House Summons Transport Minister

The Plenary of the House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Transport on charges relative to contempt of the Legislature.

Minister Samuel Wlue is mandated to appear before the Plenary of the House of Representatives on Thursday to “show cause” why he should not be held in contempt for impeding the movement of some members of the Legislature.

The decision of the House to have the Transport Minister summoned was necessitated by a communication from Representative Francis Saidy Dopoh of Electoral District # 3, River Gee County.

“Honorable Speaker, like I have informed you, let me seek this opportunity to bring to your attention and Plenary, the creeping disruptive plan by the Ministry of Transport and the Liberian National Police to hinder the workings of the Liberian people under its joint vehicle inspection exercise,” Rep. Dopoh said.

In his communication forwarded to the House’s Plenary yesterday, Lawmaker Dopoh revealed that at about 8:30 am yesterday, while on his way to session in keeping with the House’s rules, his vehicle was stopped by a transport officer acting under the instruction of the Minister of Transport and the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police as he indicated for inspection.

The River Gee Legislator further mentioned that in his quest to ascertain as to the consciousness of his action, the transport officer mandated that he (Rep. Dopoh) walk to him or his car will not leave.

Representative Francis Dopoh:

“Hon. Speaker, let me express here that I was honorably humiliated by this transport officer for half an hour at the ecstasy, even to the extent that a police officer with batch no. LNP 3050 informed him that the vehicle is a Representative vehicle plate Rep.72”

“Honorable speaker, I am not sure that I am the only Representative that is being targeted, but I am sure that this transport officer who refused to approach me acted consciously and by the instruction of his authority, which is in violation of Article 42 of the constitution, as this is a form of arrest and detention while on my way to session”

Following a brief discussion of the communication, the plenary through a motion proffered by Montsertado County District # 8 Representative, Acarous M. Gray, the Lawmakers unanimously voted to have the Minister of Transport appeared during Thursday’s Session in order to “show cause”, why he should not be held for “Legislative Contempt”.

Article 44 of the 1986 constitution of Liberia states:

“Contempt of the Legislature shall consist of actions which obstruct the legislative functions or which obstruct or impede members or officers of the Legislature in the discharge of their legislative duties and may be punished by the House concerned by reasonable sanctions after a hearing consistent with due process of law.

No sanction shall extend beyond the session of the Legislature wherein it is imposed, and any sanction imposed shall conform to the provisions on Fundamental Rights laid down in this Constitution. Disputes between Legislators and non-members which are properly cognizable in the courts shall not be entertained or heard in the Legislature.

The Inspector General of the LNP is also expected to appear to respond to questions from Legislators with respect to the issue abide.