‘Abandon Ja’neh’s Impeachment,’ Muslim Council Tells Lawmakers

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Sheikh Arkibu Sheriff, NMCOL Secretary General, reads the council's position statement.

The leadership of the National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCOL), the nation’s highest Islamic body, yesterday, September 5, called on the legislature to abandon its current impeachment proceeding against Associate Justice Kabineh Mohammed Ja’neh.

In a press statement issued yesterday, the NMCOL said it is particularly concerned about the deep division that the current impeachment saga is creating among Liberians and, in particular, the three branches of government.

The group warned the three branches of government, namely: the legislature, executive and the judiciary to disengage from what it calls ‘application of arbitrary state power’ by one branch of government against any of the other branches of the government.

Both the legislature and the judiciary have been embroiled in a legal rigmarole (lengthy, complicated procedure) over the impeachment of Associate Justice Ja’neh in recent weeks.

It can be recalled that a group of lawmakers accused the embattled Justice of breaching his status as a sitting judge on the country’s Supreme Court Bench as well as levying charges against him (Ja’neh), including misuse of power, proven misconduct, theft of property, and theft of records.

Justice Ja’neh, through his legal team, has since filed a formal complaint to the Supreme Court, claiming procedural error by the House of Representatives in the preparation of an impeachment bill meant to boot him from the Supreme Court Bench.

The Supreme Court wrote the House of Representatives for a conference on the issue, but the House has since rejected the High Court’s injunction orders, instead warning the nation’s final arbiter of justice to vacate the matter or be made to face an unprecedented embarrassment.

The House has also passed a resolution calling for the impeachment of Justice Ja’neh, forwarding said instrument to the senate for action.

Meanwhile, after initial review of the House’s impeachment resolution by the senate, the proposed impeachment resolution has now been sent to the senate’s judicial committee for review and recommendation.

Last Thursday’s (August 29) debate by the senate on the resolution saw many senators angrily speaking on the “improper manner” in which the impeachment resolution was presented to the senate, which prompted the leadership of the senate to take hold of the matter.

As Liberians await the senate’s decision on the matter, there are concerns in some quarters of the country that the current constitutional brouhaha (fracas, row), which has seen a war of words taking place between members of the House of Representatives and Justice Ja’neh’s legal team, may bring further disunity in the country, paralyzing major government functionaries, a view firmly held by the leadership of NMCOL, the nation’s number one Muslim organization.

NMCOL’s Statement

“The National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCOL) has keenly followed the impeachment scenario of Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh of the Supreme Court by the Lower House of the 54th Legislature from its inception up to the level at which it is now.

“As a legal and political matter, the entire episode has polarized the nation at all quarters and has the propensity to undermine the hard-won national peace and tranquility consolidated over the years through the intervention of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

“One would like to think that Liberians could endeavor to preserve the legacy of peace left behind by UNMIL barely a year ago for Liberia to rebuild its damaged infrastructure and economy; one would also think that the transition supported by Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, former President of the Unity Party-led Government that ushered in the CDC-led Government of President George Manneh Weah was, no doubt, the best formula for national peace and reconciliation to raise the hope for national development, peaceful co-existence and harmony in the new socio-political dispensation.

“The NMCOL is therefore afraid that the impeachment of any individual from the three branches of the CDC-led Government would inevitably create, sooner or later, a vicious cycle that could overtly or covertly sow seeds of discord and distrust in the Liberian soil, leaving individuals of the three branches of government vulnerable.

“By the same token, the impeachment today of any high profile individual will serve as a clear eye opener and a strong driving force for future investigation and prosecution of past government officials for justice and good governance irrespective of political, religious, and economic background.

“It is high time to rethink and be more sober, and so save the nation from another round of state collapse and failure. The ongoing saga of disunity between the Honorable House of Legislature and the judiciary on the issue of impeachment does not augur well for our country’s legal system.

“NMCOL, therefore, humbly admonishes the Honorable lawmakers to abandon the impeachment course of action at this point in time as it will further divide the nation.

“In conclusion, NMCOL, would like to speak out about the truth of power, and call on Liberians in general and the three branches of government, in particular the legislature, the judiciary and the executive, to avoid the promotion of any act that has the semblance of discrimination and arbitrary application of state power against any particular individual or group of individuals of the Liberian citizenry,” NMCOL’s press statement reads.”

In view of the above expressed concerns, the NMCOL has also written the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, ECOWAS Mission to Liberia, and other major partners to get involved, in order to bring the matter to an amicable resolution. A similar communication has also been sent to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Bhofal Chambers, Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Chie, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, and President George M. Weah on the council’s latest concerns.

22 COMMENTS

    • What do they even call truth of power? I’ve never come across this turn of phrase before. When has power ever been truthful, except for God’s power? Sometimes you are tempted to say, “This must be mistake,” but then you go back and start thinking, “What if they meant exactly what they said?” Hm!

  1. Sheikh Arkibu Sheriff, you and your National Muslim Council should advise Janeh to return the oldlady property he stold from her instead of you and your council flouting the prtinciple of religion and state in your selfish act of attempting to obstruct justice.

    If the Supreme Court has been trashed in its attempt to obstruct justice, you must be dreaming that you and your council can even reach halfway to undo an impeachment by THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE LEGISLATURE OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA.

    You and your council should be ashamed of yourselves to give credence to a corrupt judge´s notorious misconduct and very bad behavior.

  2. “In conclusion, NMCOL, would like to speak out about the truth of power…”. What is meant by the “truth of power”? Does power have any inherent truth? Power is powerful, not necessarily truthful. Now as for truth, that’s a different thing: Truth has power that liars and deceivers have not even dreamed is possible. So let the deceivers continue to try to confuse and bamboozle the Liberian people. Truth has power! Placed in the back row, it will find it’s way forward, and crushed to the ground, it will rise again!

  3. How did he get the oldlady’s property? Please investigate, don’t jump to conclusion. We want live investigation of all the presumptuous charges against him —Nimba county

  4. He bought a property from the old lady step son who is also dead. Justice Janeh did not forcefully take the land he bought the from a legitimate only. So pleae go and investigate . Justice Janeh on two occasions won the old lady in court.

    • Janeh sat as judge and plaintiff. That is forcefully taking away someone´s property, since Janeh did not and could have not ruled against himself. Now, you go and do your investigation.

    • Digen, in criminal law, when you take somebody’s property without their knowledge, and sell it, it is called theft. The old lady’s step-son sold the land to Justice Jan’eh without her knowledge according to the old lady while she was still in exile. And Justice Janeh being a judge on the Supreme Court bench should have known better when the old lady went to him for her land. It shouldn’t have gone to the court but settle out of court amicably.
      The truth to power is that nobody is above the law. Let the impeachment proceedings continue so that Justice Jan’eh will tell his side of the story, that is what truth to power really is.

      • Digen, in criminal law, when you take somebody’s property without their knowledge, and sell it, it is called theft. The old lady’s step-son sold the land to Justice Jan’eh without her knowledge according to the old lady while she was still in exile. And Justice Janeh being a judge on the Supreme Court bench should have known better when the old lady went to him for her land. It shouldn’t have gone to the court but settle out of court amicably.
        The truth of power is that nobody is above the law. Let the impeachment proceedings continue so that Justice Jan’eh will tell his side of the story, that is what truth of power really is.
        Justice Jan’eh behaved callously when he decided to go to court.

      • Mr. William T Weah Jr. So everybody that sell land two or three times In Liberia should than go to jail. The Step-son sold the land, to Mr. Ja’neh’, and he got the deeds, why is it a high Crime for Impeachment? Mr. Weah Jr, so who committed this crime? Further more Why should a LAND ISSUE be the business of the house of Representative, and not the Ministry of Land and Mines or the Ministry of Justice?

  5. Only in a country govern by sharia law, this rebel spokesman turn associate justice will remain on the bench of the highest court. Let that islamic cleric be quiet! First they were pushing tribal sentiments. Now it is religious sentiment. The fact will remain that your Islamic brother and rebel spokesman is depriving someone of her property. In many countries it is a theft.

  6. Where did he get his law degree? This guy is a disgrace to the people of Nimba and Liberia by virtue of his behavior. Mr. Islamic cleric, you might want to go to Mecca or Iran where Islam belongs, not in Liberia. That is exactly how many of the people of Liberia, Nimba in particular lost their properties beginning in the late 19th and 20th centuries in places like Ban, Sanniquellie, Ganta, Seclepea, and other places. that nonsense will not and should not happen in this day and age. Ja’neh must go period.

  7. This so-called NMCOL is a fraud and on course to attempt to plunge this country into chaos. Are you saying the rule of law should be set aside to satisfy your tribalistic and religious appetite? Or worse still your selective or alternative justice? Is this the wisdom of a SHEIK or so-called muslim scholar? Go and sit, all those that participated in the drafting of this anomaly, and let the rule of law takes its course.

    This is mind boggling for organisations or institutions to behave in this way. Is this not the same attitude that actually led to our civil war? Denying true justice is the worst crime any country can commit. It is the only equaliser for the poor. Do you want to sweep the rule of law under the carpet for another “for peace sake” nonsense? Or are you threatening war if your selective justice is not adhere to?

    You guys should stop this nonsense. Nothing has gotten me this pissed off but this stupid letter I consider a threat. this is the same nonsense the the Chiefs council always attempting instead of allowing the law to take its course.

  8. Brother Miah Gbason and all other Liberian that have commented on this headline. The Cleric voice or view should be threading far away from this impeachment proceeding. Any high ranking religious figure threading near this impeachment proceeding will only deepen the polarization already seen. Be it Christian pastor/bishop, Muslim Imam or Jewish Rabbi, if there is one. Every religious head should please stay far away from this sensitive and slippery situation.
    I m calling on all Liberian intellectual friends and brothers to please, please critique individual, base on that individual comment, not the organization or religious body he/she is representing. Some these religious figures head are not speaking in consultation with their members.
    Religion is a very dangerous thing to play with, I mean religion of any kind…..Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Judaism etc. Religion is very prejudice and bias against those who do not hold it belief.

    Let the law of the land takes it course.
    One of the biggest things all Liberian have to be able to do is to handle conflict and handle correctly without any discord. We’re able to look at our biases, look at our frustration, our pride and able to handle it with maturity and move forward as a nation .

    Let’s keep religion away from National issues. Let religion be an individual undertaking.
    From Sydney, with love.

  9. Folks, let’s apply common sense here.In a nutshell, NMCOl cenral message is about conflict prevention. Stop obscuring the meaning of message !!! Our democracy is still in a nascent stage, and let’s build on the progress that we have made so far.

  10. The elders of Nimba as well as the above Moslem organization should not be blamed for involving themselves in the Kabineh Ja’neh mess! They have done nothing wrong. The real truth is that the Nimba elders as well as the Moslem civic organization were approached by Ja’neh either directly or indirectly to do his bidding.

    What should be made unequivocal is that Ja’neh seems to be a corrupt man. Throughout his tenure, Ja’neh presided over court cases that have caused pain and sorrow for scores of Liberians and maybe non-Liberians. Now is Ja’neh’s time to answer questions in the very court he has served for so long. So instead of fessing up as a good reliable jurist, Ja’neh mysteriously maneuvers as a back-peddler. Ja’neh’s back-peddling tactic shows that something is terribly wrong.

    Ja’neh should not play dumb. Ja’neh has an obligation to explain to his supporters that to impeach does not mean to terminate him from his position. To impeach simply means to “bring formal charges of wrongdoing against the accused”, (urban dictionary). Once he’s impeached, Ja’neh can go to court to fight the charges. Of course, if he’s got nothing to hide, Ja’neh will go to court in order to absolve himself of wrongdoing.

    On the hand, Ja’neh’s appeal to civic groups in order to beg for his clemency exposes him to more suspicion. Why? Because by appealing for clemency, it becomes abundantly clear that Ja’neh is trying hard to hide something. Ja’neh shouldn’t be allowed to hide anything. The public has the right to know!

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