Liberia SC | Government’s policy of taking away citizenship on the basis of Aliens and Nationality law declared to be null and void

Supreme Court of Liberia: A Full Bench of Francis S Korkpor, Jamesetta H Wolokolie and Sie-A-Nyene G Yuoh, JJ. allowed a petition of a petitioner who wasn’t granted travel permit by Liberia government as per Aliens and Nationality law which was termed by them, to be violative of certain sections of the constitution of Liberia.

In this case, the petitioner was a native of Liberia who lived in the USA and his application for getting a travel permit was rejected by the Liberian Embassy in Washington D.C., USA. The Embassy, in turn, asked him to apply for a non-immigrant visa as his original application was turned down as it couldn’t fulfill the requirements mentioned in Section 22.1 and Section 22.2 of Aliens and Nationality law.

Counsellors Seward Montgomery Cooper and Frank Musah Dean jr. appeared for petitioner and pleaded about his grievances.

The Court adjudged Section 22.2 of the Aliens and Nationality Law to be in direct conflict with requirements of Article 20(a) of the Liberian Constitution which calls for the protection of life, liberty, the security of person, property and his privilege.

Also, the government’s policy of taking away citizenship solely on account of a person’s performance of acts or fulfillment of conditions mentioned in Article 22.1 of any proceedings, nullifying or cancelling citizenship in violation of due process clause under Article 20(a) of 1986 constitution was declared null and void.

In view thereof, Court found the petitioner to have been directly affected by government policy and his Liberian citizenship has suffered due to Section 22.1 and Section 22.2 of Aliens and Nationality Law and thus allowed the petition.[Alvin Teage Jalloh v. Olubankie King-Akerele, A.D. 2019, decided on 23-12-2019]

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