Members of the House of Representatives have taken extraordinary steps to correct the ‘rude behavior’ of Representative Yekeh Kolubah by suspending him for 30 meeting days, equivalent to three months and a half.
The Montserrado County District #10 lawmaker was suspended after a majority of his colleagues — 24 voted for the suspension, while 7 voted against during the 21st day sitting of the House yesterday.
The motion to suspend Rep. Kolubah was proffered by an opposition lawmaker, Rep. Edward Kafiah, of the People’s Unification Party (PUP). Rep. Kafiah argued that his colleague has have been warned more than four times to desist from acting dishonorably and breaching the rules and procedures. He, therefore, moved that Rep. Kolubah be suspended in line with 48.7 (c) of the House rules.
According to rule 48.7, “The House may, according to the circumstances and degree of the breach, take the following measures: a) it may give an oral warning, b) it may give a written warning; c) it may suspend a member for not more than 30 days of the meeting, stop the payment of salary and allowances due him/her for the days of suspension, as the case may be; and d) it may expel a member from the House where the breach is very serious or where it is committed repeatedly.”
The House Plenary decision to suspend Rep. Kolubah came as a result of a complaint filed by Montserrado County District#5 Representative Thomas Fallah, for denigrating the “Honourable House”, owing to constant insult on the President, which defames the House’s morale and prestige.
Rep. Fallah argued that Rep. Kolubah’s continued insult of the Presidency is not only shameful but brings the House of Representatives into ‘disrepute’ with his ‘reckless and insulting comments’.
He said Rep. Yekeh’s recent outburst, calling “the President a ‘dog’ is unacceptable and needs to be reprimanded.” The complaint from Rep. Fallah is the second time in three years against his colleague’s use of invectives against the President.
In April 2019, Rep. Fallah threatened Rep. Kolubah with expulsion if he does not, within three months, retract and apologize for remarks he allegedly made about unseating the government of President George Weah.
Meanwhile, Representatives Sam Kogar of PUP, Rosana Schaack (Independent), and Julie Wiah (Independent) — from the opposition — have described the invectives and behavior of their colleague, Rep. Kolubah, as “heart-breaking and dishonorable.“
They argued that in accordance to the House’s Rules and Procedures 49, Rep. Kolubah be disciplined for ‘bad conduct and undesirable acts.’
However, when asked to respond to Rep. Fallah and others, Rep. Kolubah declined with the words: “I have nothing to say.” 45 minutes later, he raised his hand but was rejected by the Speaker.
In the end, Montserrado County District #8 Rep. Acarous Gray filed a motion for reconsideration, which has now stalled Rep. Kolubah’s suspension. In his motion, Rep. Gray asked his colleagues for three working days to write Plenary to explain why their decision to suspend Rep. Kolubah should be reconsidered.
Rep. Gray’s motion is expected to be tried after the return of lawmakers from Easter break on April 13, 2021, through votes. But if he failed to write within three days, it means the suspension will also be automatically upheld without voting after the Easter break.
As things stand, Rep. Kolubah’s fate will be decided in 17 days after they have returned from their Easter break, only if Rep. Gray keeps his promise and writes plenary.
Meanwhile, Reps. Francis Nyumalin, Moima Briggs-Mensah, and Byron Zahnwea recommended that leadership should take charge. However, Rep. Acarous Gray said Rep. Kolubah has been subjected to Committee and Special Committee Investigations about five times and can’t be made to face a committee but rather be suspended.