Who Denying Cassell’s Helicopter from Landing at RIA? -As PLP Vows to Stage Protest

The opposition People’s Liberation Party (PLP) has vowed to initiate a civil protest in Monrovia and other parts of the country if the Government of Liberia (GOL), through the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) fails to rethink its previous decision taken to cancel the landing permit of a helicopter belonging to its Political Leader, Dr. Daniel E. Cassell.

The party said that  LCAA recently granted Dr. Cassell, through his company, Kwenyan and Associates a permit for a B430 helicopter to land in the country in keeping with international aviation laws but unfortunately was allegedly denied landing in the country when it intended doing so. The party said the development prompted its political leader to institute a lawsuit against the government for allegedly infringing upon his constitutional rights.

In a statement issued yesterday, Tuesday, October 19, 2021, and signed by the Party’s Organizing Chairman,  Mr. Tapple E. Doe, the PLP disclosed that it has exhausted all legal, moral, and rational means possible to compel the government, through the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority to act appropriately and all efforts have proven futile.

“The party wishes to inform the Liberian public and diplomatic missions near Monrovia that the government of Mr. George Manneh Weah has resolved to infringe on the rights of its Vision Bearer and Political Leader, Dr. Daniel Estrada Cassell.

It pointed out that as prominently reported in the media, Dr. Cassell through his firm, the Kwenyan and Associates Group of Companies lawfully acquired a helicopter “to facilitate the smooth and timely travels across Liberia and other parts of the region” adding that to the full extent of aviation laws and regulations, nationally and internationally, the aircraft has met all due requirements and standards.

The release noted that predicated upon the legal qualification of the aircraft, both international and national clearances were obtained from the relevant authorities in Liberia and abroad, because, its Political Leader “is a lawful, honorable, mindful, and meticulous Leader and personality who engages and proceeds by the books”.

“Unfortunately, and interestingly enough, after Dr. Cassell obtained clearance and permit from the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) bearing the signatures of its highest authorities and as such, the aircraft took off from South Africa on 5th October 2021 and was scheduled to arrive in Liberia at the RIA on 14th October 2021, we received a ‘null and void’ notification while in Abidjan that the aircraft cannot fly in to Liberia with no reason stated to the contrary. We should also like to inform you that the aircraft smoothly flew from South Africa to Cote d’ Voire squarely because it meets all international standards and regulations and was issued a landing permit by the LCAA”

The statement indicated that Dr. Cassell, through his company, has since taken the matter to the Supreme Court and His Honor Justice Yussif D. Kabba, Justice-in-Chambers, having thoroughly verified that the aircraft had met all legal aviation qualifications thereto, ordered the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) on 13th October 2021 to permit the aircraft to fly and land into Liberia unhindered.

“To date, the Liberia Aviation Authority has vehemently refused to heed the order of the High Court. This is detestable, ridiculous, and must be condemned by all, as it undermines the “Separation of Powers” and Authorities in no small way”.

“Members of the press, we are deeply appalled and disconcerted that in the government’s vicious attempt to rattle and ruffle Dr. Cassell for his strong yet worthy criticisms of the regime, it would summon the temerity to issue such gross disrespect to the High Court of the Land. How can a government that is clothed with the responsibility to uphold the law shamefully turn out to be the very government brazenly violating the laws and infringing on the civil rights of private citizens?”

The opposition party disclosed that it is the right of Dr. Cassell and all Liberians to bring into their country aircrafts, cruise-ships, exotic automobiles, and all the fine things of this world insofar they obtain them rightfully and meet the legal requirements to bring them into the country.

According to the party, the move made by the government to violate the rights of its Political Leader is not only “reprehensible and callously lawless but an act that can be equated to viciousness”.

“Denying an aircraft that has met all legal qualifications and approvals to fly in Liberia only because it belongs to someone who politically and fundamentally opposes the current CDC administration is despicable and condescending, to say the least”.

“The PLP demands that the aircraft be allowed to unconditionally fly into the country, as it has met the requirements in keeping with the laws and regulations of LCAA and any attempt to the contrary will be faced with a fierce civil protest against this administration”.

In a citation, a copy which is in the possession of this paper, the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Attorney Sam Mamulu, invited the Director General of the LCAA Mr. Moses Y. Kollie and the Board Member of Kwenyan and Associates Mr. Tapple E. Doe to appear for a conference today, Wednesday October 20, 2021 at the hour of 11AM. The parties are to appear before the Associate Justice Presiding In Chambers His Honor Yusif Kaba.

“Meanwhile, you are ordered to permit the aircraft, subject of this petition, to land in Liberia, pending the outcome of the conference”, the citation for the conference stated.

Despite the mandate from the Justice-In-Chambers, the Liberian government, through the LCAA has denied the helicopter from landing at the Roberts International Airport (RIA).

Authorities of the LCAA have not yet commented on the accusation made by the PLP.

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