LIBERIA TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION  SPURNS SUPREME COURT RULING

Telecoms

Despite a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Liberia placing a stay order on operations of the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (LTC), it is observed that the facility is still continuously being operated in violation of the highest court of the land.

ZTE, a Chinese company and ALINK, an Ivorian company are allegedly said to be working at the LTC with the acquiescence of the newly constituted Provisional Board of the LTC.

ZTE Corporation is one of the many companies that participated in the LTC bidding process, which was won by the Universal Telephone Exchange (UTE), a Liberian owned company with branches in Dallas, Texas, USA.

The LTC Provisional Board composed of three prominent Liberian lawyers was recently constituted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to ascertain the causes of deterioration of the corporation and the controversy surrounding the LTC bidding process and report within ninety (90) days.

But under the watchful eyes of these lawyers, Cllr. Oswald Tweh, Chairman; Kofi Woods and Roland Dahn, as members of the LTC Provisional Board, the Supreme Court issued a stay order for the discontinuance of operations at the corporation which is being violated by ZTE Corporation and ALINK.

Some Liberians, who know the gravity of the Supreme Court rulings, are still wondering why Cllr. Oswald Tweh, who is also President of the Liberia National Bar Association and member of the Reconstituted Judiciary Inquiry Commission and Cllr. Kofi Woods, Labor Minister are allowing the violation of the Supreme Court stay order on the activities of the LTC.

Many Liberians, including Independent Human Rights advocate J. Melvin Page, have expressed concerns as to why President Sirleaf, who preaches the respect for the rule of law, anti corruption and good governance would allow a disrespect of the Supreme Court at the LTC.

"Is it because such people who are accused of corruption like Francis Karpeh, former Chairman of the LTC Board is now serving with influence in her government?" Page wondered.

The President has stressed the respect for the rule of law during her administration. So also has the Chief Justice, Johnnie N. Lewis, who said that as Chief Justice of the country justice would not be on sale under his administration. So, Liberians are eagerly watching to see this come to pass in the UP led government, he surmised.

There are reports that Cllr. Tweh, Chairman of the LTC Provisional Board, was a Lawyer for Infotel, one of the companies that bided unsuccessfully for the revitalization of the LTC. As such, there are fears as to whether he will be unbiased in performing his duty as Board Chairman.

Also, there are concerns as to what will the Supreme Court do to put an immediate halt to such violations being perpetrated by foreign companies, in order to maintain the good reputation of the Court.

The Analyst