Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson has condemned President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s decision to appoint the county’s former Senator, Lahai Lansanah, as coordinator on Disputes and Concession Affairs. Senator Johnson says as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Concessions, he does not recognize Lansanah’s appointment, describing it as illegal “and a mere political accommodation of a kinsman by the President.”
President Sirleaf on July 6, 2016, appointed former Senator Lansanah as coordinator on Disputes and Concession Affairs.
However, Sen. Johnson also said that even his committee will not recognize Lansanah and that he would oppose Lansanah’s confirmation if such an appointment requires the Senate’s consent through confirmation.
“That appointment does not have a statutory mandate; no constitutional backing. It is not relevant, and we will not deal with them. My committee does not recognize it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Daily Observer has reliably gathered that such an appointment by the President to perform a special function does not require confirmation by the Senate in line with the Constitution of Liberia.
In an interview with reporters at the Capitol, Sen. Johnson said Lansanah’s appointment is a “usurpation of the functions of institutions such as the National Bureau of Concessions, the National Investment Commission, legislative committees on concession and other relevant government functionaries with statutory mandate to handle such issues.”
Sen. Johnson insists that the position of concession coordinator does not exist by law; and as such, he would not work with Lahai Lansanah.
“That appointment is political accommodation, because it is not by law; unless they can bring that law. It is not a committee that we will deal with because it is not statutory,” Johnson said.
“You have the Minister of Internal Affairs, National Bureau of Concessions, National Investment Commission, legislative arms that are responsible to do oversight on those institutions. He is a unity partisan and the president is a member, so it is a political accommodation.”
Lansanah served as Senator of Bomi County from 2005 until 2014, when he was defeated by Morris Saytumah during the special senatorial election. While in the Senate, he served as chairman of the Committee on Rules, Order and Administration, the same position that Sen. Johnson currently occupies.