Liberia Human Rights Group On President Weah’s Back For Ombudsman

LICHRD’s Chairman, Neidoteh B. Torbor

A Liberian human rights group is on the back of the President George Weah for his alleged refusal to execute the full functions or implementation of the Code of Conduct (CoC) of 2014.

Because of this, the Liberia Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (LICHRD) has written the House of Senate asking them to invite the President to show cause why he does not want to setup Ombudsman Office.

For this reason, the group dated a communication Friday, 17 February, 2022, and sent it to Senate’s President Protemp, Albert Chie, encouraging him to invite President George Weah.

In their 2 page letter signed by LICHRD’s Head of Secretariat, Duwana M. Kingsley, and its Chairman, Neidoteh B. Torbor, said if the President appoints the office of the Ombudsman, this will allow citizens to monitor, evaluate and file complaints against public officials in contravention.

It stated among many things that if this office is setup, it would clearly mitigate the issue of conflict of interest especially as Liberia draws closer to 2023 presidential and legislative elections.

LICHRD believes that in order to uphold, protect, and defend the rights of the people of which the government is obliged, it would appreciate were the members of the House of Senate to invite the President, to show cause why he has not appointed the office of the Ombudsman as indicated.

“In view of aforesaid; your action to invite the President would be like the people of Liberia inviting and asking their President to act,” the human rights group said.

Paragraph 6 of the Code of Conduct, it states: “Whereas the purpose of the CoC is to set out standers of behavior and conduct required of public officials and employees of government, it shall guide, regulate and ensure with the norms and behavior required of all public officials and employees of government.”

It continued: “It is designed and shall be implemented to ensure impartiality, objectivity, transparency, integrity, efficiency and effectiveness in the performance of their duties and mandate.”

It concluded that also, 1.3, 17 Ombudsman: “Someone or a group of persons appointed or authorized by the President of the Republic of Liberia and confirmed by the Senate to enforce, oversee, monitor and evaluate adherence to the Code of Conduct.”

Ombudsman it is where individual or group of persons shall receive and investigate complaints against public officials, employees of government and national institutions.

LICHRD is a network of over 30 civil society organizations which was established in 2007, with Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR’s) Chairman, T Dempster Brown as its first head of the board of directors.

The body is also a member of the West Africa Human rights Defenders Network (WAHRDN), a network member of Amnesty International (AI), Protection International (PI) and the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR).

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