Saturday, 30 April 2011


Sherman Maintains Prof. Dew Mayson was An Instructor at Cuttington for Two Years and Not a Professor 

David B. Kolleh,, (231 631 0032)
Dew Mayson

 The Chairman of the ruling Unity Party (UP) Cllr. Varney Sherman says he maintains that a Popular Liberian professor Dew Mayson who was wildly known for his political influence in Liberia in the 70’s must not be considered a professor in contemporary Liberia.
Cllr. Sherman said the Liberian Politician was only what he calls “an instructor” of Political Science at the Cuttington University College (CUC) then, now Cuttington University (CU), but was never conferred upon the degree of a professor by the University Authority at the time, or by practice published a material of his own to merit him the title as required by international standards.
 The Unity Party Chief Scribe told Journalists at the famous Bob Johnson five star hotel that to the best of his knowledge his political opponent taught Political Science for just two years, which is from 1973-1975 after which he returned to Government service.
“Mr. Mayson even got the teaching job at Cuttington at the time, after he was fired by the Tolbert’s government for being a part of a MOJA demonstration at the airport.”  The UP Chairman told Journalists.
MOJA, as it was been called was the Movement for Justice in Africa, a Social and Civil rights advocacy group established on the continent at the time to speak against social injustices and other dictatorial tendencies instituted by regimes at that time.  Movement for Justice in Africapan-African political organization that was mostly active in Liberia, with chapters in Ghana and The Gambia. It was founded in 1973 by Togba Nah Tipoteh, who is to this day its president. Early members included H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Dew Tuan-Wreh Mason, Amos Sawyer, who served as President of the Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU) in 1990-94, and Kukoi Samba Sayang, a Gambian revolutionary who had been one of the leaders of a coup attempt in Banjul in 1981. (MOJA) is a leftist
MOJA played a pivotal role in the struggle for social justice and democracy in Liberia. Through its sensitization work in the 1970s, it raised national political consciousness to an unprecedentedly high level, radicalizing the mass of urban and rural poor and sections of the military. The heightened political consciousness and the agitation it precipitated led to the collapse of the settler oligarchy which had ruled Liberia in a manner not unlike colonialism for over a century.
According to Cllr. Sherman Ambassador Mayson was working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the 70’s and following a meeting with the Taiwanese foreign minister to Liberia in which he had taken meeting minutes, he was later spotted by one of the foreign delegates among the protesters at the Roberts International Airport protesting against Taiwan for doing Business with the Apartheid in South Africa. Apartheid was a social philosophy introduced by the white minority which enforced racial, social, and economic segregation on the people of South Africa.
The Liberian lawyer said following Professor Mayson’s departure from Government he sought employments at Cuttington at which time he was serving as the Secretary General of the Student’s leadership called “KUKATONU,” but was denied by the President of the University on ground that he (Mayson) needed a clearance from the government to work at Cuttington.
With this condition set by the school’s authority, according to Cllr. Sherman, the student’s leadership paid a courtesy call on President William R. Tolbert inquiring why the President had decided not to give Mr. Mayson his clearance which would enable him to get employment out of government.
“When we met the President he said, he was not giving any clearance that will enable Mayson to get a job, because once Mayson was fired he was a freeman to get employment anywhere he thought necessary. In fact the president said he was not going to follow similar pattern like President Tubman, that once a man is sacked he is free to work anywhere,” the Cllr. Disclosed Thursday.      
Sherman said following their meeting with the late Liberian President, Prof. Mayson began his instructional sojourn at the Cuttington University in 1973. 
Cllr. Sherman “All I can say here is that I knew Dew as Political Science instructor at Cuttington, and he was never a Professor up to the time I left in 75. Who made him a professor? Not the School of course, maybe he may have taken that title from some other place. And I maintain that, I will not call him professor for once, I will instead call him Mr. Dew Mayson.”


“White Envelope, Not Bribery”

Deputy Information Minister Tweh Says ‘No Violation of Liberian Laws….’ 

The envelope presented to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in NewCess, Grand Bassa County continues to raise serious arguments among politicians and pressure groups.  But the Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT), Norris Tweh has termed it as an envelope that has nothing to do with the violation of Liberian laws.
Addressing the Ministry’s regular press briefing on Thursday, Minister Tweh said the envelope presented by Peter Bayliss, General Manager of Equatorial Oil Palm- LIBINICO was not an act of bribery under the laws of the Republic, because it was done in a public gathering.
Minister Tweh contended that Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine, political leader of the opposition Liberty Party (LP) only fears that the President have already penetrated his (Brumskine) stronghold of Zondo Town, Grand Bassa County.
The Deputy Minister noted that there is no big deal for a sitting president to receive a white envelope, which, according to him is a normal practice all over the world, but was quick to question the motive of Peter Bayliss.
Deputy Minister Tweh acknowledged this was the second envelope given to the Presidency by Peter Bayliss, General Manger of LINIBICO. Tweh recalls that in January of this year, similar offer of US$10, 000 was given to Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, as a donation to his (Boakai’s) Agricultural Scholarship Fund Drive (ASFD).
“This can never be a bribe. At no time our president will receive bribe. To suggest that our president received bribe is a violation. It’s not a violation because our president took an oath and she can never be bribed. You know this is a political season, so anybody say anything about the president,” Minister Tweh said. 
Simeon Freeman’s March, a Political Showmanship
While addressing the bribery allegation against President Johnson-Sirleaf, Minister Tweh quickly shifted his attention to the leader of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), Simeon Freeman.
He indicated that Mr. Freeman’s statement in the print and electronic media alleging that the Police does not want to corporate with him on the proposed march, which was slated for Saturday April 30, 2011, is nothing but a political showmanship, because Liberia is a free Country.
Tweh denied claims by the MPC leader that the President has allegedly conspired with people with the intention of destroying vehicles in-order to have him (Freeman) held liable.
Minister Tweh observed that during the 1980’s, Liberia witnessed demonstrations for change and the real change has finally arrived.
Isaac Jackson, Deputy Minister for Technical Services at MICAT condemned Simeon Freeman; stating that Freeman is politically bankrupt and does not have the moral rectitude to stage a protest march.
According to Min. Jackson, if the protest march was staged, its participants would have been Mr. Freeman and members of his family, as he commands no large following in the Political landscape of Monrovia, least to say Liberia as a country.



Rufus Neufville
Rufus Neufville attends first session

Julius Kanubah, FPA Legislative Correspondent (+2316586240)

Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and Montserrado County Representative Rufus Neufville Thursday (April 28, 2011) made a dramatic appearance in the chamber of the House of Representatives, the first in 2011.

Representative Neufville surfaced in the House chamber nearly four Months after the House resumed its normal sitting in 2011, the last for the 52nd National Legislature.

The Montserrado District two lawmaker told reporters he was not attending the House session after rumors emerged he was about to be suspended or expelled.

“Well I appeared in session amid speculation that there was a suspension threat or there is a resolution to expel me on the floor and now you saw me in session, there is no letter of suspension and resolution of expulsion for me”, explained Representative Nefville.

He said the rumors surfaced after he openly criticized the leadership of Speaker Alex Tyler for poor performance.

During his first appearance, Representative Neufville was involved in the debate of several issues to make his presence felt.

Meanwhile, the CDC lawmaker has announced a boycott of the party’s pending convention in Kakata, Margibi County.

“I’m not going at the CDC congress for now because I’m busy in my constituent and looking for member and doing my own political maneuvering”.

Representative Neufville said his decision is in continuation of his disagreement with the leadership of the CDC, chaired by Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff.

He confirmed to reporters that he will not run on the CDC ticket for re-election because the Party is supporting against aspirant against him.

“That’s our party and you know I’m one of the strongest members of the CDC. But my intention to go as independent is intended to protest against what I referred to as the political mismanagement of our party. Political mismanagement in several forms; I have a big fear of we are going to election, the entire Executive Committee members are all contesting for legislative seats then we are telling our voters out there that the CDC will not win. So, it’s kind of dog-eat-dog. It’s like you are on a ship and the captain is looking for live jacket or you are in a plane and the pilot is looking for a parachute, you got to be careful. Why should all the Executive Committee members of the CDC contest for Legislative seats. It’s a bad sign and it means the CDC will not win”.

Representative Neufville insisted that he will run as independent candidate to challenge any contender from his own CDC. It is thought that CDC Secretary General Acarous Gray is being pushed to contest against Representative Neufville who has been critical against the Chairman of the CD- Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff. He contends that Madam Doe-Sheriff needed to step down as chairman of the party while in her present capacity as a sitting Senator. Senator Doe-Sheriff has in the past rejected claims by Representative Neufville that her double role is a conflict of interest.



Saar Gbollie
House passes Prison Reform Act

Julius Kanubah, FPA Legislative Correspondent (+2316586240)

The House of Representatives has finally passed into law a bill intended to ensure a drastic reform of the criminal justice system of Liberia, following over year of scrutiny.

In its session Thursday, the House voted unanimously to enact the National Prison Reform Act, a bill sponsored by Margibi County Representative Saar Gbollie.

The Act is intended to make the Correctional Bureau a semi-autonomous agency under the Justice Ministry.

It will ensure people serving prison terms or in detention facilities are rehabilitated to make them good and productive citizens.

The passage came after a report by the House Joint Committee on National Security and Judiciary. In the report, the Joint Committee said: “Mr. Speaker and Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Hon. Saar R. Gbollie, Representative District # 3 Marigi County and House Committee Chairman on National Security, introduced and sponsored a bill which aims at judicial reform in the prison industry. This bill, (THE NATIONAL PRISON REFORM ACT) seeks to amend five chapter of the Criminal Procedure Law; to include: 34, 41, 42, 43 and 44”.

It noted that during the review process of the bill in committee room, two major hearings were conducted where experts in the criminal justice system including civil society representatives and professors of the justice system to debate the merits and demerits of the bill with a view to form a consolidated agreement.

According to the committees arguments were focused on: “The panel argued that section 34.1 which speaks about the detention of prisoner be amended to provide for separate facilities for convicts and pre-trial detainees realizing that convicts are different from accused; as well as taking into account type of crimes committed, age, sex, etc;  To maintain the independent of the Bureau, it was resolved at the retreat that instead of the Minister of Justice making the appointments of all Assistant Commissioners, it was agreed that the prison Advisory Board make recommendation to the President for consideration, except the commissioner proper and all Deputies who shall be appointed by the President provided all such appointments shall be subject to confirmation hearing where applicable. On the issue of the Internal Auditor of the bureau as outlined in section 38.11 of the bill, the panelists suggested that instead of the Minister of Justice appointing the auditor, the auditor should be appointed by the administrative discretion of the Bureau; since there is a General Auditing Commission that is charged with the statutory responsibility to audit all government institutions”.
According to the joint committee, “it was also recommended that in order for the National Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation to be functionally effective upon passage into law of this law, there is need to hire foreign experts and train specialist where applicable for the purpose of guarding the process in realization of the preamble and intent upon which this Act was crafted”.

It further that “also topping the debate was the issue of the Bureau being semi-autonomous as enshrined in section 38.1 of the drat Act. The panelists recommended that with the nomenclature “semi-autonomous’ it was important that the bill if passed into law be on the same status like the Liberia National Police, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and other input components of the Criminal Justice System. It was also resolved that the Ministry of Justice would exercise its oversight duty as it does with other law enforcement agencies”.

The joint committee emphasized “as a consequence of he two public hearings, and taking into consideration the divergence of views that was derived, a final bill was emerged through working group comprising actors from the Ministry of Justice and the Joint Committee; accordingly, we crave the indulgence of Plenary for the passage of this bill into law”.

The report by the joint committee led to a number of interventions by members of the House who voiced support for the passage of the bill in a bid to reform the criminal justice system of the country with respect to the corrections section.

CDC Representative Rufus Neufville of Montserrado District # 2 said: “I stand in support of this bill because it’s a just cause”. He was followed by lawmaker Dickson Yarsiah of Gbarpolu County and Unity Party who stressed “I’m in agreement for the passage of this bill but let’s change the nomenclature of Auditor to the status of Office of the Internal Auditor”.

For Representative Eugene Fallah Kparkar of Foya District in Lofa County he observed that “the need for prison reform cannot be over emphasized. It’s time that carry out this reform because in the past prison in Liberia has been a nightmare. We need to make our prison system as it is in other western countries as people go to prison and come out reform and rehabilitated where they become good citizens. I believe many of the armed robbers will be transformed under this bill”.

During the debate, Representative Gbollie also explained that the Prison Reform Act will create employment opportunities for Liberians.

In the vote to pass the bill, the House voted nineteen for, zero against one abstention to pass the Prison Reform Act into law. The Legislation will now be sent to the Senate for concurrence after which it will be sent to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for signing into law and onward printing into handbill.

Representative Gbollie hailed the first breakthrough of the Prison Reform Act saying “It was a giant step taken by the House of Representatives and history will be kind to us for ensuring a major reform in the criminal justice system of our country”.