Liberia: Senate Asked to Probe RIA

–Over information leak

The Liberian Senate has been asked to probe the Roberts International Airport (RIA) about how a Closed-Circuit TV (CCTV) footage of Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai has been leaked to a journalist.

Liberian opposition Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, a major supporter of Boakai’s 2023 presidential bid, petitioned her colleagues in the Senate Wednesday, 30 August 2023 to probe the state-owned RIA for security breach.

“We need to call the RIA management to tell us how that video got leaked to a journalist who works for the NSA Director,” Nyonblee said.

She warned that RIA is the gateway to Liberia, and the leaking of CCTV video footage from the airport would affect the country’s image.

“People will not feel protected, not even investors. So, this is a security matter. We need to call joint security actors to hear from them about this because it is a security concern,” said Sen. Karnga-Lawrence.

She believes that if the Senate does not see this matter as an emergency, it would show that it is not in the interest of the country.

Senator Karnga-Lawrence said the leaking of Boakai’s travel information has to do with the security of the state and the country’s image.

“You have an international airport that should have rules and regulations. You have a CCTV camera that should operate by international standards and by international rules and regulations,” she said.

But she noted that it is concerning that a video from the CCTV has been posted on Facebook by a journalist who works for National Security Agency (NSA) official Mr. Sam Siryon.

Senator Karnga-Lawrence said it was a breach of the privacy of the individual whose video from the CCTV at the airport had been leaked.

Earlier on Tuesday, Liberia’s main opposition Unity Party (UP) threatened legal action against the government for allegedly leaking Boakai’s CCTV footage that was captured during his departure from the country.

Amb. Boakai, Liberia’s former vice president, is UP’s presidential candidate and the main rival to incumbent President George Manneh Weah.

Boakai’s party has accused the two state agencies Liberia Authority Agency (LAA) and NSA of unauthorized and unlawful disclosure of Boakai’s video footage.

The party has complained that on 28 August 2023, its standard-bearer took a break from the campaign tour of Montserrado County for a three-day official visit to Ghana.

The former ruling party disclosed that Amb. Boakai departed the RIA at about 7 AM via ASKY.

Minutes after Amb. Boakai’s departure, the UP lamented, journalists from Freedom FM which is owned by Mr. Siryon announced on their station that Amb. Boakai had been hurriedly flown out of Liberia for emergency medical attention.

UP pointed out that following the pronouncement from Freedom FM, scores of zealots of the ruling CDC and officials of government including Presidential Aide Sekou Kalasco Damaro and Deputy Finance Minister Samora P. Z. Wolokolie flooded social media pages with claims that Amb. Boakai was sick.

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