For Failing To Implement Local Government Act: Grand Bassa County’s Leadership Risks Court Action

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The Grand Bassa County Chapter of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) has announced its intention to take the leadership of the county to court for failing to uphold the laws of the country, particularly the Local Government Act, which calls for the establishment of a County Council.

   In a statement issued over the weekend, the NCSCL Grand Bassa Chapter said, “Our attention is drawn to the failure of our county leadership to implement the 2018 approved Local Government law of the country. The full implementation of this very important law is cardinal to transparency and accountability and will increase people’s participation, thus causing the acceleration of national development, especially at the local level. Our main focus is on the implementation of the Local Government Act, with specific reference to Section 2, which speaks about the establishment of the County Council.”

   In the statement, signed by its Chairperson, K.M. Barley Togba, the group said, “Again, as you may be aware, one key function of the Civil Society Council in our county is to make sure our laws are upheld, irrespective of who you are. However, we are worried that we continue to witness the blatant violation of these laws by people at the helm of power in the county.

   “This is very concerning because people who are not respecters of the law cannot continue to lead; this is because public officials are role model of the society.

   “We want to use today’s conference to call on the county’s leadership for the full establishment of the County Council, which is the engine for county development, transparency and accountability. The Local Government Act supersedes the budget law as ruled by the Justice-In-Chambers, Jamesetta Wollokollie, in the case filed by Bong County Civil Society against their county’s leadership.

   “In Bassa, we are mainly concerned because this is election year, and information that our own superintendent will be contesting a legislative seat in the county makes the establishment of the County Council even more imperative.

   “Five years now, there has been no audit of our finances in the county, in violation of the PFM Law. This therefore makes the formation of the County Council more demanding. The new Local Government Act, particularly section 2, abolishes the National Budget Law, Section 10.  This presupposes that the leadership of the county lacks legal authority to expend county funds without the full establishment of the County Council.

   “In view of the above, the Civil Society Council of Grand Bassa County will not sit idly and allow local government officials, who are supposed to be protectors and upholders of the laws of the nation, to continuously violate the law. We remained unbending and unrelenting in protecting the rights of the people of Grand Bassa County.

   “In so doing, we want to announce our intention to take the leadership of the county to court for failing to uphold the laws of the country, particularly the Local Government Act. We therefore rally the support of the suffering masses of Grand Bassa County and believers of transparency and accountability to stand with us in these very important times of our struggle.”

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