– Says he should not be co-conspirator of constitutional violators
The president-elect of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, says that if Chief Justice Francis Korkpor were to agree and preside over the impeachment trial of Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh, he would be seen as one conspiring with majority members of the House of Representatives, who have shown disrespect to the Supreme Court and the Constitution of Liberia.
Justice Korkpor is expected shortly to preside over the impeachment trial of Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh by the Senate after a 3-2 vote to deny Ja’neh’s request to prevent the House of Representatives from impeaching him.
At the Temple of Justice on Wednesday, November 13, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe told reporters that the fact of the matter is that majority members of the House of Representatives would abuse the power and authority of the highest court by refusing to obey the stay order imposed by Chamber Justice Sie-A- Nyene Yuoh on the preparation of the bill of impeachment against Ja’neh.
This, Gongloe said, was a clear indication for Korkpor not to attend any hearing at the Senate.
“It is about time for Korkpor to use his own wisdom over the matter, but if he were to preside on Ja’neh’s impeachment trial in the midst of flagrant violation and disrespect to the Supreme Court, history would harshly judge the Chief Justice for that decision,” Cllr. Gongloe, a human rights activist, said in an interview with judicial reporters.
He added, “If Korkpor appears, he would be a co-conspirator to a decision that resulted from a product of violation and disrespect to the Supreme Court’s order, and the Constitution that empowers the court to interpret the law, and as a keeper of our peace and security by upholding the rule of law.”
“Look, when the writ was issued, the House of Representatives turned it into a mere paper, and the court should desist from handling the case or the Court would face their wrath. This was an insult and disrespect to the Highest Court of our land and for our Chief Justice to sit and preside over the trial, he would be a co-conspirator to the disrespect and violation of the Constitution that calls for the separation of powers between the three branches of government,” Gongloe said.
Cllr. Gongloe however made it clear that his statement should not be seen as a statement by the Liberia National Bar Association, which he serves as president-elect.
“Though I am a president of LNBA, I am not speaking as the president but only expressing my displeasure over the lawmakers’ disregard for the Constitution and the Supreme Court that is responsible to uphold our democracy and the rule of law,” Gongloe clarified.
According to him, the failure of the justice system to uphold the rule of law was responsible for the country’s 14 years of civil unrest that led to the death of over 250,000 innocent people.
“I will not sit here to allow people, who claim to be untouchable, to derail the peace we are enjoying and plunge our country into disarray by not respecting the court system and the Constitution,” the LNBA president said.
Recently, Justice Yuoh imposed a stay order on the House of Representatives barring them from proceeding with the preparation of the Bill of Impeachment against Ja’neh until there is an outcome of hearings into a Writ of Prohibition filed by Ja’neh.
Yuoh‘s order was resisted by the lawmakers, who threatened to deal with her if she did not withdraw what they considered as “a mere paper.”