“Justice Banks Violated Article 72”

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Sen Morais says the Associate Justice has passed the age limit for his office.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs has accused Supreme Court Justice Philip A. Z. Banks of violating Article 72 (b) of the Constitution of Liberia, when he issued a writ of prohibition on impeachment proceedings by members of the House of Representatives. Senator H. Dan Morais said: “Constitutionally Justice Banks has no authority to issue such a writ, because in doing so he violated Article 72 (b) of our Constitution which states clearly that he should have been retired, or is retired at the age of 70 years.”

Article 72 (b) states that: “The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of the subordinate courts of record shall be retired at the age of seventy; provided, however, that a justice or judge who has attained that age may continue in office for as long as may be necessary to enable him to render judgment or perform any other judicial duty in regard to proceedings entertained by him before he retained that age.” To which the Maryland County lawmaker added, “I am surprised that for somebody who should be a saint in the laws of Liberia would not read the Constitution, and (that) Article.”

Senator Morais said for Justice Banks to have gone outside this Constitutional framework, “his action to issue a stay order or prohibition on the House of Representatives is ultra vires (beyond the scope or in excess of legal power or authority). And that is what I want to make clear, that though we want to make peace we cannot continuously violate the laws of Liberia in our effort to reach a compromise.” Morais cast aspersions on lawyers who he said “continue to spew constitutional error on radios and talk shows, and in the print media.”

Addressing legislative reporters at his Capitol Building office recently, the Maryland County lawmaker went on to quote Article 43 of the Constitution, which he said gives lawmakers the authority to commence impeachment proceedings, adding, “And when we are conducting an impeachment proceeding we are not acting civilly or criminally, we are acting legislatively; and that is why the crafters gave us that authority to kill whatever problem comes out of the Supreme Court. And let me make it clear also that justices of the Supreme Court are not demigods or demigoddesses and are not infallible when they make error in judgment. We have the authority to invite them here; and what we seek to do is test the laws of Liberia, to become the voice of the voiceless.”

Senator Morais asserted that the Legislature is embracing reconciliation, but said that reconciliation is not about who is right or wrong, “but is where we have followed the due process and have reached an impasse that requires that everybody see reasoning to understand. What we are against is that the same constitutional breach we have flagged, people continue to do and think they [as though] can gain sympathy from the Liberian people.” The outspoken Senator maintained that “If I stand alone in my action, I will remain alone. Once I am committed to what I am doing, no amount of bribery or attempted bribery or anything of that sort will take me away from the course of action that I am taking.”

Senator Morais disclosed that he has already filed some names with the National Elections Commission (NEC), specifically over the inclusion of former Central Bank of Liberia Executive Governor, Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, who is now Presidential candidate of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), and former Coca-Cola executive, Mr. Alexander Cummings, a Presidential candidate on the Alternative National Congress (ANC) ticket, on the list of approved candidates. Senator Morais argued that Dr. Jones violated the CBL revised law, while Cummings, he said, is in violation of the domicile constitutional clause. “Let me make it clear that we are prepared to talk, but we will do so within the confines of the law,” he concluded.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I support the impeachment action against those justices, they are accepting bribes in our court system in exchange for lesser sentences thereby weakening the legal system.

    • Given your record of making things up (your claim that Cummings is Nigerian and a jogh school drop out) I assume your accusation of corruption against the justices is also made up.

  2. Go to hell dan morais. Where were you and what did you do when the US citizenship saga of the election commissioner was hot topic in town? Did you and the legislature set up a committee to investigate the matter?

    Here we are in a situation where a man who may have renounced his Liberian citizenship and pledged allegiance to another country heading our National Election Commission and you and your do-nothing,no-good legislature buddies did not even think it wise to look into a possible blatant violation of our election laws by the President and the NEC chairman.

    Go and find somewhere to hide yourself.

    You want to impeach the Supreme Court justices only because their ruling disadvantages the candidate(Joseph Baokai) of your choice.

    You don’t even know the constitution and you claim to be a senator.

    Do you get impeached when you cast a no vote on an issue that may be unconstitutional? How can you seek to remove a justice from office based on his opinion on a legal matter?

  3. If Philip Banks, while serving as Justice Minister, would stoop so low to rob a businessman out of thousands of dollars, violating Article 72 of the Liberian Constitution is for Philip Banks a child´s play.

    And this was the fundamental reason why the ECOWAS Court of Justice vehemently rejected his nomination By Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

    Just imagine the recent UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND CRIMINAL RULING by the Supreme Court written and delivered By the very Philip Banks, that :

    ” Aspirants or candidates can flout, and violate the Election Requirements laid down by the Constitution and the relevant Statutory Laws (COC), and still not be rejected by the NEC”!

    The Legislature has done the right thing By OVERRIDING SUCH AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND CRIMINAL RULING by the Supreme Court!!!!!!!!!! The next move should be Philip Banks´, Kabineh Janeh´s, and Jamesetta Howard Wolokolie´s, impeachment, conviction, and imprisonment, in order to cleanse and sanitize the Bench of the Supreme Court, which as a result of the proven bad conduct of the likes of Philip Banks, has lost respectatbility, dignity, and intergrity!

  4. This is a low ball by Dan Morris! The fact that the lawmakers inserted a bad clause in the COC to protect their positions and failed, they are desperately trying to save face! The COC 5.1 & 5.2 shouldn’t have been part of the laws in the first place! Dan is afraid that his job will be on the chopping block come 2020! No amount of maneuvering will save you “good for nothing” lawmakers! You guys do not deserve any second chances! Stop picking at Banks for the mess you guys created!

  5. I second John Doe’s first sentence of his comments. Throw all those bums out of the legislature. This is more reason why we should do something about our educational system. They don’t even have the elementary knowledge of how a government should function. You guys form a procession and go to hell!! We will not allow you to destroy Liberia further. Enough is enough!

  6. Go sit somewhere Marias. I can’t wait for your term to run out so we, the people of Maryland County can vote you out of office. The people of Maryland are watching your every move. All you do is talk about Cummings and Jones in every conversation of yours. I didn’t HEAR ANYONE OF YOU LEGISLATURES SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THAT LITTLE 13-YEAR-OLD BABY GIRL THAT WAS RAPED AND IMPREGNATED BY THAT REPRESENTATIVE. Mr. Outspoken Marias, right now, the rapist Legislature is out there among you Legislatures and walking around town while others are locked up in prisons and haven’t been given the opportunity to go to court. What a shame? What was his bail and how much is it? Why don’t you speak about that? He is a RAPIST. The Judge who granted him bail needs to be impeached. Why don’t you spearhead impeachment process for the Judge and demand that the parents of the child be locked- up if the living body of the little girl is not produced. I forgot, he a member of the Legislature. You guys are above the law. Speak up, Mr. OUTSPOKEN.

  7. thank you Senator. People will continue to violates the Laws because of favoritism and in the name of peace sick.

  8. I have to make my research about the 13years old girl that they said was raped by one of your big men before I make my comment. If this true that man must be brought to justice I don’t care how long it will take. We have to respect law and order in any part of the world.

  9. A stone away could also mean many miles away if the one throwing the stone is good and strong enough to throw the stone that far. It could also mean a yard away. It depends on the candidate. The silent majority will not allow any cites that will cause tyranny again in this nation nor will we allow suppression on the people to prevent a choice to vote and not to vote. This election one (a Liberian) will have his or her freedom of choice based on a free and fair conscience of selection of the campaign preferred without fear under the will of God. So, Liberians, make your choice. The largest spy watch is the universe is on this election.
    Gone to 57% in silence. Tell the People.

  10. Attaching to personality and friend, and disregarding the clean law cited in the
    constitution as did Senator Morais is, indeed, a bad way for a citizen co comment.
    Look at what Senator Morais said and read the constitutional provision cited by
    Senator Morais, is it a lie or you don’t the law to rule? I just want to know. And
    commenting saying “go to hell” is not normal is not a politics at all but personal
    attack. And Senator Morais reserves the right to take any action he deems fit.

  11. Mr. Outspoken Marias, please read ARTICLE 72 thoroughly and put more emphasis on the rest of the article beginning with the word provided. As far as I am concerned, the Justices that you Dan Marias want to see go will not go anywhere because pursuant to Article 72, they have SEVERAL PROCEEDINGS THAT THEY HAVE ENTERTAINED AND MUST TAKE CARE OF THEM BEFORE THEY GO ANYWHERE. In simple English Mr. Outspoken, they must clear their desk before they go anywhere. Please do not demand to see or know what proceedings they have entertained. It is none of your business. When the Legislative branch starts to make public the way they vote, then others will think about doing the same. When you guys take care of all those Bills you have sitting in the Senate for years then you can ask the Supreme Court to expedite their cases. My advice to you Marias?, go back to school and take up a class in CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. It will help you. YOU HAVE NO CASE AGAIN. I know you will go to look for something else. Go look and I will be waiting so I can respond.

    b) The Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges

    of subordinate courts of record shall be retired at the age of seventy;

    provided, however, that a justice or judge who has attained that age may

    continue in office for as long as may be necessary to enable him to render

    judgment or perform any other judicial duty in regard to proceedings entertained

    by him before he attained that age. ‘

  12. Mr. Marias, please be advised that the “DOMICILE CLAUSE” you are talking about was brought about in previous elections but was not enforced. Charles Taylor was in the United States and was in Prison and locked-up but was allowed to run for Office and became President of the Liberia. He wasn’t in Liberia for 10 years straight, likewise our current President, Her Excellency, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Both were not in Liberia for 10 years. Pursuant to ARTICLE 52 (C) below, to be able to run for the Office of President and Vice President, the candidate must be a:

    c) resident in the Republic ten years prior to his election, provided that the

    President and the Vice-President shall not come from the same County.

    Furthermore, Mr. Outspoken Marias, the Election commission and the Supreme Court have cleared these candidates to run based on PAST PRACTICE. The Liberian people are aware. Why don’t you leave this thing alone?

  13. People should be careful how they post and write things. He should have verified Justice Banks age before making stupid comments. He is not 70 yet. As Liberians we have to stop using our personal hatred for someone to cloud our judgement. Do your research before you speak and not listen to E L theysay.

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