The House of Representatives yesterday suspended with immediate effect three of the ‘renegade lawmakers’ that recently caused a standoff at the Capitol Building that resulted into Rep. Bill A. Corneh being physically assaulted.
Plenary took the decision to suspend Margibi County Representative Roland O. Cooper for three months without pay for physically assaulting fellow colleague, Bill Corneh, while Representatives Samuel Korgar of Nimba County and Henry Fahnbulleh of Montserrado County were handed down a month each without pay and other benefits.
Their suspension takes immediate effect, while Representatives Bill Twehway and Edwin M. Snowe were mandated to officially apologize to the House for their actions, which plenary believes “brought the House into public disrepute.”
Interestingly, Margibi County Representative Emmanuel Nuquay, who is at the center of the controversy that led to the standoff, was left alone.
According to Grand Bassa County Representative J. Byron Brown’s Rules, Order and Administration Committee that investigated the altercation, “There was not enough evidence to link Margibi Lawmaker Nuquay.”
The ‘renegade lawmakers’ have been instructed to issue official apology letters to the entire Liberian public and the House for their respective actions.
Plenary’s action was prompted by two separate communications addressed to them by Representatives Adam Bill Conrneh of Bong County, and George Wesseh Blamoh Grand Kru County requesting that the matter be probed and appropriate punishment be proscribed for the violators.
The contents of both communications were similar, but most importantly, Corneh’s letter, which was supported by a petition from citizens of Salala District which heavily played against Opee Cooper earning him a “lengthy” punishment.
Meanwhile, Fahnbulleh has vowed to protest the plenary decision against him at the High Court.
In a chat with journalists shortly after the vote was passed, Fahnbulleh maintained that his suspension was “illegal and unconstitutional,” and as such, he was heading to the Supreme Court to get the interpretation of the law.
He accused the ‘majority bloc’ favoring Speaker Alex Tyler of fighting back after the Speaker’s removal campaign failed.
Fahnbulleh, a strong member of the “Speaker Tyler step down” campaign, believed he and the others reprimanded were being witch-hunted for being critical of the Speaker.
As for Korgar, he believes that the proceeding was staged and that the decision to penalize them was made long before yesterday’s ruling.
Meanwhile, the “renegade” lawmakers are under obligation to submit their respective apology letters on or before March 3, at which time they will be read in plenary.