21 December 2012

Liberia: Bong Caucus Dragged to Court

The Bong County Legislative Caucus has been dragged before the Supreme Court with the appearance due on Monday 24 December, 2012 at 9:30 am. The Caucus, under the leadership of Representative George S. Mulbah, Sr. is to appear before Justice in Chamber Philip A. Z Banks, III.

The Supreme Court issued a writ of prohibition for members of the Bong County Legislative Caucus for alleged unlawfully dismissal of elected members of the County's Project Management Committee (PMC). In a prohibition, the Court requested that the Caucus be represented through its Chairman George S. Mulbah, Sr. or any of its members.

The court's decision comes in the wake of a complaint filed by former Bong County's Project Management Committee Comptroller, Emmanuel Diabolo through his Counselor Jerome Korkoya for what they described as "unlawful dismissal" of the elected Comptroller.

The court has requested the Caucus to appear before it on Monday, 24 December, 2012 at 9:00 AM to show cause why petitioners' petition, as prayed for, should not be granted.

Emmanuel Diabolo went out of favor with lawmakers of the county when he publicly stated that Bong County has more than US$100,000 in its coffers from the previous budget year. But Mulbah argued that there was no need to have a member of the PMC, who will not keep confidential financial information.

Prior to Diabolo's financial disclosure, some members of the county hierarchy had complained about him being bureaucratic in the release of finances to them from the coffer.

The former comptroller, who refused to comply with the lawmakers when they ordered all PMC members to re-apply, insisted that he could not do so on grounds that the three years they were elected for has not ended.

The disbanded PMC was elected on March 12, 2011 and was expected to leave office March 12, 2014 as per the budget law. The three members PMC are elected by delegates from various districts to represent them at the process.

Recently, during the County Development Meeting Sitting in Gbarnga, Diabolo, Mulbah and Superintendent Selena Polson Mappay were seen wrestling over a microphone. Diabolo witnessed Mulbah making roster call of new PMC members without his name being mentioned.

When the former comptroller took the microphone to speak before the gathering, he received resistance from the two county officials (Mulbah and Mappy) on grounds that he was not permitted. Diabolo, who is the only PMC member to be dismissed by the lawmakers, has insisted that he will ensure that the law takes its course.

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