Support for Benoni Urey’s quest for the presidency has begun rising with several prominent personalities joining the struggle.Mr. Urey, former commissioner of the Bureau of Maritime Affairs in the government of former President Charles Taylor, announced his intent to stand in the race to replace President Sirleaf after her tenure expires in 2017.Since that pronouncement was made, there have been mixed reactions from the Liberian public. Some have expressed support for his bid, while others believe Urey is similar to his former employer, Charles Taylor, and as such electing him (Urey) would mean “a return to the regime of Charles Taylor.”The latest of Urey’s supporters is constitutional lawyer, Cllr. Pearl Brown-Bull. In her assertion on a local radio talk show Wednesday, April 9, in Monrovia, Counselor Bull declared her support for Urey, stating that Urey seems to be the right person for the job.Her statement was made in reactio to a recent war of words between Mr. Urey and a member of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s government, Press Secretary Jerolinmek Piah.Urey had earlier criticized Madam Sirleaf for leaving the country without addressing the problem of the Ebola Virus affecting Liberia.Reacting to said comment, Presidential Press Secretary Piah was quick to condemn Mr. Urey’s accusation that she does not have the country at heart.“Mr. Urey’s comments reflect a serious lack of governance [experience], political ineptitude and naivety on the part of a political nobody, who has allowed his quest for the presidency to render him mischievous and disingenuous,” Piah said. “Mr. Urey argues that President Sirleaf has no interest in Liberia and its people simply because she departed the country to participate in the 4th EU-Africa Summit at the time an outbreak of Ebola was reported in the country.”If this statement came from just anybody,” Piah continued, we would not have been surprised at all; but coming from a man who says he has his eyes on the Presidency, we are not only surprised but ashamed of him.”Urey angrily reacted to Piah and the President: “When substantial issues are raised against the presidency, they unleash their dogs to come after you.” Based on these exchanges, Cllr. Bull asserted that the responses from the President’s office are immature and unnecessary.“Judging from comments made by these people the President has around her,” Cllr. Bull said, “Makes me strongly support Mr. Urey for the presidency.”“I never wanted to do so before, but the people the President has around her have forced me to support Mr. Urey,” she asserted.Cllr. Bull is a signatory to the 1986 Liberian Constitution and a former commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Though she may not be as well known or influential as many politicians in the country, such a statement from a ‘seasoned’ lawyer could serve as a political plus for Mr. Urey’s ambition for the presidency, a political analyst told the Daily Observer. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
An East Coast Demerara (ECD) miner, who claims that the Mahdia Magistrate’s Court is being constructed on lands which he holds the mining claims to, has threatened to take legal actions if works are not ceased immediately.Royston Stuart of 70 Ann’s Grove Housing Scheme, ECD, is the holder of Claim Licence, dated September 2, 2016, issued under the authority of the Mining Act 1989 and the Mining Regulations by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) in respect to a certain tract of State land in Mining District Number 2.Despite that Claim Licence being valid and subsisting, Stuart alleged that without his permission, lease, let or license, a group of men, unknown to him, have entered upon a part of the land allotted to him in the Claim Licence and have begun the construction of a building that is intended to be used to house the Mahdia Magistrate’s Court.As such, the miner has sought the help of former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall to get the authorities to cease construction.“Unless the construction works… cease forthwith, and all structures constructed be demolished and removed from our client’s land within seven (7) days from the date hereof, we will have no alternative but to approach the High Court for a number of legal redress including injunctions and damages for trespass,” a letter from Nandlall to the Registrar of the Supreme Court, Sueann Lovell, states.The letter, dated March 22, 2019, was also copied to the acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards; acting Chief Justice Roxanne George; and Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman as well as Junior Natural Resources Minister, Simona Broomes.The lawyer pointed out in the letter, which was shared with the media, that his client had previously lodged a complaint with the GGMC since 2017 and as a result, a Mines Officer of the Commission has informed those conducting the construction that it was being done on Stuart’s Licenced Claim and that the works must cease. However, according to Attorney Nandlall, these instructions have been ignored.He added too that Stuart had also filed a complaint in writing on January 17, 2019, with both Natural Resources Ministers, Raphael Trotman and Simona Broomes. But again, it appears as though those complaints were made in vain because the unlawful construction continues unabated.“We sincerely hope that unnecessary litigation can be avoided and that good sense will prevail. I respectfully await your urgent response,” Nandlall stated in the letter.As of Tuesday’s date, when the correspondence was shared with the media, no contact was made with Stuart’s lawyer.The Mahdia Magistrate’s Court is being constructed in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) to the cost of $140.385 million. The construction of the court comes under provisions made available to the Supreme Court to fund its 2019 work programmes.The Chancellor had said last year that the Mahdia court is among several District Court offices expected to open and will see regular sittings of the court and the availability of centralised services.