The Supreme Court has placed a halt to the removal of Attorney Isaac W. Jackson, Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London, U.K.
President George M. Weah recently appointed Mr. Moses Owen Browne as Liberia’s new representative to replace Jackson.
Jackson took up the job on September 13, 2016 after he was appointed by former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Coming out of the hands of Justice-in-Chamber Jamesetta Howard Wolokolie and addressed to Justice Minister F. Musah Dean, the writ of prohibition ordered a stay on all further proceeding/action, and return the parties to status quo ante, pending the outcome of a conference slated for Tuesday, July 10.
Cllr. Arthur T. Johnson, legal Counsel for Attorney Jackson, in a 17-count petition asked the high court to declare the removal of his client by the Liberian leader as “illegal, non-statutory and unconstitutional.”
He said the action of President George Weah violates part II, section 7 (4) on the tenure of the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners of the LMA.
The provision, among others, states that “The Commissioner of the Maritime Authority and the Deputy Commissioners shall have tenures of five (5) years in order to ensure and preserve consistency in the leadership, maintain continuity of purpose, increase the capacity in the industry, and preserve the national and international relevance and very competitive nature of the maritime program.”
In an attempt to further validate reasons why his client should not and cannot be removed, Cllr. Johnson also quoted section 7 (7) of the Maritime Act which, among others, provides that: “The commissioner shall be subject to removal or suspension from his position by the President of Liberia on the recommendation of the Board for non-performance, for dishonesty, or any offense in violation of the Liberian Criminal Laws or as a result of the outcome of a due process of investigation, or a showing of complete disregard for the international treaties and conventions to which Liberia is a party.”
Cllr. Johnson argued that since the appointment of his client on September 13, 2016, he has not violated any provision of the LMA Act, but has instead brought pride to Liberia by leading her to a considerable achievement in the leadership of the IMO.
The President of the Republic of Liberia is Chief Architect of Liberia’s Foreign Policy.
Article 57 of the Liberian Constitution states that: “The President shall have the power to conduct the foreign affairs of the Republic and in that connection he is empowered to conclude treaties, conventions and similar international agreements with the concurrence of a majority of each House of the Legislature”.