Grand Bassa District 5 Representative, Thomas Goshua, has termed as “totally wrong” the bill of impeachment passed by the House to remove Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh from the Supreme Court’s Bench.
The House of Representative took a decision during its Tuesday, August 28, 2018 session through a resolution to impeach Justice J’aneh. The resolution counts were based on corruption, misuse of power, among others.
Twenty-three voted in favor of the resolution while one abstain and one voted against. All nine members of the Nimba County Legislative caucus walked out of session due to what they termed as denial of an amendment for Plenary to have headcount vote instead of a ‘yeah, nay’ vote.
Rep. Goshua, who abstained from the process, stated that the proponent of the bill did not provide sufficient and substantial reasons to vote in favor of such critical decision.
“I was not convinced by my colleagues because all of the issues raised were old issues and I think there were other motives under the process,” he stated.
He asserted that the procedures leading to the impeachment failed to consider due diligence, as such the process was done in a hurry. He contended that other lawmakers with dissenting views were denied the right to be heard throughout the proceedings.
“For me, I believe in justice and Liberians should be held accountable for their wrong actions but the manner and form in which this was conducted has the propensity to place us members of this 54th legislature at the blame end for some wrong decisions being made,” he averred.
The House’s decision on the resolution was sent to the Senate. The Chief Justice would preside over the proceeding at the Senate.
Rep. Thomas Goshua hoped that the Senate will sternly follow the impeachment procedures, describing them as the ‘House of Elders’ who will look into the matter with due diligence.
Several lawmakers had a similar view with Rep. Goshua, especially members of the Nimba County Legislative Caucus. Speaking on the matter, Nimba County Lawmaker Johnson Gwaikolo claimed that the entire process was marred by flaws and procedural errors.
He pointed out that the Nimba Caucus were denied access to the floor for the discussion, adaptation which would lead to passage of the document, which he believed was purely political and not legal.
“Impeachment is a grave thing which needs something tangible levied against the person in question, but that was not the case which we saw and we were basically denied to even propose an amendment to the motion for the passage of the resolution,” he said.
Rep. Gwaikolo noted that the Nimba caucus’ decision to walk out of the session was not based on tribal line as it is being alleged.
“Though Justice Ja’neh is from Nimba County this thing is a national issue and must be handled with care and respect for the law”.
Montserrado County District #6 and 8 Representatives Acarous Gray and Thomas Fallah both of the ruling establishment Congress for Democratic Change were the proponents of the impeachment bill.
Hours after the resolution was passed, rep. Acarous Gray stated that the lower house acted on protecting the rule of law of Liberia and as such Justice must take its course.
Rep. Gray denied allegations from Nimba Caucus members of being denied access to discuss the issue, stating that he welcomed their decision to walk out based on what he termed as tribal issue.
“Though we respect our colleagues from Nimba County decision to walk out after they were told to follow our standing rules but their actions were purely on tribal lines which contravenes Article 5c of the Constitution of Liberia,” he noted.