Weah Reverses Dismissal Order At NBC – Suspends Director General

 President George Manneh Weah yesterday, Monday, April 18, 2022 took a swift decision to reverse the dismissal order issued against the Deputy Director General for Concession Nathaniel Bracewell by the Director General Edwin Dennis as well as suspending DG Dennis and  warning all public officials to immediately refrain from exercising any powers, functions, and duties assigned to the President of Liberia and to act within the confines of their authorities.President Weah described the action by Mr.Dennis to terminate the services of Mr. Bracewell as arbitrary and without due regard to the Office of the President and declared the decision as null and void.

In the absence of Mr. Dennis, the Deputy Director-General for Administration will act as Head of the National Bureau of Concessions.

It can be recalled DG Dennis dismissed Bracewell who is the Deputy Director General for Concessions for various reasons including his continuous failure to produce monitoring and evaluation reports for four(4) monitoring and evaluation exercises conducted since May, 2021, failure to restitute undeserved salaries for four (4) months period of unexcused absence(Oct 2, 2021 to January, 2022) and his continuous acts of unwarranted verbal aggression to members of the senior staff but Bracewell challenged the decision and vowed to overturn the dismissal because according to him he is a presidential appointee and cannot be dismissed by Dennis. 

The letter of dismissal which was handed over to Bracewell when he showed up for work yesterday, Monday, April 18, 2022 by the security officer and barred him from entering the premises, a copy of which is in the possession of The Analyst Newspaper, read in parts,“ As the President H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah and his cabinet are trying to improve the economic livelihoods of our people  through  the respective performance of our functions , the National Bureau of Concessions(NBC) can no longer condone your acts of dereliction of your duties coupled with other disruptive acts of verbal aggression and temper tantrums towards other employees“.

The letter also ordered Bracewell to clear his personal effects from his former office under the supervision of the security and asset units of the commission within 3 days as of the date of the letter.

Providing details what led to his decision to dismiss his former principal deputy, NBC boss Dennis first provided clarity on the legality of his action and discounted the assertion from Bracewell that it was a breach of the law to dismiss him since he was a presidential appointee who could only be removed by the President.  Harris made reference to Section 10(1) of the Act of 2010 that created the National Bureau of Commission which states, “The Director General shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Concessions responsible for the administration, organization, operations and management”.

He further made reference to Section 11(1) which was mentioned in the dismissal letter to Bracewell,

“Subject to budgetary limitations and to subsection (3) of this Section 11, the Director General shall engage such staff and consultants and advisers as he/she may determine to be necessary for the National Bureau of Concessions to discharge its functions properly and efficiently. The Director General may establish such departments or divisions within the National Bureau of Concessions as may be determined necessary for the effective discharge of its responsibilities”

He said based on the references he made from the National Bureau of Concessions Act he has the authority to dismiss Bracewell because there are legal bases to his decision. He said the Act provided only for the appointment of the Director General by the President and to be confirmed by the Liberian senate, stressing that he has all the official documents to authenticate his position as Director General because he was duly appointed by the President and confirmed by the Liberian Senate.

“I challenged him to show me copies of his appointment letter and records of his confirmation by the Liberian senate and I think you in the media should be asking him these questions other than allowing him to mislead the public. If he has the documents let him share them with you and you can serve the public. We did not take the decision because we wanted to take it. We are lawyer and understand the legal side of our decision. We even officially communicated our decision to the President and the Minister of State”, he said.

 Background checks carried out on the Act by The Analyst revealed surprisingly that it only made provision for the appointment of a Director General by the President and to be confirmed by the Liberian Senate with powers for administration, organization, operations and management of the institution. Further Section 11(2) said, “Without limitation to the subsection (1), the Bureau shall have a Deputy Director General, Comptroller, and Internal Auditor”, but did not specify who should appoint them to the positions. However, the legal interpretation of Section 10(1) makes it appear that the function to appoint people to these positions falls within the purview of the Director General.

Commenting on the incompetence of Bracewell which led to his removal, Dennis said there were four outstanding reports he should have prepared and forwarded to his (Harris) office but unfortunately it has taken more than a year Bracewell was yet to make the report. He said when he was pressed to do so, he came up with a mere two page report which in all understanding fell far below what was expected covering four companies operating in the country and vital decisions were expected to be made from the reports.

He named the companies as Euro Logging Company which is operating in Grand Gedeh and Sinoe counties, Atlantic Resources Limited in Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties, Mandra Logging Company in Sinoe and Geblo Logging Companies in Grand Gedeh and Sinoe Counties respectively.

Dennis said Bracewell has been providing some flimsy excuses that his reports were not available due to the lack of electricity supply at the office which he (Dennis)faulted to be untrue especially considering the fact that he was talking about a period almost going to a year. He said even the other reports prepared by other consultants far before Bracewell was given the task, have all been turned over to NBC, naming the reports on ArcelorMittal, Bea Mountain, Jungle Power and wondered why Bracewell could not do the reports  for such a long time.

Efforts to contact Mr. Bracewell proved fruitless as several calls placed to his phones were not answered or returned. However, speaking to newsmen yesterday morning at the premises of NBC where he was stopped from entering the premises, he said Dennis lacked the legal authority to dismiss him as a principal deputy who was appointed by the President and the only person to dismiss him.

“I have the understanding that Article 56 of the 1986 constitution of Liberia provides the President to appoint cabinet ministers, ambassadors, director general , managing directors, superintendent, etc to positions of trust and they shall hold their appointments based on the confidence of the President who can also dismiss them.  I don’t know whether Dennis has the power to exercise that function. The last time I checked the only person in 2017 who was on the ballot and I voted for twice was President George Manneh Weah who appointed me to the position and not Dennis who does not have the power to dismiss me”, Bracewell said.

He said he was appointed before Dennis, but since Dennis got to NBC he has meted mental torture, harassment, intimidation and disrespect against him for no reason, apparently after hearing gossips from some staff at NBC. He vowed to challenge his dismissal but did not give any options available to him. Bracewell seems to enjoy massive confidence from the President to the extent that on two occasions, he has succeeded in making Weah take decisions in his favor. It can be recalled that he led a group of CDC youths at the premises of the NBC to dislodge former DG Gregory Coleman in a violent fashion. Coleman had to resign his portfolio. He has also succeeded to have the President to reverse the dismissal order and suspended Dennis

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