LRA Chief Escapes Detention

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A decision to have Madam Elfreida Steward Tamba, Commissioner General of Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) spend 48 hours of her working time in a cell at the Monrovia Central Prison was yesterday temporarily suspended by the Supreme Court Justice in Chamber.

The suspension was announced by Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh, following her submission to the authority of the High Court.

Despite holding back the High Court’s action yesterday, Justice Ja’neh fined Madam Tamba US$500 and two of her principal deputies US$250 each for a contempt charge levied against the LRA trio.

They are expected to pay the money within a day to the coffers of the LRA.

Justice Ja’neh took the decision after Madam Tamba’s legal team begged the High Court to have mercy upon her on grounds that she has reinstated the over 50 employees of her entity that she dismissed earlier this year which prompted the contempt charge against her.

Madam Tamba was earlier given a 30-day ultimatum to reinstate the dismissed employees that she claimed to have already reinstated.

She, however, claimed that the dismissed employees were involved in acts of corruption, while they were serving in their respective positions, allegations the accused have denied.

Without a court hearing, Madam Tamba and her deputies took the decision to dismiss the employees, prompting the accused to seek redress at the High Court.

Madam Tamba also withheld three months’ salaries of the over 50 accused public servants.

It was based on the claim and counter claim that caused Justice Ja’neh to order Madam Tamba to reinstate the employees, until the matter is decided by a court of competent jurisdiction, which she did not do.

While the matter was undecided and allegedly ignoring the request of the High Court, Madam Tamba chose to attend a conference in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It was based on her non-compliance that prompted Justice Ja’neh to issue a Writ of Arrest against her.

Following her return from Nigeria, the LRA chief was seen with a group of lawyers on the premises of the Temple of Justice, where they held a closed door meeting with Justice Ja’neh.

It was part of their discussion that caused Madam Tamba and her lawyers yesterday to appear before Justice Ja’neh.

At yesterday’s hearing, Justice Ja’neh announced that the Supreme Court had agreed to temporary suspend its planned action to imprison the LRA Commissioner General.

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