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Liberia: CENTAL Demands Boakai To Recall Tenure Appointments

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By Blamo N. Toe

The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), has called on President Joseph to immediately recall appointments to positions occupied by persons with active tenures.

On Tuesday, February 20, 2024, President Boakai nominated several individuals to the Liberia Telecommunication Authority, Governance Commission, National Lottery Authority, Environmental Protection Agency and National Identification Registry.

But addressing a news conference Wednesday, February 21, 2024, in Monrovia, CENTAL Program Manager, Atty. Gerald Yeakula Said these appointments are being made without regard for tenure security provided in relevant laws.

He highlighted that tenure security is a settled matter and that interference with it in the form of appointments to positions of active tenures are unlawful.

“Given President Boakai’s professed commitment to good governance and the fight against corruption, it is of great importance that his actions are consistent with what he professes,” he noted.

The CENTAL Head of Program stressed that Liberia cannot afford a continuation of disregard for the rule of law and promotion of political interests, at the expense of the country’s hard fought and growing democracy.

According to him, Liberians cannot continue to repeat the same mistakes of yesterday when such can clearly be avoided.

Atty. Yeakula believes if business must not be as usual as stated by the Liberian leader, keen attention must be paid to the excesses of yesterday with an eye to averting recurrence.

“We therefore recommend that President Boakai immediately recalls appointments to positions occupied by persons with active tenures,” he maintained.

CENTAL also wants the President to constitute the membership of the National Environment Policy Council of Liberia to allow a recruitment process for the position of Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), consistent with section 16 of the EPA Act.

“By appointing an Acting Executive Director, CENTAL believes the trend of interim appointments continues without any deliberate action to comply with the EPA Act. This will be business as usual and not a deviation from the ugly past, which the President has severally promised,” the statement noted.

The leading civil society group further urged President to constitute and support the Office of the Ombudsman and fully supported to allow investigation of possible breach of Code of Conduct provisions regarding political canvassing and campaigning, which could constitute ground for removal from tenured positions, especially those of public integrity institutions like the Governance Commission.

CENTAL believes that in the absence of determination by the Ombudsman, officials in violation of the Code cannot be lawfully removed, adding that due process must be followed in all cases of removal for cause.

Meanwhile, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia is reminding President Boakai of its recently published open letter to him, which outlines key anti-corruption reforms and efforts he should pursue, to succeed in his anti-corruption efforts.

“These include, but are not limited to leading by example by publishing his assets, incomes and liabilities declared with the Liberia Anti-corruption Commission and setting very high standards for other officials and others to follow; Providing adequate financial, moral, logistical and other supports to public integrity institutions; Timely establishing and fully funding the office of Ombudsman to oversee implementation of the Code of Conduct for Public Officials; and Timely and impartially investigating and prosecuting corruption complaints/cases,” the release stated.

On behalf of CENTAL, Atty. Gerald Yeakula also outlined investigating and prosecuting former government officials sanctioned for corruption by the United States Government; preventing and addressing budget corruption; strengthening partnership with civil society and the media in fighting corruption and other issues; auditing all branches of government and implementing audit reports and recommendations from the General Auditing Commission.


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