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The Senate chairman on concession, Bomi County Senator, Sando Johnson has frowned on the appointment of Lahai Lansanah by President Ellen Johnson as Coordinator on Concessions in the country.

Senator Johnson spoke to some journalists on Monday at his office on capital hill. He said Lahai Lansanah’s appointment as coordinator on concessions in the country was created for ‘political accommodation’ and not constitutional.

The two officials hail from the same county-Bomi. Since such position does not exist by law, Senator Johnson continued that such position as Concession coordinator does not exist by law. At such, he will not work with Lahai Lansanah.

Lansanah was on July 6, 2016 appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Coordinator on Disputes and Concession Affairs. According to the senator, Such position does not exist. Therefore, there is no senate confirmation needed. Johnson would have opposed it, if Lansanah, who is well respected by many gone for confirmation hearing.

“That appointment is political accommodation because it is not by law. Unless where they can bring that law. It is not a committee that we will deal with because it is not statutory. It doesn’t have a statutory mandate, no constitutional backing. It is not relevant and we will not deal with them. My committee doesn’t recognize it,” he expressed.

Senator Johnson said he was disappointed over the creation of such committee. “You have the minister of internal affairs, National Bureau of Concession, National Investment Commission, legislative arms that are responsible to do oversight on those institutions. He is a unity partisan and the president is a member, so it is a political accommodation,” he said.

Lansanah served as Chairman of Senate Committee on Rules, Order and Administration during the 52nd legislature. In addition to his term of reference, Lahai was appointed to work closely with all concession companies and their workers as well as management.

The president said at the time, it was necessary to appoint Lahai due to many disputes which affected many of the companies such as Golden Verolum, Sime Darby, ArcelorMittal, Equatorial Palm Oil, Maryland oil palm plantation, among others.

But since Lahai took office, some disputes have been resolved according to some officials at the ministry of Internal Affairs. It can be recalled former Senator Lahai Lansanah announced his return to the governing Unity party on November 6, 2015 prior to his appointment as ‘Coordinator on Disputes and Concession Affairs’.

Lansanah, who ran on the ticket of the National Patriotic Party (NPP), was defeated by Unity Party candidate Morris G. Saytumah, but refused to concede defeat. He was allegedly arrested along with his wife and others, brought to Monrovia and detained at the Liberia National Police (LNP) headquarters.

The former Chairman of Senate Committee on Rules, Order and Administration once said he was returning to the Unity Party in fulfillment of the 2011 merger involving the Liberia Action Party (LAP), of which he was a member, the Liberia Unification Party (LUP) and UP, adding that “besides, things and those who became hurdles to my association with UP are no longer around…it’s time I go back home.”

As someone “who believes in institution”, Lansanah said he decided to return to UP in spite of the ill treatments he suffered there. “I went back there because I know I came from LAP, which together with LUP and UP merged during the 2011 elections,” he added. Lahai has decided to officially speak on concession issues as it relates to his current task this week.

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