MONROVIA – The last is yet to be heard about the controversies that continue to trail the outcome of the disputed last general election of the Press Union of Liberia with the National Campaign Team of the Julius Kanubah candidature taking a swipe at the President of the Press Union of Liberia Mr. Charles Coffey of gravely injuring the moral authority of the media fraternity in the country, stressing that it is “particularly appalled by the unacceptable conduct of Charles Coffey, Daniel Nyakonah, Musa Kenneh, and Akoi Baysah to continue to impersonate as legitimate officers of the PUL”.
In a press statement issued yesterday by the team and signed by Mr. Raymond Zarbay, Chair said the three-year tenure of the four men who were elected under “dubious circumstances in late 2019 expired on the Second Saturday of November 2022 in line with Article 9 Section 1 and Article 11 Section 1 of the PUL Constitution” and moreover, both Charles Coffey and Musa Kenneh have been active in political campaigns for legislative seats in Grand Kru and Montserrado Counties ahead of the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections.
“The PUL Constitution only allows eligible journalists who are non-partisans to be in the leadership of the umbrella grouping of Liberian journalists.
“Additionally, Article 7 of the PUL Code of Ethics and Conduct for Liberian Journalists stipulates, in part, that, “The journalist should put himself/herself above partisan, ideological cleavages in order to give greater prominence to the norms and professional practices” of the Press Union of Liberia.
“Team Knaubah calls on PUL members to stop any engagement with the self-proclaimed politicians Charles Coffey and Musa Kenneh as Article 7 of the PUL Code of Ethics and Conduct also provides that “journalist should avoid all affiliations with any individuals/groups whose company is likely to call his/her credibility into question.”, the team said.
The statement further said it was also vitally important for all national, international and local organizations including the Government of Liberia, the US Government-funded Internews and the public not to do any business with the PUL former leadership of Charles Coffey, Daniel Nyakonah, Musa Kenneh, and Akoi Baysah. It said the call also applies to the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) which is supporting the Volunteers for Sustainable Development in Africa (VOSIEDA) to implement a project with the PUL.
“The four men who have consecutively failed to conduct credible Congress and elections in the PUL since 2019 have been planning along with their clique to again seek financial support from organizations and personalities in the name of celebrating this year’s World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2023.
“Team Kanubah is warning against any such financial support to the PUL former leadership because over the years no financial accountability has been demonstrated by the Coffey–Nyakonah–Kenneh–Baysah administration despite the thousands of US dollars collected from various organizations and personalities in the name of the PUL.
“The PUL former leadership of Charles Coffey and Daniel Nyakonah has been stalling efforts by Judge Boima Kontoe to open trial into a case of gross constitutional violations amounting to membership registration fraud as filed by the National Campaign Management Team of Julius Kanubah since mid-November 2022”, the statement further said.
Team Kanubah contended that “without a hearing and legal determination into the case, Coffey and corps through their legal counsel Samuel Pearson wants to install Daniel Nyakonah as PUL President before he leaves the Union even though their leadership failed to produce a credible membership register to ensure a credible congress and elections”.
“Team Kanubah will continue to employ the necessary legal remedies until its case of gross constitutional violations regarding the full membership register (voter roll) of the PUL is legally heard and determined to chart a credible way forward inclusive of FRESH ELECTIONS based on the will of the legitimate PUL membership. It is thus urgent for the PUL membership to act and save the Union from the hands of Coffey and his men by opting for an Interim Leadership while the legal process is judiciously and scrupulously adjudicated”, the statement concluded.