Justice, Commerce, LRA, LPRC Face ‘Angry’ House Tuesday

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The angry members of the House of Representative will host Liberia’s Attorney General and Justice Minister Cllr. Musa Dean, Commerce Minister Wilson Tarpeh and Commissioner General Thomas Doe Nah of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRC) as well as the Managing Director Designate Marie Urey Coleman of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 10 a.m. in the House’s chamber.

Liberia’s Attorney General and Justice Minister Musa Dean, Commerce Minister Wilson Tarpeh, Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Commissioner-General Thomas Doe-Nah, as well as Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation (LPRC) managing director-designate, Marie Urey Coleman, are expected to appear before the annoyed full Plenary of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in the House chamber, over the continual delay of the Petroleum Dealers to pay the Road Fund to support the national budget.

Major petroleum importers, including Srimex, Aminata & Sons, Kailando Petroeum and Mayoubah & Sons have been and are reneging on paying taxes intended to fund road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance in the country.

The House of Representatives on Thursday, June 20, 2019, during the 40th day sitting, heatedly expressed their disappointments and frustration over the defaulting major petroleum dealers, after they had agreed to withdraw their case from the court, with the commitment that they would pay the road fund taxes which will hugely support the national budget amid the bad economy.

Reps. Clarence Massaquoi, Joseph Somwarbi, Edward Karfiah, Ben Fofana, Matthew Zarzar and Nathaniel Barway were among some of the lawmakers who voiced their unhappiness and resentments over the ‘unwanted delay.

A motion proffered by Rep. Massaquoi, which summoned the Ministries of Justice, Commerce, the LPRC and the LRA was seconded and voted upon unanimously with raging whispers.

It may be recalled since November 8, 2018, it was communicated to the three major importers, calling on them to make payments of arrears (road fund levies) to the government.

Signed by Decontee T. King-Sackie, Deputy Commissioner general for Technical Affairs of the LRA, the respective letters were addressed to Mr. Emmanuel T. Togba, CEO of the Aminata & Sons; Mr. George Kailondo, Managing Director of Kailondo Petroleum and Mr. Amadu Sheriff, General Manger/CEO of Mayoubah & Sons Inc.

In the letters sent to the three importers aforementioned, the LRA specified the respective amounts the companies owe and attached a payment plan.

According to the plan, the first payments were due to be made on November 30, 2018 and the final payment is expected in April 2019. But no money has been remitted to the NRF.

Conex Oil is said to be the only importer that has so far paid levy intended for the NRF, said the LRA in a response to an inquiry.

How Much Do the Three Firms Owe?

Accordingly, Aminata & Sons owes an adjusted amount of US$2,804,030.45, which the firm is expected to pay in the Road Fund within six months – beginning 30 November 2018 and 30 April 2019.

“In order to ensure your entity meets this payment obligation of the arrears within the fiscal year 2018/2019, we have developed a payment plan attached for the recovery of the remaining Road Fund arrears to the government of Liberia,” the LRA communication says.

Kailondo Petroleum, the LRA says, owes US$183,647.00 to the NRF between November 2018 and April 2019, while Mayoubah & Sons, Inc. owes the NRF US$209,636.00. The firm has been unable to show proof that it had made previous payments to the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company, LPRC.

Unlike the three firms, sources say other major importers are dragging their feet to make payments to the NRF.

1 COMMENT

  1. What was not done right through the legal system of the courts cannot be compensated for through the politics of the lawmakers in the legislature. The issues concerning the rights of the oil dealers and questions surrounding the Road Funds Act were to be settled legally though the Court system. But the lawmakers thought it wise to hijack the concerns of the oil dealers that were before the Court, and put those concerns in the politics and political affairs on the floor of the legislature. Leading to the impeachment of one of the Justices that thought it wise to put a hold on the regime and the Road Funds until all legal arguments were settled. No one is as it is commonly known in that country is above the law ! And for the presidency and the legislature to use all political tricks just to undermine the Court and denied the oil dealers of their rights to be heard through the legal system of the law is what has become the stumbling block. No amount of threats and intimidations from the presidency or the legislature will changed anything. The oil dealers are registered commercial businesses that have the right to be heard through the Court system and not through the politics of the legislature. Best advice for now is arrest the petroleum dealers or even better , close them down. This the petroleum dealers know that the presidency and the legislature are powerless to act against them without going through the legal system of the Court. They have a right to be heard before the Court and the law. Having failed to intimidate the petroleum dealers through politics, take the case back to the court. Or have an out of Court agreement in order to do away this major political embarrassment facing the legislature. Having impeached the sitting Justice based on accusations of tribal affiliations , and failing to establish in the legal framework that there was actually a collusion between the sitting Justice and the petroleum dealers, that would had led to charges of conspiracy against the petroleum dealers to defraud government, the petroleum dealers are of the opinion that they did nothing wrong. Since the lawmakers failed to establish that there was a collusion, and that their case before the Supreme Court has not been ruled upon by the Court. The find themselves under no legal obligation to the Road funds until their case is discharged by the Court. The lawmakers impeached the wrong man, thinking that through intimidation and extreme political tactics and threats, the petroleum dealers will just dropped the case and pay out . But is not true. And so they are politically embarrassed that up to now NO MONEY from the petroleum dealers ! They say over there that God does not like UGLY ! The wrong man was impeached for doing the right thing for the nation under the rule of law.

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