CoP’s Planned Protest a ‘Treasonable’ Act

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Justice Minister Dean says protest to remove government is treasonable."

— Says Justice Minister Dean, denies the group permit to protest on December 30

The government has accused the leadership of the Council of Patriots (CoP) of ‘treasonable’ act as the group mobilizes across the country, and in the diasporas to call for the resignation of President George Weah for the “despicable” manner in which he is leading the country.

CoP leadership and members are organizers of the pending December 30, 2019, nationwide protest. The group has since launched the “Weah Step Down” campaign, calling for President Weah to step down as the country experiences extreme economic hardship since he ascended to power almost two years ago. The group is also demanding good governance from the ex-footballer who, they say, has no regard for the rule of law, especially the Constitution.

But the government, through the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) says the CoP’s pending action is “unconstitutional, and bespeaks treason.” Justice Minister, Frank Musah Dean, in a letter to the CoP’s Acting Chairman Mo Ali, on Monday, December 2 in Monrovia, stated: “Your mobilization of individuals, and resources to execute your “Weah Step Down” campaign is unconstitutional and bespeaks treason, an offense against the internal security of the state.”

The letter was a response to an earlier communication from the CoP demanding permit, and state security protection for its December 30 mass protest.

“You will note that Weah was duly elected by the Liberian people for a six-year term, and therefore, any removal prior to the expiry of this term may occur only by impeachment as provided under Article 62 of the Constitution,” the Minister wrote.

Article 62 says: “The President and the Vice-President may be removed from office by impeachment for treason,
bribery and other felonies, violation of the Constitution or gross misconduct.”

CoP, on the other hand, is using Article 1 of the Liberian Constitution as the reliance for its planned assembly. Article 1 states: “All power is inherent in the people. All free governments are instituted by their authority, and for their benefit and they have the right to alter and reform the same when their safety and happiness so require. In order to ensure democratic government, which responds to the wishes of the governed, the people shall have the right at such period, and in such manner as provided for under this Constitution to cause their public servants to leave office and to fill vacancies by regular elections and appointments.”

The government, however stated that the Supreme Court has interpreted the above constitutional provision, specifically as it refers to the inherent power of the people to decide the leadership of the nation through elections; therefore, there is no provision for “Weah Step Down” campaign in the Constitution, and statutory laws of the country.

Minister Dean however failed to state when such interpretation was done and at what instance.

The CoP was also the planner of the June 7, 2019 protest, the biggest anti-government action that saw thousands of Liberians taking to the streets to demand reforms in government. That protest, which received a huge international coverage, practically defaced the Weah led government, bringing upon it barrage of global condemnations.

The MoJ acknowledged receipt of the CoP’s communication for permit. “Your letter of November 11, 2019, relative to your request for security protection to hold a “Peaceful Assembly” in Monrovia beginning December 30, 2019, is acknowledged.”

The Ministry said that it is cognizant of several public pronouncements emanating from hierarchy of the CoP, characterizing the assembly as the beginning of a “Weah Step Down” campaign.

“We are further aware that in preparation to execute your planned objectives, you have solicited and received funding from individuals, both within and outside of Liberia, some of whom may not be Liberian citizens,” Minister Dean said. “We hasten to assure you that the Weah administration remains committed to the protection of the rights and liberties of all citizens as enshrined in the Constitution.”

The Minister however said that given the “facts and circumstances described above, we are without legal authority to grant you permit, protection or approval to undertake an act which is, indisputably, a clear violation of the Constitution and statutory laws of Liberia.”

Accusing the CoP of treasonable acts, the minister made emphatic reference to points 4 and 5 of Article 76 of the Constitution, which states: (4) attempting by overt act to overthrow the Government, rebellion against the republic, insurrection and mutiny; and (5) abrogating or attempting to abrogate, subverting or attempting or conspiring to subvert the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other means, which attempts to undermine the Constitution.

Dean then warned the CoP against taking the streets to demand the removal of an administration that was constitutionally elected to a six-year term.

“Ultimately, may we warn that any individuals comprising the leadership of the CoP will be held personally, individually and collectively culpable and liable, under the laws for the consequences associated with their actions,” the Justice Minister’s letter said.

In a Facebook post, Henry Pedro Costa, host of the Henry Costa Morning Show and lead planner of the pending protest, referred to Minister Dean’s letter as an “empty bluff”.

“Musah Dean says we will be committing treason when we gather on December 30th to demand Weah’s resignation,” Costa said. “You better get ready to arrest tens of thousands of people. The suffering masses will turn out. We do not fear you! Empty bluff!”

Meanwhile, the government had earlier announced plans to arrest Costa when he arrives in Monrovia on December 19, ahead of the planned December 30 “Weah Step Down” campaign. The announcement was made by Deputy Information Minister Eugene Fahngon, who said that there is a writ of arrest awaiting Mr. Costa upon his arrival.

“Just as there was a writ out to have Costa station closed, there was also a writ for his arrest,” Min. Fahngon declared.

Minister Dean later dismissed the Fahngon’s pronouncement, who said that there is “no writ of arrest” from the Court, neither has the MoJ has given any such order of arrest.

45 COMMENTS

  1. James Kpadeh
    They are so corrupt beyond human comprehension, therefore, they are unable to stop rampant corruption but they are working very hard to stop protesters. The only good news is CORRUPTION IS NOT A CRIME IN LIBERIA AT ALL BUT TO PROTEST IS CRIME IN LIBERIA. H AHA SWEET LIBERIA.

    • Indeed a treasonable act. And worst of all, you have FPA referring to that drunk Samuel Reeves from the gutters of Minnesota and other parts of America spewing such rubbish as “fire the entire cabinet.” Look, no body should take Samuel Reeves serious.

      Samuel Reeves is a drunkard who had to be thrown out By his wife for his drunkeness and irresponsible mentality. He took his irresponsible behavior and drunkenss By spewing sillyness to former foreign Minister J. Rudolph Johnson´s wife – for mer judge Gladdys Johnson; and Rudolph Johnson disgraced his Samuel Reeves within the Liberian community in America.

      If you think I am kidding, contact the Liberian community in Minnesota especially; they will tell you more than what I am saying here about that drunk “Rev.” Samuel Reeves who returned home out of homelessness in America and became pastor for church.

      As for these other clowns, wanting to overthrow government using protest as a ploy, the government will just have to use them to set an example By clamping down on the organizers very hard for their criminal intent!

      • Okay, so what does Rev. Reeves’ past life in Minnesota has to do with the reality on the ground in Liberia? There is no correlation. If the article is accurate, it doesn’t sound like the words of a drunken man to a reasonable person. I think you have a bias against Rev. Reeves so you’re blindly dismissing his comments even though it has merit. Your reasoning is precariously flawed.

        • This is not about Sam Reeves past life! Its about Sam Reeves personality, psyche, nature, and character. Remember this was the same druken Sam Reeves who abandoned the Church and joined party -politicking.

          So bury any talk about past life about Sam Reeves. The fool still smells with alchohol on Sundays mornings and at other activities at the church and other functions. THE PLOTTERS OF THIS TREASONABLE ACT OF WHICH THIS DRUNK SAM REEVES IS AN ACCOMPLICE, have simply bought that druken Reeves to give credence to their constitutionally criminal plot, since those who do not know the IRRESPONSIBLE druken psyche, and personality of Sam Reeves may wrongly give credence to Benoni Urey’s, Alex Cummings, and Joseph Boakai’s, planned violent CRIMES.

          So you see, that drunkard Sam Reeves must be EXPOSED once he decides to use the PULPIT to grab money to buy more liquor to the destabilization of the country.

        • First of all Mr the Real Hard Truth, you need to get your personalities straightened out. Rev Dr Samuel B Reeves has never lived in Minnesota and is happily married to his wife. They both live in Liberia and serve at Providence Baptist Church. This is how you all spread malicious gossip and lies.

      • It’s unfortunate that people who write about someone or a subject matter do not do their homework or fact finding. Rev. Dr. Samuel B Reeves is my first cousin. I am also the Patriarch of our family. There are two Samuel Reeves with different middle initial. Both are ministers. The other Rev. Samuel Reeves has a middle initial “R”. This is the one who lived in Minnesota.

        However, the Rev. Samuel B. Reeves of whom you know is an unquestionable individual with impeccable reputation. This Samuel Reeves did not live in Minnesota. He lived in Grand Rapid, Michigan where he was Co-Pastor of Madison Avenue Church. Prior to his call to Madison Church, he did his seminary studies at the prestigious Princeton Theological Seminary. He also obtained his doctoral degree from at this from there. He was doing an excellent ministerial work at this church in Grand Rapid when the call came from Providence Baptist Church to return home and become Pastor. You see, Dr. Reeves was well of financially with a very good income. He made a great financial sacrifice to return home to serve as Pastor of our beloved Providence Baptist Church. He felt it more important to accept this call by God. I am very proud of the work he as done and is still doing since he returned home.

        Sam(as I call him) travels every year to the United States raising financial and other support for his work for the church and the people of our beloved country. Have you seen or heard about the school, the hospital and other entities he has built around and beyond Providence Baptist Church?

        Yes, he ran for Vice President because he wanted to make a difference for our people. Had he succeeded Liberia would have been better of than what it is today. The corruption and dictatorial of behaviour of this administration would not be taking place because that would not happen. He has the right to criticise this administration if it failing. Those who cannot accept the criticism are the same ones who criticise the previous administration, and rightfully so.

        The Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Reeves has has been married to wife, Alice, for over 30 years. They have one son. Sam and his wife have never consider separation or divorce at anytime. Also, this Sam does not drink.

        I thought, at one point, to harshly condemn the writer who falsely spoke of my cousin/nephew. I rather go high and not stoop low to him because he is ignorant of the fact. I would rather use the phrase of the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama: “When they go low, we go high.”

        The person who wrote this evil falsehood of the Rev. Dr. Samuel B Reeves owes him and our family an apology. If you are an honourable person you will.

        • I think you have been clear enough.
          Our people do not yet know that calumny is a serious crime in the court of law. You don’t know a person and you write anything about her / him.
          This is the society we (Cummings and apologists) want to change Mr. Reeves. We hope you and the Reverend can join the “Save Liberia” train in 2023 to bring back respect and honor to our great nation.

  2. Protest is not a crime, but the intent of the protest is, the military coup that brought Doe to power derived from similar protests- remembered Mr Baccus Matthew and company demanded President Tolbert Resignation through a mass protest, they were subsequently arrested and charged with treason and Jailed.

    • The military coup which brought the PRC to power did not derive from any protest. Like the coup which brought the NRC to power upon the overthrow of Kwame Nkruma the coup which brought Doe or the PRC to power was purely a making of the CIA’S REGIME CHANGE, since the US foreign policy on Africa detested the rise of any African messiah – something Tolbert proved to be after Nkruma.

      The April 14, 1979 protest was about the reduction of the price of a bag of rice , and the collective HATRED of the semi-apartheid congor minority rule in Liberia. Tompoe, do not jump into matters you have not the actual knowledge. All this noise about protest is plain futility. This government is very popular at home and abroad; ESPECIALLY with the Liberian electorates, the selectorates, and the powerful capitals around the world.

      • Are you aware that the Progressive people party called for a nation wide protest demanding Tolbert resignation in 1980? The protest didn’t not succeed and the leadership was arrested and charged with treason. They were convicted of Treason and Tolbert was about to sign their death warrant when he was over thrown. The desire to save Mr Matthews and company from execution party fueled the coup.

  3. That a country may be facing an inherited economic hardship does not mean the government is corrupt. Article 1 of the Constitution regarding all power inherent in the people whether for placing a new government in power or altering a government, is absolutely about election or impeachment, and not through protest.

  4. Well, whatever the outcome is, it is time that we pray for Liberia and Liberians. Weah is not doing well, yes. But we need to let him rule for the remaining yrs and decide at the bullet box instead of taking to the streets for him to step down. He will will not finish all Liberia resources, Presidents before him tried but Liberia stay standing while they are gone. He will go oneday. We are just from war, evil doers are about to carry on acts among our people. I don’t like weah also due to what he and his guys are doing but I appeal to all Liberians to please in the Name of Jesus or God, let’s wait for the next election. Liberia is all we have.
    If weah is out, who we think will be the best, who’s going to take over?
    My people, we begging Liberians need not to get out for this. People may die this time around, kids will get missing, Liberia may go backward again. 2017, I asked people not to vote for weah, I prayed to meet him just to tell him not to run as president because of this very reason, before June 7 protest, I even told many that a bigger protest will take place if this one done get results or weah don’t do the right thing. people didn’t listen. This time I am worry.

    Please let us leave weah with all his corrupt officials for the seek of Peace and our kids, go to the box 2023 and vote weah out. If he refused then the world will know and stand by us when we ask him to leave. This is not the right time and with protest. People will died or get missing.

    I call on all political parties, religious groups, international partners to condem and help stop this protest even though we have the right to protest.

    Please help us now UN, EU, America, AU, Ecowas, China, Russia, France, Great Britain, and others. Liberians are about to make the wrong decision again. If you sit, you will lost resources again to help restore Liberia to normal.
    Our big brother and Father America, Mr. Trump, Mr. Obama, US House, please say something. I know it is against your country constitution to speak in another country situation like this but an advice will help. I don’t want any Liberian to die again. I am worry an praying daily for peaceful protest and for my country Liberia.
    May God save Mama Liberia. Amen

  5. The direction of our country is precariously headed to a collision.The govt is increasing losing legitimacy as it become unable to deliver basic services. While the opponents of the govt continuously hold the govt accountable for those failures putting our country out for grab and cannibal warlords like the so called “rebel general power” showing up their bloody nose to buy our people into chaos.
    Oh God bless Liberia and save her from collision. Resources are being mobilise to once again destroy our people but You are above all those who gathering those resources. We ask You Lord to bless Liberia
    May God bless Liberia

  6. To avoid peaceful protests, understand that the people are hungry, sick and homeless without money to send their children to school.
    They are no longer duped to sit by and see you guys break down and reconstruct your 4 mansions in a single year and accept that there is no money in the country.

    You guys said you were going to fix things, fix them please. Our people are hungry.

      • Dear Paye,

        Our position is this: we support a peaceful protest. We will never support anything insurrectional.
        Let’s question the government and hold them responsible. Make them to deliver on their promises. Yell out loud when you are hungry. Ask them to give us the good roads they promised, the free education they promised, etc.
        I have never ever and will never support anything insurrectional. The protest will be peaceful. We want a peaceful protest, not an insurrectional one.

        We understand our country is lagging. There is a solution. Vote in the right people with the best solution at hand. Any insurrection will further push the country into another abyss. I repeat, WE WILL NEVER support anything insurrectional.

  7. I wish to extend my thanks, and appreciation to my compatriots, who have chosen the passive approach, but there are some clarifications that are needed. When you asked us to elect Charles Taylor in 1997, so that we can avoid the reoccurrence of war, did it actually stop us from returning to war? When you asserted that rejecting CDC at the polls, would have resulted to street violence, did you forget that incompetence leads the failure, and failure breeds chaos? You have taken the stage again, with your passivity, but I am sorry to disappoint you, this time. Please be warned that these cowards, who are asking you to wait for 2023, will not hesitate to ask you, after the 2023 elections are rigged, to wait for Weah’s second term. These are the same breed of people, who sit by, when Tubman was imposing himself on our people. COWARDS! They have all the best reasons for not going what is needed. It is crystal clear, that Weah is unable to handle the affair of our dear nation, therefore it is just fair that he steps aside, in order to save the state. DON’T LISTEN TO THEM, AS THEY ARE THE REAL ENEMIES OF THE STATE!

    • Paye,

      We need to uphold our fragile democracy. That’s not how a transition works. There are legal ways to replace a government. Weah will serve his term. Liberians will learn lessons and make better choice next time.
      As opposition, our role is to question the government and hold them accountable.

      While we support every form of peaceful protest, we must learn to STOP DAYDREAMING! THERE WILL BE A PEACEFUL TRANSITION IN LIBERIA

  8. Ha, ha, ha these same people that spoiled Liberia through stealing now want things to be fixed in two years time… Not possible!

    Too many people speaking in George Weah gov.

  9. Vox Populei, vox Dei(“The voice of the people is the voice of God”). Weah is a disaster. The people have spoken . Weah must go to safe Liberia from kleptocrats deeply embedded in his government.

    • Democracy does not work like that.
      Vote him out in 2023. NO MORE COUP D’ETAT in Liberia.
      NO MORE REBELLION in Liberia.

      Heed to democratic practice!

  10. If “The Minister of Justice” is terming the call for protest “a treasonable act”, he too needs to go..!!

    Ooooh, I get it now. If the president resigns, that means all of his incompetent ministers are going to be out of their jobs.

    So, this bonehead is now trying to only protect his job instead of protecting the constitution and the rights of the Liberian people.

  11. No government is going! No minister is going! And PRESIDENT WEAH the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia remains President for twelve consecutive years of the Republic of Liberia!

    The corrupt ELITES lost their grip to power since the man of the people – George Manneh Weah founded the Congress for Democratic Change, and subsequently the Coalition for Democratic Change! The ELITES and their handfull of supporters will just have to live with this reality or perish in their disatisfaction with their lost on the grip of power!

    • Kandajaba-Zoebohn Zoedjallah – You sound tough because you have a short-circuit of recent Liberian history. Wasn’t Doe and Taylor very strong leaders with military might, so they believe? What happened to them?

      • Doe may have had the required military muscles, but they were UNLIKE PRESIDENT WEAH, detested by the powerful capitals, and had become extremely hated by the electorates and the selectorates!

        Taylor won a tsunamic electoral victory! But he was sizzlingly hated by the powerful capitals!

        Whereas Pres. Weah has ON HIS SIDE the UN, THE US, ECOWAS, THE EU, AU, and all the powerful capitals! And is also loved and cherished by the MASSES, the army, and MILLION men ECOWAS STANDBY, crowned with the largest political following in the natipn’s HISTORY.

        • Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah, why do you enjoy exhibiting you limitations? Have you forgotten that Taylor got more votes than Weah, yet he was not protected by his huge following? How can defend a Weah, who has proven beyond all reasonable doubt, that he is incapable of handling the affairs of our dear nation? What do you intend to Portray? Are you one of those clueless attention seekers? Do you even reside in Liberia? Do you know what’s unfolding here?

  12. Election is 2023; which is the best time to stand your ground via the election.

  13. Protesting is NOT a crime!! But remember, TWO Liberian Presidents were “murdered” in office in recent history! A different theme, “Better Government “, ” No more corruption “,etc.

    • Chief Lao, your suggestions are good but hasn’t that been tried already and failed? The people have a constitutional right to ask any official of government to step down if they believe that person is not fit to serve them. That’s how democracy works sometimes. They’re not saying they will remove him by force, they’re asking him to step down peacefully. That’s freedom of speech.

  14. Do you all understand what a protest is? People have a constitutional right to call for a change. The president is under n8 obligation to comply. They are calling for president weah to step down Himself rather than calling for undemocratic removal. This is not wrong. Anyone remember the Ellen step down campaign? Cdcians have forgotten the caskets and the promise to make Liberia “ungovernable? ” well Dr Frankenstein, meet your monster…

  15. unfortunately, there will be BLOODSHED if a protest under ” President Weah must resign” is held. There have been past protests on other issues. Those words “remove from office ” triggers “a different interpretation ” to the Government. I, personally, would ALLOW a protest but the Government is fearful . so, I believe “to save precious lives & prevent injuries” another theme should be chosen. Examples are ” Stop Corruption “, Better Governance “, “Dtop our sufferings:, etx.

    • If Oppong turns the protest into bloodshed, that would ultimately lead to his removal from office. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf knew this fact, that’s why she allowed the protests and did her part to avoid protests that led to bloodshed.

      In 1979, the protest led to bloodshed — unfortunately, Tolbert lost his life.
      In 1983, the UL protest led to bloodshed (Gray D. Allison) — eventually, Doe was put away by Prince Y. Johnson
      Between 1997 – 2003, Charles Taylor subdued protesting and thought he could get away with it. Pres. G.W.Bush proved him wrong.

      The lesson is very simple, let the people protest because it is their constitutional right. At the end of the day, they will drag themselves home and go to bed.

      • You’re 100% right. If the government overacts and the Police starts killing protesters, George Weah better be ready to flee Liberia because he may end up like Samuel Doe or Taylor. People are very angry in Liberia. Anything could happen…

      • Classified Cooper, only an irresponsible government would permit criminals to commit TREASON and SEDITION . If neither Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Senegal, nor Rwanda allowed such criminality disguised as protest, Liberia can not and must NOT be an exception.

  16. Again I say there is reality and CDCian reality. The two do not necessarily converge. They who were protestors of the past now view it as “treasonous.” Accept the fact that you have lost credibility. And what is it about former Gov Patray receiving a nice golden parachute AND an appointment to Qatar for his part in the 25mil “infusion ” exercise? I’m afraid for my country.

  17. From The Vault

    Only Kou Gonte is saying something that makes sense. The Coupe of April 12 1980, was planned outside Liberia and brought to us on that faithful morning. Outside Intelligence Agents and their foot soldiers (some Liberians), were already in Liberia as early as 1977 mopping up positions. The “Rice Riot”, was only used as a DECOY, to the Liberian people. Underneath the surface, greater thing was been hatched. They make you believed it was the Master Sargent.

    Tolbert was not the “Darling” of the outsiders, therefore; they wanted him out, by all means. In modern history of the Liberian Nation, Tolbert has stood so far as the best president ever to rule Liberia. It is going to be that way for a long period of time! Due to his progressive and Pan African Ideas, they did not want him. It doesn’t matter what good you do for your nation and people, you can never be a BLCAK MASSIAH to claim credit. A psychological warfare that makes ones of color believe he/she is worthless of any significant value.

    M.S. Bah NP/eridian Health

    • Mr. BAH,

      While I will not dwell on what you have just said or rebuke you or refute it, I will like us to come to the fundamentals.
      You and I are very much aware of the challenges that lie at hand for Africa. While most African countries are getting prepared psychologically and in technologically innovation, Liberians have decided the abysmal entrenchment.
      Can we ever be a party to the green revolution, technological innovation, massive industrialization and energy self-sufficiency campaigns currently sweeping through the walls of African presidential palaces?

      Some mundane and dreary nincompoops still come on this blog to sometimes dare threaten good people with very high and respectable characters. But beware, the time of stealing and killing will soon come to an end, Madame or whosoever behind that prestigious name of ours (I don’t even know how to call that idiocy of so-historian)
      Mr. BAH, this paragraph is not directed at you, please.

      Food for thought Mr. Bah. Have a nice day

  18. Minister of Justice, I understand your fear & concern about concerns over whether this (exercise of free expression)will ” over throw” a legitimately elected government.
    if that is the case, I am sure the law enforcement agencies can adequately enforce security procedures.
    Your assertion that a “peaceful ” march equates to “violently ” removing a President is perplexing. This march is merely an “exercise of basic freedom of expression “.

    Again, Mr. Justice Minister , you can put in ” controls, crowd limitations, crowd controls” to avoid & limit intended violence.

    if this march goes through, if it occurs, it serves as a victory of President Weah to allow “free assembly “.

    if the name of the March becomes the problem; ask that it be changed. . Don’t deny the citizens their rights

  19. I apologize to all on this platform for saying, “only Kou Gonte’s comment makes sense”. It is due to my bad choice of words. I m not above apology. Every Liberian is entitled to his/her opinion.
    Thank you to all.
    M.S.Bah

  20. Iam highly in support of the president George M. weah step down campaign, however president Weah does not mean business for this country. Liberia is all we have so we as Liberian should not sit and allow our unserious president spoil our country for us. can you imagine this, because of how this government is proceeding able Liberians are unable to provide for their homes, people go to bed hungry for days. Men have lost their respect in their homes all because their paid are not coming on time. This is about time that we stand against this president in order to have a better Liberia some day. The mean reason citizens protest around the world is for the government to listen to their plate and work within their best interest, but today in our country Liberia, our playful president view protest to be a crime. It is not because of one person 4.6 millions people should live in pains and sorrow everyday. When it cause us to die for our own rights no problem, but we are not willing to compromise our right anymore. president Weah must step down at all cause, we are prepare to gather in our thousands on December 30, we do not need permit any more from our so called justice minister.

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