Liberia: In National Lottery Authorities Boss' Suspension Saga

15 April 2019

Lawyers representing the legal interest of the suspended Managing Director of the National Lottery Authorities (NLA), Mr. Martin S. Kollie, are said to be seeking legal redress at the Supreme Court of Liberia against what they called their client's 'illegal suspension.'

Located at the Temple of Justice, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of justice in the country, while the NLA, among other things, has a mandate to engage in lottery and other gaming or chance business to generate funds for the Government.

According to credible judicial sources, Mr. Kollie and his lawyers were seen on the ground of the Temple of Justice on Saturday, April 13, 2019, barely two days after he was suspended as head of the NLA.

Our judicial sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, divulged that the legal team of the suspended NLA Boss has already begun the legal process in a bid to overturn the suspension's action by the Executive Mansion.

The lawyers of the suspended NLA boss, our judicial sources further divulged, are contending that how could the Executive Mansion suspend their client when in fact the Supreme Court is yet to dispose of a case currently before it involving the very Executive Mansion via the Ministry of Justice and their client that borders on his illegal replacement as head of the NLA.

"What is most troubling is that the letter of suspension did not emanate from the office of the President, but rather the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, who said in the letter that the suspension was based on a mandate by the President, thus raising deep suspicion about the authenticity of said letter.

And moreover, the NLA Board via its Chairman was only notified about the suspension and the alleged acts of impropriety through the suspension letter and through no other formal communication and meeting in line with best practice," continued our judicial sources.

"In fact, the NLA Board at no point in time cited Mr. Kollie to acquaint him about his alleged acts of impropriety as claimed by the Executive Mansion, and therefore, we are constrained to seek legal redress, as this is the only remedy to this seeming political driven action," added our judicial sources.

On Wednesday, April 10, 2019, the Executive Mansion issued a press release in Monrovia in which it announced the suspension of Mr. Kollie for time indefinite.

The press release quoted President George Manneh Weah as stating that Mr. Kollie remains suspended pending the outcome of a full-scale investigation for alleged acts of impropriety.

Among other things, the press release added that the Deputy Managing Director for Operations at the NLA, Mr. Nevad Kortu, will act as Managing Director until further notice.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kollie has so far remained tightlipped concerning his suspension on account that he was still holding consultations with his lawyers on the matter and could not speak to the media for now.

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