Liberia: Telecommunications Regulatory Boss Suspended in Midst of Surcharge Saga
Monrovia – Just days after Supreme Court Associate Justice Jamesetta Howard Wolokollie declined to grant Orange Liberia a Writ of Prohibition on the surcharge on voice call and mobile data bundle, the head of the regulatory authority, the Liberia Telecommunications Authority has been suspended indefinitely by President George Manneh Weah.
The Executive Mansion, in a statement Friday said the LTA Chairman, Ivan Brown’s suspension takes immediate effect.
The statement said, Mr. Brown is being suspended for what was term, “conspiratorial and unethical activities as chairman of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority.”
“The Suspended LTA Chairman is advised to turn over all properties of the Authority in his possession. The suspension announced on Friday, June 5, 2020 is without pay,” the Executive Mansion statement said.
President Weah has meanwhile named the Authority’s Commissioner, Edwina Zarkpa to serve as Acting Chairman of the LTA until otherwise.
Mr. Brown’s suspension comes as the government has been engaged in an intense battle with cellular company operators to pay taxes.
Orange has been adamant on adhering to the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) regulation.
Though the GSM Company, having lost an initial petition filed with the lower court and was awaiting a hearing into the appeal filed with the Supreme Court, Orange filed for another Writ of Prohibition upon receiving an invoice from LTA as the implementation of the surcharge took effect in March this year.
It is unclear whether Mr. Brown’s suspension is related. But sources confided to FrontPageAfrica Friday that the suspended LTA boss had been compromised and had been working against the government’s position on the issue of the surcharge.