S/Court Halts Weah’s Appointment At IMO

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Temple of Justice Building photo credit: Nwelt A. Mathies

The Supreme Court on Thursday, July 5, 2018 placed a stay order on the appointment made by President George Weah at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Jamesetta H. Wolokolie, Associate Justice presiding in chambers said the stay order will remain in place until a conference is held on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 in connection to the matter.

Justice Wolokolie requested that the Government of Liberia represented by the Ministry of Justice, the administration of the Liberia Maritime Authority and the complainant Hon. Isaac W. Jackson, Deputy Commissioner, Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization be present at the conference.

It can be recalled that on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 the Executive Mansion released its press statement captioned “President Weah Makes Additional Appointments in Government” and the position occupied by Hon. Jackson was named to be occupied by journalist Moses O. Browne.

Hon. Jackson on July 3, 2018 filed a complaint with the court asking it for a writ of prohibition to declare the government’s act of removal against him from the position as Deputy Commissioner, Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization as illegal, unstatutory and unconstitutional.

Hon. Jackson argued that Part II, section 7(4) captioned Tenure of the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners, of the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA) Act, specifically states “Tenure of the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner”: the commissioner of Maritime Authority and the Deputy Commissioners shall have tenures of Five (5) years in order to ensure and preserve consistency in the leadership, maintain continuity of purpose, increase the capacity in the industry, and preserve the national and international relevance and very competitive nature of the maritime program.

According to him, the tenure of the commissioner and the deputies shall be renewable for only one additional four year period upon recommendation of the Board to the President for approval. No further renewal shall be permitted beyond nine years.

The embattled Jackson noted that he was appointed under the LMA Act by the former President Sirleaf to the position of Permanent Representative to the IMO which position in the organogram of the LMA is Deputy Commissioner Permanent Representative to the IMO on September 13, 2016 and was commissioned on October 28, the same year.

He maintained that he is guided by the precedents of appointment of Hon. Agnes Reeves Taylor (September 28, 1999) and Mohammed Dukuly (April 7, 2004) who served for the period of five years each as Deputy Commissioner and Permanent Representative to the IMO.

Additionally, he said that during his 21 months of occupancy of the position of Deputy Commissioner, Permanent Representative to the IMO, he worked and placed Liberia in a leadership role of the IMO and due to the fact of his considerable achievement, the only reason for his replacement by another appointee is purely on political and not legitimate grounds.

Writes P. Nas Mulbah