Judgement Day for LACC Boss
By: R. Joyclyn Wea
MONROVIA – The fate of Cllr. Edwin Kla Martin, head of Liberia’s Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) in his quest to undo the decision by the government to enact a new act of legislation recreating or restructuring the LACC which terminated his six years tenure.
Today’s judgment which is expected to be delivered by Her Honor Chief Justice Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh will determine whether or not the government will settle its obligation to Cllr. Martin, as well as continuing his position as head at that anti-graph institution.
Cllr. Martin against the government in Liberia, Cllr.
During final argument into the matter before the full bench of the honorable court, martin’s lawyer, Cllr. Johnny Momoh’s performance hampered his chances to convince the justices to support him. Cllr. Many lawyers believe that Momoh could be ruled against by the Supreme Court, as he has a slim chance of winning.
It can be recalled, in September of 2022, LACC boss dragged the Weah administration before the nation’s highest court to resist any and all actions by the government to temper with his six years tenure.
Martins asks the honorable court for an alternative writ to prohibit, restraining, and enjoin the executive branch from enforcing sections 161 and 16.2 in the act to amend, reinstate an act to create and re-establish LACC. This will uphold the approved Act of August 2008. It was approved on July 22, 2022, printed into handbill July 25, 2022, and under which he was nominated and confirmed to be appointed, confirmed, and commissioned
The National Legislature of Liberia passed into law “An Act to Amend and Restate andAct to Establish the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and to Re-Establish the LACC” which was approved on July 22, 2022 and printed in handbill July 25, 2022.
Sections 3.1 and section 3.2 of the Act abolished the 2008 act that established the LACC and instead created a new independent commission within the government, the LACC. This commission will succeed the LACC establishment in 2008.
He believes that the amended act is a gross breach of articles 20-21 of the 1986 Liberia constitution and that only the Supreme Court has the legal authority to declare it unconstitutional.
Petitioner asserts that, assuming without admitting that it had the authority to create or pass into law section 6.10 as contained within the act to modify and restate the LACC, which it doesn’t have, the creation of and passage of such law would be discriminatory according to article 8, since it only applies to petitioner and the other LACC commissioners.
The 1986 Constitution of Liberia gives the President of the Republic of Liberia the power to appoint or dismiss officials in the Executive Branch of government. This authority must be used in accordance with the Constitution of Liberia as well as agencies created and established pursuant to the Constitution.
“Accordingly, the provision of Section 6.10 of An Act to Amend and Restate an Act to establish the LACC and to re-establish the LACC, is a usurpation by the Liberian Legislature of the authority vested in the President of the Republic,” Cllr. Martin.
Article 20 of the 1986 Constitution provides that: “no person is to be deprived of life, liberty, security of the person, property, privilege or any other right except as the outcome of a hearing judgment as laid down in the constitution and due process of law.”
Petitioner Martin submits that “he was nominated by the President as executive Chairperson of the LACC to serve for a period of six years, except as otherwise provided for in the act to establish the LACC was approved August 21, 2008 and printed in handbill on August 28, 2008, specifically, Section 6.8.
He also claimed that to remove him as Executive Chairperson for the LACC in violation of the provision of this act would be a gross breach of the privilege granted to him by President to serve as Executive Chairperson for the LACC and the Constitution quoted herein.
Cllr. Martin stated that he had been nominated, confirmed and appointed Executive Chairperson of LACC by President in accordance to An Act to Establish the LACC. This Act was approved and printed in handbill August 2008. It cannot be dismissed.
According to the 2008 Act, the LACC was created, the LACC boss maintained that his tenure as Chairperson of LACC from July 15, 2021 runs until and including July 14, 2026.
According to him, the act is not the provision contained therein and are not applicable to him; for to hold otherwise would be a gross violation of the principle and doctrine of the expo facto law as enshrined in article 21 of the 1986 constitution if the republic of Liberia which states “no person shall be made subject to any law or punishment which was in effect at the time of commission of an offense, nor shall the Legislature enact any bill of attainder or ‘ex post facto’ law.”
He informed the high courts that his co-respondent, Ad Hoc Committee established by the President published a vacancy advertisement in FrontPage Africa magazine vol. 16 No. 16 No.
Source: New republic liberia