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S/Court Upholds Ruling In
LACC Chairman’s Petition

By Grace Q. Bryant
The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the petition filed by the LACC boss, Edwin Kla Martin.
Cllr Martin is requesting the high court to declare Section 16.1 and 16.2 of the Act to Amend and Reinstate and the Act to Reestablish the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission unconstitutional.
Martin through his lawyers, Johnny Momo and Jimmy Bombo filed a 20-count petition before the Supreme Court praying that their petition be granted.
The lawyers are contending that Section 6.8 of the Act that established the LACC provides that a commissioner shall hold office upon good behavior and should be removed from office by the President for any gross breach of duty, misconduct in office or any proven act of corruption.
“The legislative enactment of Part XVI, titled: Transitional provision which was approved without any proven or legitimate cause, clearly violates petitioner’s rights to due process of law as provided for under article 20 (a) of the 1986 Constitution,” the petitioner lawyers quoted within their petition before the high court.
They further argued that Sections 16.1 and 16.2 of the new amended LACC Act violates the constitutional rights of their client, adding that said amended provision is not in line with the 1986 Constitution.
Government lawyers however argued that the constitutionality of the petitioner’s petition is not an issue, since the Constitution gives rights to the Legislature to make laws and to amend laws without any limitation.
The government lawyers headed by Solicitor General-Designate, Nyante Tuan prayed the Supreme Court to send the case to the circuit court or dismiss the case. During the hearing, Justice Wolokolie asked the petitioner as to whether it was not premature for them to have taken the matter to the full bench before utilizing other remedies under the law.
She cautioned the Commissioner to avoid challenging the constitutionality of Section 16. 1 and 16.2. According to her, the petitioner is not contending the constitutionality of the right given to the Legislature to make amend laws.
It can be recalled that Martin petitioned the Supreme Court of Liberia to put a stop to the implementation of the controversial amended LACC Act passed by the Legislature and subsequently signed into law by President George Weah.
He petition the highest court in the land for a Writ of Prohibition against the Executive Branch of government through the Justice Ministry headed by Frank Musa Dean, his deputies including solicitor general, assistant ministers and all prosecuting attorneys of the Justice Ministry and the chairman, Archibald Bernard and members of the ad hoc committee constituted by the president of the Republic of Liberia charged with the responsibility of preselecting candidates to serve as commissioners pursuant to Section 6.1 of the amended Liberia Anti-corruption commission.
All “commissioners now serving the LACC shall remain in office after the enactment of this new law until their successors are appointed, but each is eligible to apply and be subjected to the appointment procedure provided for,” according to Part XVI of the restated LACC act, titled Transitional Provision.

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