Two opposition Legislative Caucuses of the House of Representatives have warned the Judiciary Branch, headed by Chief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor, to desist from politicizing the administration of justice and stay above the fray between the Executive and some members of the Legislature.
The lawmakers therefore want the “so-called indictment” against Montserrado County District #10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah “revoked without the lest delay, to save the state.”
Representatives Hanson Kiazolu (Montserrado #17), and Thomas Goshua (Grand Bassa #5) are both acting caucus chairmen of the Unity Party (UP) and Alternative National Congress (ANC), respectively.
In a joint statement, they urged the judiciary to respect the laws that govern the democratic system; the doctrine of coordination among the three branches of government; and eschew political maneuvering and imposition on another branch of government.
The two men, who spoke to reporters on Thursday, June 20, 2019 in the office of Rep. Kiazolu, further called on the judiciary to abandon their quest to issue an arrest warrant against Rep. Kolubah, “because doing so does not augur well for the governing process.”
“It has come to the attention of the UP and the ANC Legislative Caucuses that the judiciary branch of government has opted to issue an arrest warrant for Rep. Kolubah on charges [that] officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) levied against the sitting lawmaker,” the statement said.
”In as much we do not support the man-handling and/or brutality by any official of government against our peaceful citizens, we also caution that the procedures or process that will lead to the indictment of any sitting lawmaker must be duly followed as a matter of precedence,” the lawmakers said.
Making reference to previous arrests of lawmakers, the joint caucus argued that, according to the account from historical facts, former Senator Roland Kaine of Margibi County and Grand Gedeh County Representative Morais Willie, were both accused of felonious offenses while serving as sitting lawmakers.
“In all these events, the accused being members of the Honorable Legislature at the time, were firstly engaged through the plenaries by the executive or judiciary before being turned over to the judiciary for prosecution as a matter of procedure, and respect for the Honorable Legislature,” the lawmakers said in their joint statement.
“Unfortunately,” they maintained, “such procedure is being grossly ignored in the case of Rep. Kolubah, who the LNP has criminally charged and indicted him without engaging the House plenary as in the case of other lawmakers, as recorded in the country’s recent history.
They added, “We want to admonish members of the judiciary to respect the laws that govern our democratic system, and not to superimpose through political maneuvering on another branch of government.”
We further call on the judiciary to abandon their quest to issue an arrest warrant against Rep. Kolubah, but to refrain from politicizing the administration of justice and stay clear of the current wave of political tension between the Executive and some members of the legislature, as it will not augur well for the governance process.
Meanwhile, the Montserrado County Legislative Caucus of the 54th Legislature is reportedly contemplating issuing a similar statement early next week warning the Judiciary and Executive branches against disrespecting the doctrine of coordination and collaboration among the three branches of government.
An executive member of the Montserrado County Legislative Caucus (name withheld), said the caucus and other caucuses, and blocs are planning a non-compliance protest against the two other branches of government, if the ‘doctrine of coordination’ is to be upheld.