The Assistant Registrar General for Copyright, Clifford Robinson, has been accused of attempting to forcefully take over as the acting director general of the Liberia Intellectual Property Office (LIPO). But Robinson has refuted the claim.
“It’s a lie,” he told the Daily Observer.
The agency’s director general, Atty. Roosevelt Gould and his two principal deputies, K. Rufus Moore and Fanta Barclay lost their jobs after the Executive Mansion issued a release relieving the heads of ministries and agencies, and ordering the human resource directors to run the affairs of such entities until new heads are appointed.
The allegation against Robinson was corroborated by Ernest C. B. Bruce and K. Rufus Moore, board chairman and former deputy director general for industrial property, respectively. They said on Tuesday and Wednesday, Robinson took about six men with him to the office informing the staff that he was now the acting director general of the agency.
They said he did not show any letter of appointment from the Joint Presidential Transitional Team (JPTT).
“His attitude is deeply disturbing and has caused confusion among the staff. When I approached him about it, Robinson told me that he is not obligated to report to me and if I need clarity, I should call the president,” Bruce explained.
But Robinson told the Daily Observer that the allegation against him is false and misleading and is intended to tarnish his reputation.
“This is a CDC government, and no one should question the decision. These people are afraid that I’m qualified and may be appointed to the position by the government. I did not take anyone to the agency’s headquarters in an attempt to install myself as its new head. I have worked at the agency and know the line of succession,” said Robinson.
However, Prince Decker, the registrar general of LIPO who, per agency leadership structure, is the acting director general, said Robinson attempted to impose himself as the agency’s head.
“We have not received any communication from the Joint Presidential Transitional Team appointing him as the acting director general for the agency. Until then, he remains in his position as Assistant Registrar and Registrar General,” Decker said. “I’ve instructed the staff not to take instructions from him and the public not to do business with him.”
Decker added that if Robinson is appointed as director general by the President, the staff will welcome him with open arms.
“Mr. Robinson’s act is not only uncivilized, but also unspeakable; it’s disgusting. I am sick in my stomach to hear of such behavior in this modern day and age,” Decker added.
Meanwhile, Fanta Barclay, director general for copyright, said she is shocked to hear that Robinson tried to impose himself as the head of the agency.
“While I was at the office on Tuesday, I saw him entering the building with a few people. But I don’t know what happened at the end since I left earlier,” she said.
LIPO is the agency that formulates policies on intellectual property rights and/or intellectual property regulations and grants applications for patents, including utility models, copyright/related rights, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical indications and layout-designs (topographies) of integrated circuits, among others.