electricity problem at the RIA has always been of concern to the Board.

Mr. Shannon said:” The Technical Team, with support from the National Government, is working to resolve the issue that has given the Airport bad press in recent weeks.”

For her part, RIA Deputy Director General for Technical Services, Paula Fares, said despite the enduring electricity problem, the runway remains save for flights to land.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Samuel Tweah said it would cost Government over twenty-million United States Dollars to holistically solve the problems at the Roberts International Airport, but was quick to state that the current problems at the airport were inherited and that efforts are being made to address the situation.

He said the Executive will inform the Legislature about the money needed to carry on a holistic renovation of the Airport.

The Finance Minister said it was unacceptable for the RIA to be run on generator for fifteen years, thus reassuring that Government is working to address such situation.

The Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill, then categorized the problems at the RIA into four technical areas, namely electricity at the runway the terminal, adequate fire trucks and navigation system.

According to the Government, it has concluded an overall assessment of the RIA, through a select committee recently set up by President George Weah.

Liberia National Police Investigates Two Mysterious Deaths In Jallah’s Town and The City of Paynesville.

Press Release

Monrovia, Liberia-The Liberia National Police has launched investigations into establishing circumstances and facts surrounding two mysterious deaths that occurred yesterday, March 24, 2022 at the ELWA Junction, Paynesville City, and Jallah’s Town Community, Sinkor, Monrovia.

Jallah’s Town Death:

On March 24, 2022 at 6 PM, LNP investigators were informed of a citizen, Melvin Togba, 36, who was observed lying in his room with minor bruises on his face and leg.

Our team immediately responded to the scene and conducted physical examination of the body. The deceased was observed lying on his bed with no stabbing wound nor laceration on his body.

The team also observed that there was no breakage of the diseased room. He was then rushed to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center where he was pronounced dead by doctors on duty.

The remains of the deceased was deposited at the JFK Mogue for preservation, while investigation is continuing in establishing facts and circumstances which led to his death.

ELWA Junction Mysterious Death

On March 24, 2022 at 2 PM, Police investigators were informed of the discovery of a female, Princess Cooper, 25, a resident of the Tweh Farm, Bushrod Island Community, who was lying in a pool of blood in a fence belonging to the FAWAZ Building Construction Company at the ELWA Junction, Paynesville City.

Our team of investigators immediately rushed to the scene and discovered the deceased lying in a pool of blood which oozed from her mouth and nose. A physical examination conducted established no laceration and bruises on her body.

She was immediately rushed to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead by doctors on duty. Her remains was deposited at the JFK Mogue for preservation while investigation continues in establishing facts and circumstances surrounding her death.

Yesterday, three private security guards were taken at the headquarters of the Liberia National Police and are currently undergoing interrogation while residents of the Compound, as well as employees of the company who were present in the compound before and during yesterday’s incident are all being considered as Persons of Interests to assist the investigation.

Members of the public are urged to remain calm, as all is being done to properly investigate these two mysterious deaths to logical conclusions.

Signed: —————————————————
H. Moses Carter, Sr.
Chief
Press and Public Affairs Division (U-122)
Liberia National Police, RL
Tel: 0770800122

GOVERNMENT OF LIBERIA DROPS ALL CHARGES AGAINST HENRY COSTA

Press Release

Monrovia, Liberia-The Ministry of Justice has re-echoed the olive branch of peace recently extended to Talk-show Host, Mr. Henry Pedro Costa by the President of Liberia, George Manneh Weah, urging Mr. Costa to return to Liberia and live freely like any other citizen.

The Ministry of Justice press release issued Thursday March 24, 2022, announces with immediate effect, that in line with the President’s olive branch of peace, all criminal charges including but not limited to any and all formal criminal investigations against Mr. Costa are hereby dropped, and Mr. Costa is free, like any other Liberian citizen, to return home anytime he wishes.

The release reminded Mr. Costa that the seizure of his broadcast equipment through the appropriate court process was due his willful and deliberate violation of the constitutional freedom of expression, and therefore calls on him to use the presidential olive branch of peace to live and operate within confines of the law by upgrading the standards of his advocacy beyond the borders of recrimination and misinformation for the progressive development of the country.

Accordingly, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean Jr., has mandated the Department of Prosecution to work with the court and ensure that Mr. Costa get back his broadcast equipment which was seized upon orders of the court based on an application made by the Liberian State.

The release however clarifies that the question of acquiring and operating a radio frequency, squarely lies within the operational provinces of other agencies of the Liberian government, which, as part of their own statutory rules, procedures and responsibilities have put in place the requisite requirements and processes on radio frequencies acquisitions and managements by individuals and institutions.

The release calls on other social commentators, and political advocates using various platforms to market their views to bear in mind the solemn policy of the government to reconcile and re-unite the people and develop the country for the good of all Liberians, and urged them to be more critical but responsible in holding to account public officials on issues rather than using their various platforms to sow seeds of discords and disunity to the detriment of state.

The release said the Ministry of Justice shall continue to exercise restraint and tolerance in dealing with the frank exchanges of views, ideas and objective criticisms by Liberian citizens but shall not compromise any egregious violation of the law by anyone, and has therefore indicated that it welcomes proficiency in developing new progressive ideas that will help to complement government national development agenda on their various information platforms but not proficiency in profanity, lies and vulgarity.

The release warned all and sundry that the Ministry of Justice will not sit idly by to allow anyone to hijack or swamp the democratic space with lies, invectives and misinformation for selfish reasons.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice has reiterated that the dissemination of obscene material is absolutely forbidden by law, and indicated that the ministry shall not hesitate to invite and question anyone, where necessary, charge and prosecute in open court anyone caught in the dissemination obscene material irrespective of his/her status.

Thanks.

Signed:______

The Solicitor-General

Local NGO Discloses Plans To Raise Awareness With School Going Youths On The Danger Of Drugs And Other Harmful Practices.

Staffers of Young Image Builders

As a means of educating school going youths about the danger of drugs and other harmful practices a local NGO Young Image Builders has disclosed plans to raise massive awareness on various campuses across the city of Paynesville.

The move according to the organization head of advocacy is as a result of the increase in the use of harmful substances, domestic violence and child abuse in the country.

Making the disclosure to this platform the organization’s head of advocacy Yaya Moore named Child labor, Domestic violence, Child Trafficking, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, gender based violence, mentorship, responsible citizenship and other educational activities as topics that will be targeted by the organization during the period of the awareness.

According to her, they as an organization have observed with grief concern the massive increase in the number of substance user followed by violence in the country and as such they thought it wise to initiate a project that will educate youths about the danger of substance abuse with the hope of discouraging them from getting involve in the act.

“We as a organization have seen the increase in substance users couple with violence in the country and as such we think it will be wise to begin the process of visiting various schools across the city of Paynesville so as to discourage students from getting involve in the act”  

The head of advocacy furthered that they are beginning the process in the city of Paynesville with the hope of spreading to other parts of the country based on the support and result they will get as an organization.

For his part the head of the organization D. Arbar Sewarlu attributed the increase in substance users to the lack of proper legislation, and responsible citizenship with a call on national government to pass the drug law and initiate measures that will minimize the importation and sale of drugs and other harmful substances in the country.

Mr. Sewarlu furthered that the fight against drugs and other harmful substances is a holistic fight and as such cannot be left with a specific institution stating that though the process is an expensive one his organization is making the needed sacrifices that will make Liberia better.

The fight against drugs, violence and other harmful practices remains a major concern for citizens in the country with several calls for the passage of the national drug law which currently sits at the house of legislature.

What seems to be even more disturbing is the fact that both houses seems to ignore discussion concerning the passage of the law which has left citizens to wonder as to whether their Law Makers means any good for them.

By: D. Arbar Sewarlu Contacts: +231770190860/+231880063524 Email: dsewarlu@gmail.com

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