Tuesday, February 28, 2012
For Reports on Alledged ‘Mis-applied’ US$1.2M by Supreme Court At least three media executives have been summoned by Justices of the Supreme Court to give reasons, if any, as to why they should not be held in contempt for publishing articles surrounding the alledged misapplication of some US$ 1.2 Million intended for the purchase of 27 vehicles to be used by circuit court judges around the country. Those summoned to appear before the Supreme Court judges today include: Mr. Jerome Dolieh, Managing Editor of the News Newspaper, Mr. George D. Watkins, Managing Editor of the Daily Graphic Newspaper and Mr. Rodney Sieh, Managing Editor of the Front Page Africa Newspaper which published the allegation on this February 7, 8, and 22 respectively. According to the Writ of Summons for Contempt addressed to the Marshall of the Supreme Court, the News Newspaper in its February 7, 2012 Vol. 23, No. 185 published an article under the headline US$1 Million Dollars Diverted at Temple of Justice, while the Daily Graphics in its February 8, 2012 published another article titled Rotten Supreme Court. The writ which also mentioned the Front Page Africa (wikileaks) which February 22, 2012 publication entitled High Court Scandal- Supreme Court Justices Feast on US$ 1 Million intended for Courts had an attached web article copied from the FPA website entitled Liberia Supreme Court Justices on Fire after US$1.2 Million Feast. Accordign to the attached web article, President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, who allocated the funds, had promised to establish a full-scale investigation into the why the US$1.2 Million for vehicular purchase was not used for its intended purpose. The article alledged that the four associate Justices of the Supreme Court, namely: Philip A.Z. Banks, Francis S. Kporkor sr., Jamesetta Howard Wolokollie and Kabinah M. Ja’neh, received about US$125,000 of the mis-applied funds, while Chief Justice Johnny Lewis refused to take his US$150,000 share of the funds. Despite the refusal of his portion to the alledgedly shared money, as the article puts it, reliable sources told the FPA that the Chief Justice approved the funds for the purchase of vehicles. It is not clear what level of damages the various newspapers’ articles have inflicted on the third brench of government, but it has been speculated that the articles could bring the Judiciary to disrepute. It can be recalled that in 2006 when His Honor Johnny Lewis took over the Supreme Court as Chief Justice of the Republic of Liberia, he promised to eliminate corruption in the judicial circle of Liberia. With the recent reports circulating in the media about the diversion and mis-application of entrusted funds given to the Supreme Court to help strenghten the capacity of judges in the country, some critics have begun to argue that corruption has intensified in the justice system. Since the writ was issues, some critics have been saying that the action is intended to silent the media from reporting on frauds in the justice system and the government as a whole.
Posted by billiamsonish at 17:24
Monday, February 27, 2012
Several media practitionals and supporting partners over the weekend gathered at the Baptist Youth Camp off the Robert’s International Airport (RIA) highway for a two-day media retreat held under the theme ‘the Media and the 2011 Elections: Best Pratices and Lessons Learned’ to critique the role of the media in the past elections. The retreat was organized by the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) with support from the USAID and IREX in efforts to identified issues of short comings on the part of the media during the 2011 elections and how those issues can be addressed to enhance the performance of the media in future elections in the country. Making solidarity remarks during the first day of the retreat, Mr. Kenneth Y. Best, Managing Director Liberia Observer Corporation, Mr. Norris Tweah, Deputy Minister for Information, Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism, and Tilly Reeds Chief of Party IREX commended the media for its credible performance during the elections. Though the orators lauded the media for performing fairly well during the 2011 election, they also noted there were some short-comings in the media that needed to be addressed. According to Deputed Minister Tweah, during the 2011 elections, the media was faced with the challenge of subjectivity and objectivity which led citizens to term some journalists as ‘partisan-journalist.’ He hoped that the retreat was going to draw guidelines that would help journalists to rise above fraud in the implementation of their duty to the people of Liberia. Day-one of the retreat was characterized by the solidarity remarks, plenary sections on various sectors of the Liberian media. During the plenary sections, it was learnt that in 2011 elections, some individuals used the media to tarnish the reputation of others; which some participants at the program said shouldn’t be accepted. Such usage according to some of the participants is usually backed by corruption because those who write maling articles collect money from the individual the story originated from. It was argued that those journalists who collected money from newsmakers were doing so because the media houses to which they belong was not paying them attractive salaries to compensite their daily lives. But such argument was debunked by Peter Quaqua, President of PUL, when he said that nothing should give journalists the audacity to compromise the profession. It was also learnt at the event that many journalists where not pushing too hard to get an accurately balance story, thus seeking refuge in the cliché ‘all efforts to contact party X prove futile.’ According to Prof. James Wolo, Head of UNMIL Media Monitoring Unit, who critique the points raise during the plenary, the media should strive for truthfulness because that what is expected of it.
Posted by billiamsonish at 15:18
Members of the Pakistani Contigent of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), last Wednesday February 22, 2012, received the UN Peacekeeping medals for their efforts to assist Liberians and their positive contributions to the peace and stibility that have being restored to Liberia and the West African sub-region. The Medals of Honor were confered on the Pakistani Contigent at the Samuel K. Doe Sport complex in Paynesville by Mr. Moustapha Soumare, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary General (ASRSG) to Liberia. According to an UNMIL release, ASRSG Soumare told the Pakistanis that by devoting themselves to improving livelihood of several local communities in the country they have earned the respect and love of the Liberian people. “By devoting yourselves to improving livelihood in the local communities, you have earned the respect and love of the Liberian people, young and old. The UN recognizes and appreciates your devotion. Your actions have fostered understanding and promoted peace and stability in liberian and the region,” Mr. Soumaré highlighted during the ceremony before awarding the UN Peacekeeping medals to members of the UNMIL Pakistani Contingent. Mr. Soumaré said since the deployment of UNMIL troops in 2003, Pakistan has established itself as a strong, reliable and dedicated partner in Liberia’s search for peace, stability and development. “UNMIL has also benefitted from Pakistan’s experience and generosity in the number and expertise of troops it has provided to the Mission, including highly qualified senior military officers, with two Force Commanders and one Deputy Force Commander,” Mr. Soumaré noted. The Acting SRSG described the positive response of the Pakistani Government to the Security Council’s request for UNMIL troops to reinforce the sister Mission in Ivory Coast as another demonstration of Pakistan’s long standing commitment to peace and security in the world. Meanwhile, Mr. Soumare used the occasion to re-echoed the a UN Technical Assessment Mission have come to liberia to assess the situation in Liberia and conduct a thorough review of the progress made towards the implementation of UNMIL’s strategic objective of a steady state of security in the counntry and the Liberian security institutions that are independently operational without the peacekeeping mission. According to the Acting SRSG the TAM, having conducted assessment on the UNMIL and Liberian security institutions, will develop recommendations for the future of the UN Mission in Liberia which could call for a drawdown sooner or later. The Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Moustapha Soumaré highlighted that this was not the first Technical Assessment Mission to come to Liberia. He said the technical assessment is customary a event during the UN mission as a specific phase or benchmark is accomplished. Mr. Soumare said the completion of the peaceful elections in the country was a benchmark in the existance of the mission in the country since 2003 and calls for the assessment that will be carry out by the TAM. “I would like to underline that the United Nations is committed to Liberia, and UNMIL will continue to work on the transition while the entire UN family will remain to ‘Deliver as One’ for the Liberian people.”
Posted by billiamsonish at 15:15
Sunday, February 12, 2012
-Says President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia, President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, has termed National Security a priorty ahead of the yet to come transition of the UN mission in libe (UNMIL). The CIC said six years ago, her government was focused on the restoration and reform of the AFL and the security sector in general; but the next six years would be spend on forstering log-termed security and economic development of the security sector and the country as a whole. President Johnson made this assertion when she delivered the 55th Armed Forces Day massage over the weekend at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) where members of the 53rd legislature, international partners, government officials and families of enlisted men of the AFL had gathered to commemorate the day. The AFL CIC acknowledged insights by UNMIL Force Commander, Major General Muhammad Khalid when he urged the Government of Liberia should ‘speed up building the capacity of the AFL, in preparations for the drawdown of UN forces because the Mission was not intended to stay in Liberia perpetually. The Liberian President pointed out that in order to meet the need of security after the UNMIL has transition, the strenght of the army must be increased. Acknowledging the need to of expanding military bases to have health and recreational centers and schools, President Johnson said her government will support the necessary allocatiion of additional budget to meet the needs of the army. Having stated the increase in force and the welfare of the army as national security priorty, President Johnson called on international partners including the U.S, UNMIL and member states of ECOWAS among others to keep up their support to the AFL to have it improved to become the force of good. She said the AFL has a charged history of honor, duty and loyalty to the state adding that such was significant in keeping a peaceful and democratic nation. Though members of the new AFL can execise their inalienable rights to vote during elections, the presidents told the gathering that soldiers were not politicians. It can be recalled during the early 1970s and late 1980s when the army interfered with politics is the country, Liberia was plunged into a state of total anarchy until 2003 when its civil crisis came to an end with the departure of Ex-president and Warlord Charles G. Taylor. President Johnson cautioned the gallant men and women of the AFL that unlike politicians, they (soldiers) were governed by the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) which will hold them accountable for their actions. The president sighted the National Defends Act of 2008 which calls for an unequivocal loyalty from every man and woman of the AFL as she reemphasized that soldiers are not politicians. Deliverin the keynote earlier, outgoing U.S ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfeild thanked all other nations and organizations thathave worked with and supported the efforts of the Liberian Government to have the AFL at where it is. She said today the men and women of the AFL are individuals of good moral character, courage, and integrity and a tremendous resource ‘who can, who will and who must’ play a strong role in rebuilding and long-term development of Liberia by leading lives driven by duty, honor, pride and country. H.E. Greenfield: “there can be no return to old ways of self-interest over duty and national interest; no return to a sense of privilege and entitlement over honor, intergity, selfless service and respect; no return to a force that thinks it is above the law and preys on its population rather than serve them.” “This is a new day,” she said, “where the members of the AFL are model law-abiding citizens, expressing their will at the ballot boxes, and holding themselves to the highest standard of good conduct.” Also making remarks at the program held under the theme ‘Armed Forces of Liberia Supports the Foundation for Long-term Security and Economic Development in Liberia, Defense Minister Brownie Samukai reassured the commitment of the AFL to serve the people of Liberia to the best of Professional Standard. He said as the minister of defense, he would work and do everything possible to improve the tives and welfare of Members of the AFL. Aknowledging the role other nations have played in developing the liberian army into what it is today, the defense minister said it was his hope that he coast guard be further improve to protect the maritime of Liberia. He used the occasion to declear that recruitment to upmend the strenght of the AFL will begin as earlier as March AD 2012.
Posted by billiamsonish at 20:10
As GAC Certificate 65 CFEs
Posted by billiamsonish at 19:17
- Says UNMIL Force Commander Maj. Gen. Khalid UNMIL Force Commander, Major General Muhammad Khalid, have urged the Government of Liberia to expedite building up the capacity of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) ably serve and protect the country after the departial of the UN mission. Maj. Gen. Khalid made this remark at symposium ahead of the Armed Forces Day’s celebration when he answer to the question what are two things he would suggest the GOL do in preparation for the drawdown of the UN mission which have been aiding in keeping peace. Though he did not state when the UN mission was to be concluded in the country, Maj. Gen. Khalid said over the past six years the GOL has been slow in beefing up the AFL to be able to take over the roles that the mission is playing in the country. “UNMIL will not be here forever. Over the past six years the Government of Liberia has been slow in building up the capacity of the military after the mission is gone. I would suggest that this tenure of government should work to see the military being develop a lot faster,” Maj. Gen. Khalid said. The Force Commander also served as the keynote speaker at the symposium which was held under the theme: enhancing military capacities and professionalism; prospect and challenges facing the Armed Forces of Liberia in a democratic Liberia. During his keynote presentation, Maj. Gen. Khalid spoke on the following: the historical influence of AFL in democracy of Liberia, functional concept of military professionalism in a democratic environment, challenges militating against military professionalism in a democratic Liberia and the emerging roles for the AFL in democracy. On the historical influence of the AFL, the UNMIL Force commander recalled the incursion of the state defence forces into politics by the late Liberia president Samuel K. Doe in the early 1980. “In this period, military professionalism was exacerbated by considerable politicization which invariably ushered the AFL into the realms of national politics. The Doe Government initially sought to correct the entrenched enmity between different ethnic groups but ended up polarizing the military along ethnic lines. The regime was characterized by the exclusion of majority ethnic groups from mainstream Liberian politics. This had a ripple effect on the AFL resulting in ethnic sentiments. This signaled the beginning of the collapse of professionalism within AFL,” Maj. Gen. Khalid said. He further recounted of the sidelining of the AFL by the Taylor-led government that ruled from 1997-2003 which established personal outfits like ATU and consequently destroyed the functionality of the AFL which prompted the subsequent transformation of the force. “The fundamental and cultural differences in the norms that govern political leaders and military personnel,” the Force Commannder added, “often create tension between both parties in a democratic setting.” He noted ‘while politicians thrive on ambiguity and uncertainty, and achieve success when they are able to master such conditions, soldiers, by contrast seek clarity of mission and certainty of condition. The reason being that in war the lack of either can result in bad decisions with devastating consequences. As such, the military may encounter certain abnormalities militating against its achievement of a constituted mandate within a democracy. However, military professionalism imbues the tenets of self-control on the part of the soldier thereby restraining him from transgressing democratic norms and ethos. It makes the soldier self conscious of the fact that he is bound by 2 distinct but complementing laws.’ He acknowledged that some of the emerging challenges that are confronting the AFL in a democracy are similar to those experienced by militaries emerging out of war world over. Some of the challenges he highlighted include the lack of sound doctrinal base insufficient funding, lack of awareness on the roles of the military, inadequate mechanism for civil-military relations, reduction in military structure and the lack of media awareness or cooperation amongst others. He said to improve the capability of the AFL, there was a need to re-assess ongoing training, research and development and the initiation of what he termed as C4I. Maj. Gen. Khalid: “With global growing dependency on Information technology, AFL will have to initiate a C4I System, command, control, communication, computers and Information system within the Institution. This system will not only evade any threat in web espionage but will make the AFL compatible to any future induction of military hardware and software.”
Posted by billiamsonish at 19:04
Posted by billiamsonish at 18:55
-Vlagba residents call for stronger measures
Posted by billiamsonish at 18:38
Posted by billiamsonish at 18:28
Friday, February 3, 2012
.. As District#15 Rep. Candidate Promises more if elected Marketers of the Logan Town Market on the Bushroad Island of Montserrado County electoral District#15 have received L$ one Million as micro loans in the area from the chief executive officer of the Abu developmental initiative Abu Kamara. According the Abu developmental initiative Chief Executive officer Abu Kamara the L$ one Million Micro loans is not the first of it kind to marketers of the Logan town Market on the Bushroad or the District#15 at large. He also indicated that the L$ one Million is intended to help marker of the Logan town market to improve on their little one they have present for bigger money tomorrow. The Abu developmental initiative chief executive officer Abu Kamara is on also an independent representative candidate who also vows to give more loans if elected to the 53rd nationals’ legislature comes October 11, 2011. It can also be recalled in 2009 the Montserrado County District#15 give out L$ two millions to residents and marketer of the former District#11 for return some he wave out the residents. He presented the L$ one Million to marketers of the Logan Mark Monday evening September 26, 2011 in the Logan market on the Bushroad Island. Candidate Kamara also called on the potential women of the Logan town marker to see the loans given them over the past building up their capacity as residents of the area. He added that change can only come to the District if the right people are elected in power by the resident and the money given to you women also consider it as women empowerment. The Montserrado County District#15 Representative hopeful Kamara further admonished residents and voter to make sound decision for the betterment of the district. Meanwhile the superintendent of the Logan Town markers Sabah Johnson lauded the effort by the showing so far by the representative hopeful and promises that the entire marker will stand strong for his election to the 53rd national. Superintendent Johnson also stressed that the L$ one million loans came the right time for marketers of the Logan Town market.
Posted by billiamsonish at 14:40
Amar Simogo, 28, Malian, Veaye Trawaly, 19 were picked up on Thursday, December 15, 2011, after they had allegedly robbed a lady identified as Rebecca Gborfua, 38, at her Zubah Town residence on Duport Road. The 28-year-old Malian was arrested with a single barrel short gun with a round. A third suspect, who is still at large is believed to have escaped with a bag containing several single barrel rounds. The suspects after allegedly committing the crime fled the scene but got involve in an accident with another vehicle after they were given a hot chase by some motorcyclists. Suspects Somigo and Trawally were fortunately rescued from hands of an angry mob by police officer on patrol, an LNP release disclosed. They are now in police custody undergoing preliminary investigation at the Zone 5 police station. In another development, in continuation of crackdown on criminals and their hideouts, the LNP early Friday, December 16, 2011 rounded up 91 criminal suspects from the Old Euro Bank building on Crown Hill, Broad Street; The 91 include 14 females and 77 males. The criminal suspects are being screened at the LNP HQ.
Posted by billiamsonish at 14:31
Chief Justice, Johnny Lewis, last Wednesday February 1, 2012 urged the Magistrates of the City Court of Monrovia to help find common ground in ‘minor cases’ and stop sending people sending defendants to jail. The Liberian chief justice made this statement in regard to the condition of prisons in the country which he said are not very conducive to be keeping people; while he was on his normal routine visit to lower courts at the Temple of Justice. He said it was not good for judges to sent people to the central for minor cases which could reach an amicable solution in the courts of competent jurisdiction. Chief Justice Lewis made the said urge this after inquring of a case in which defendant Mary Blayee had been send to prison for receiving money, in the tone of US$ 180, under false pretend from complainant Sarah Vojolo, as rent for a room situated in the City Hall Community. The fund according to information gathered, was received in two folds from complainant Vojolo by defendant Blayee and her son, but thay did not live up to their side of the barging and was taken to court. Because they could not have somebody stand their bond, the defenant was sent to prison until they could pay back the money. They defendant having paid US$100 of the said amount had appeared in court, on Wednesday February 1, 2012 when chief justice lewis inquired and requested that a document should be made on how the rest of the funds would be paid.
Posted by billiamsonish at 13:35
Defendant Daniel A. Maxwell Cries Wolf The man at the center of an alledged US$225,466.69 cyber-theft at Access Bank Liberia (ABL), defendant Daniel A. Maxwell, have begun to cry wolf as the case draws to the criminal court “C” judge’s ruling come Wednesday February 15, 2012 A.D. According to defandant Maxwell when he spoke with Journalists at the Temple of Justice, after appearing in court last Thursday, alledged that assigned circuit judge, Benedict Holt, was being bias in his presiding over the case which commence since November of 2011. It was alledged by defedant Maxwell that his fiance and co-defendant Felecia S. Davis, received a threat call from Judge Holt urging her to testify against him (Maxwell) of she will be sent to prison. The resigned Access Bank Business Analyst, Maxwell, stated the entire case of Theft of Property, Forgery and Criminal, lavied against Ms. Felecia S. Davis, his affiliate Lorpu Dennis and him could be a strategy by Access Bank Liberia to deter other staffers from resigning or some individuals who have been involved in manipulating figures in accounts at the bank have used his name as a scapegoat. Though defendant Maxwell admitted to having knowledge in the field of Information Technology (IT), he denied having requisite IT skills that would enable him manipulate the ABL banking system to steal the aforementioned fund. However, in a court document title Defendants Legal Memorandum one of the seven witnesses presented by the state, Wilfred Lawson, Head of ABL IT Department, said while he (defendant Maxwell) was still working at the bank was the most referenced person locally in providing solutions to users of the banking software application. Also in his testiment before the grand jury, witness Lawson said in his capacity as business analyst and trainer of those who had function with the banking software at the ABL defendant Maxwell had access to the software which stores all banking transaction. It was also testified by Inspector Abraham Duply, after he was informed that defendant Maxwell had stolen from the bank he, Mulbah Sardee, Chief IT Specialist of the Liberia National Police and others conducted an investigation at the bank and found out that the man in question, Maxwell’s sister (unnamed) had deposited L$ 500 in her account at the ABL Redlight Branch but had a checking account of US$15,000. Another witness, Kawala Jumah, Chief of Maintainace at ABL Duala Branch said defendant Maxwell, was seen in the branch’s confrence room on his laptop but did not had time to find out what was being done on it. Having been before His Honor Benedict Holt in Criminal Court “C” since November, the case of alledged cyber-theft is expected to be rule next Wednesday at 10:00 anti-merrdian, but defendant Maxwell said there could be a motion for retrial because, as he alledged, the judge have been bais during the proceedings of the case.
Posted by billiamsonish at 13:28