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EPA: Supreme Court Denies Wilson Tarpeh’s Petition

Police officers at the Supreme Court of Liberia

Top: The Temple of Justice in Monrovia. The DayLight/James Harding Giahyue

By Emmanuel Sherman

Monrovia – The Supreme Court of Liberia has denied Wilson Tarpeh’s claim to a seven-year tenure as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia.

In March, the court issued a writ of prohibition against Dr. Emmanuel Urey Yarkpwolo who was appointed by President Joseph Boakai as Interim Executive Director of the EPA.

Tarpeh, who was appointed in October 2020 as head of the environmental agency by Former President George Weah, argued he was entitled to the tenure.  However, the Supreme Court disagreed over the absence of a policy council, a body that vets and qualifies a tenured head of the EPA.   

“In the absence of the formation of, and a recommendation from, the Policy Council, the appointment of the petitioner by former President Weah was an interim appointment for which tenure is inapplicable,” the high court said in a Wednesday ruling.  

The EPA Act grants the President of Liberia the power to appoint an “interim executive director” in the absence of a Policy Council, which President Boakai recently appointed. The Act provides that the council will then recommend the Executive Director from a list of three individuals.

The court also ruled that Tarpeh was further barred from continuing as head of the EPA because of an Executive Order issued by Former President Weah in November last year.    

“The petitioner served in an interim executive director capacity at the EPA, his removal aligned with Executive Order 123,” the Court said.