Liberia Scores High At ECOWAS

first_imgLiberia has recorded high scores on the level of its commitment to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) by ratifying all of the remaining 32 ECOWAS Protocols and Conventions and being in full compliance with the Community Levy protocol.A dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says the disclosure was contained in a Country Report by the countries’ legislative representatives to the ECOWAS Parliament presented on Monday, September 26.Liberia, as at the end of April this year, had the highest number of un-ratified Protocols and Conventions that amounted to 32, a situation the Liberian delegation during its last Country Report at the time regretted. The Liberian team then pledged to institute immediate corrective interventions.Presenting the report on behalf of the Liberian delegation, Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe, Jr. proudly informed fellow regional parliamentarians that he and his fellow Liberian legislators, in collaboration with the Executive Branch, and with the assistance of the TechnicalWorking Group (TWG) of the ECOWAS Chairperson Coordinating Committee (ECCC), have redeemed that pledge.He stated, “We are pleased therefore, to report to you that on Thursday September 15, 2016, Liberia by the concurrent actions of the House of Representatives and the Senate ratified all of the remaining 32 ECOWAS Protocols and Conventions all of which have been signed by the President, printed into handbills and herewith domesticated.”At the same time, Liberia, as of August 2016, is in full compliance with ECOWAS’ Community Levy Protocol, according to the Country Report.The levy includes all payments of arrears and the current monthly assessment, collection, lodgment and remittance of the levy proceeds received as of August 30, 2016.Sinoe County Representative Jefferson Karmon, the Third Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, presided over Monday’s session. The session also witnessed presentations of Country Reports from other ECOWAS Member States.Senators George Manneh Weah and Prince Yormie Johnson of Montserrado and Nimba Counties, respectively and Representative Haja Fata Siryon of Bomi County, who complete the Liberian delegation, were also present during the presentation of the Country Report.Representative Snowe, in his presentation, assured regional colleagues of his delegation’s determination to maximize Liberia’s Chairmanship of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS to the advantage of the ECOWAS Parliament.The dispatch adds that Snowe renewed in particular the commitment of the Liberian delegation, and Liberia in general, to advancing the attainment of ECOWAS’ Vision 2020. Vision 2020 targets moving the Community from an ECOWAS of States to an ECOWAS of Peoples. The Liberia Country Report also covered other wide ranging developments that have obtained in the country since the Parliament’s last session in May of the year.They included the political, security and refugee situations in the region as well as the status of implementation of the other ECOWAS programs, including the Macro-economic Program and the ECOWAS Infrastructural and Transportation Policies and Programs.The delegation concluded its report by commending the government and people of Nigeria: “History will judge us wrong were we to leave this stage without thanking the loving people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for their continuous hospitality towards us during our stay here.”The presentation of Country Reports forms part of the agenda of the ongoing session of the 2nd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja, which opened last week Thursday, September 22, and ends next week Friday, October 7.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Gov’t Gets 10 Days to Produce Evidence

first_imgFailure on the part of lawyers prosecuting the Global Witness bribery scandal to make available all evidence in their possession to defendant Alex Tyler yesterday was enough for Criminal Court ‘C’ to give prosecutors a ten-day ultimatum to produce the documents.They were requested to produce evidence in order to enable Tyler, Bomi County District#1 Representative, to prepare his defense against the charges.Meanwhile, Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay granted Tyler’s request and warned prosecutors to make disclosure of all evidence in their possession against the five persons accused in the Global Witness allegation.“Prosecution is hereby instructed to make available the evidence as demanded by defendant Tyler within ten days, effective as of December 26, with the exception of the bank accounts which are still being contested,” declared Judge Gbeisay.“The court may view failure (to comply) as sufficient grounds to dismiss the charges levied against Tyler,” Gbeisay stated. “It is not debatable that Tyler is entitled to disclosure of evidence against or in his favor, which evidence is supposed to be in the possession of the state.”Before Judge Gbeisay’s decision, state lawyers argued that they cannot produce the evidence now on grounds that co-defendant Senator Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County and the Sherman & Sherman Law Firm that together with Tyler are to be jointly tried have refused to turn over their bank accounts, which the defendants used to transfer the money to commit the alleged bribery, despite Criminal Court A’s (where they were indicted) judgment for them to do so. The case was later transferred to Criminal Court ‘C.’ Senator Sherman appealed to the Supreme Court on that judgment, which is yet to be decided.Further to that argument, prosecutors said if Judge Gbeisay cannot force Sherman to withdraw his appeal, it means they (defendants) are not serious about (prosecution) disclosing the evidence so that they can proceed with the merits or demerits of the case.They also argued that bank accounts were material and relevant pieces of documentary evidence for the prosecution to go ahead with the case.The Special Presidential Task Force setup by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to prosecute the defendants initially boasted that it has in its possession sufficient evidence to convict Tyler and Sherman.They made that revelation at a press conference in July this year after representatives returned from the United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa in hunt of evidence.Tyler together with Senator Varney Sherman, Ernest C.B. Jones, former Lands, Mines and Energy Minister, Christopher Onanuga and Sable Mining, a UK based company, were indicted for the commission of bribery, criminal conspiracy, solicitation and facilitation and economic sabotage. Defendant Tyler, according to the Global Witness, allegedly received a bribe in the amount of US$75,000 to favor Sable Mining Company to have access to iron ore rich Wologizi Mountain in Lofa County.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more