A split has occurred in the leadership of the Press Union of Liberia, PUL, over a recent press statement issued by the Union’s Vice President, Octavin Williams.
Mr. Williams in the statement published in the local media branded the judicial branch of Government as a place of harassment, clampdown, depression, coercion and a center of strong intimidation towards the Liberian media.
According to Mr. Williams, the past 12 years, under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, journalists have faced arrests and pre-trial detentions as a result of summons based on empty accounts by the court.
He made specific reference to the recent US$10 million lawsuit filed against journalist J. Cholo Brooks, Publisher of the GNN Liberia online newspaper, by Nigerian businessman, Tony Lawal following publication of alleged dubious construction deals.
But in an interview with Farbric News on Wednesday, Press Union of Liberia President, Charles Coffey, said Mr. Williams’ statement is not representative of the PUL leadership.
Mr. Koffey said the VP’s undermines the leadership and credibility of the Union.
Meanwhile, Mr. Williams has said it’s the right as Vice President of the PUL to speak on any situation that threatens the freedom of the press and safety of journalists.
By: Eldred Thomas