Liberia: Magistrate Accused of Disrupting Vehicle Inspection Process
Monrovia – The Ministry of Transport is complaining that the vehicle inspection campaign currently on-going across Monrovia and its environs is facing disruptions by several top government officials, with the latest being a writ filed against one of its inspectors for impounding an unregistered private vehicle belonging to a Judge of a lower court in the city of Monrovia.
Report by Alpha Daffae Senkpeni, [email protected]
Joseph K. Roberts, Assistant Minister for Land and Rail Transport at the ministry, told FrontPage Africa that the writ was sent by three sheriffs of the West Point Magisterial Court on Wednesday morning, June 14.
“One of our inspectors by the name of Amos Twah, who heads the SKD Complex inspection point, parked a vehicle that belongs to a judge two days ago because the operator of the vehicle never had driver’s license, insurance stickers,” Roberts said.
“Unfortunately, we received a writ from a judge from the magisterial court of West Point stating that he is the owner of the car and on yesterday three sheriffs came to arrest our supervisor.”
He said these are incidents that are causing serious problem for the inspection and registration process.
According to the writ, the Assistant Minister said, the inspector has no right to impound a vehicle that does not have third party insurance or driver license.
“But we are saying that it is inscribed in the law that vehicle plying the streets must be insured,” he argued.
The inspection, which started Monday, has impacted the number of vehicles plying major streets in Montserrado County. Hundreds of ordinary Liberians relying on public transportation are feeling the pinch as vehicles owners are trooping to the Transport Ministry to validate their documents.
He also claims the vehicle laws of Liberia do not give extra privileges to members of the Judiciary and that such action by an interpreter of the law only hinders their work and has an impact on the revenue collection base of the country.
However, Roberts says it is confident of succeeding in raising the necessary taxes through the enforcement and inspection process.
“We will not be distracted by the action of any branches of government; we remain focus to help generate the necessary revenue for government because we promised the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning that we were going to generate up to US$1.5 million before the exercise ends,” he said, adding that within the last 12 days over US$526,000 has been generated.
We are not going to be deterred, we are going to work with the police to enforce the law and we will regulate the transport sector, so all of the disruptions they are doing will not deter us, Kollie said.