House Overturns Supreme Court Impeachment Prohibition

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 reached a unanimous decision to ignore a recent Supreme Court prohibition calling for the body to halt all activities associated with an impeachment process against one of its members, Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh.

According to the House, the decision of the Supreme Court to call on it to stop all activities regarding its ongoing impeachment processes against Justice Ja’neh is a gross violation of the Constitution of Liberia taking into consideration the functions of the three separate branches of the Liberian Government.

The House through a motion made by Representative Dixon Wlawlee Seeboe, instructed the body’s Chief Clerk to communicate its decision to the Supreme Court Justice in Chamber, Her Honor, Sieneh Yeoh, warning that their action is tantamount to impeding the function of the Legislature and could risk a Legislative Contempt Charge, if the high court continues to interfere with legislative matters.

“Mr. Speaker and fellow colleagues, Article 44 of the 1985 Constitution of this country, give the House of Representatives the sole power to draw up impeachment against any member of the Supreme Court bench which should not be prevented or impeded by another branch of government,” Representative Moses Acarous Gray, lead crafter of the impeachment bill asserts.

“Mr. Speaker, if the Supreme Court is having a problem with this Bill – which legislative deliberations processes should not be halted, they must be able to exercise patience to the point where the Bill is no longer in the confines of the Legislature and then they can raise their issue,” he added.

The Montserrado Lawmaker has since accused Associate Justice Ja’neh of unprofessionalism- using his position to illegally acquire properties as well as being deeply rooted in political activities of the country.

Meanwhile, Nimba County Representative Samuel Kogar has condemned the action of the House’s plenary to overturn the prohibition of the Supreme Court.

According to Representative Kogar, taking into consideration Article 66 of the Constitution of Liberia, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of Justice and is the only institution cloth with the authority to supervised impeachment and other legal activities in Liberia.

He argued that the House of Representative is in ‘error’ by going ahead with the impeachment process, stating that, it is only wise to resolve the matter through reconciliatory means.

“Mr. Speaker, fellow colleagues, we should not continue to dwell on this matter because it is not in the interest of our country. Most importantly, it is the constitutional responsibility of the Supreme Court to take charge of this matter and not for us to be the judge and juror at the same time,” Representative Kogar intimated.

The Nimba County Lawmaker, as part of this radical stand on the matter, abstained from the voting process carryout by House Speaker Bhofal Chambers and called for a Motion of Reconsideration which was subsequently defeated by majority members of the House plenary

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