Ruling In Gracious Ride ,Assets Recovery Saga Reserved By: Yassah J Wright

7 29

On July 4, 2024, the Supreme Court of Liberia entertained arguments and later reserved ruling regarding the validity of President Joseph N. Boakai’s Executive Order No. 126, which established an asset recovery and property retrieval office. President Boakai issued this order on March 6, 2024, with the goal of enhancing governance transparency and accountability by creating an Assets Recovery Task Force under the Minister of State for Special Services. The operations of the Task Force were halted by the court on March 28 after Gracious Ride Incorporated challenged the legality of the seizures of its vehicles. The Task Force claimed the vehicles were fraudulently acquired by a former government official, but Gracious Ride argued that asset recovery falls under the jurisdiction of the Liberia Anti-corruption Commission (LACC) and not a presidentially-appointed committee. Despite an initial court ruling that dismissed Gracious Ride’s petition, the company appealed to the Supreme Court. Gracious Ride contends that the executive order oversteps the President’s authority by bypassing the LACC, which is legally mandated to handle asset recovery and corruption cases. The central issue under scrutiny is the constitutional of a recent executive order issued by President Boakai. In opened court, the Assets Recovery Tasks Force contends that Gracious Ride lacks the legal standing to question the President’s constitutional powers. This assertion forms the backbone of the defense. Cllr. Edwin Kla Martin, whose the chairperson for Assets Recovery Tasks Force, spearhead the legal argument before the Supreme Court. However, this case has captured significant public interest, given its potential implications for the interpretation of executive power and the check and balances within President Boakai government.

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