Lawmakers Blast Speaker for Subjecting Rep. Kolubah to Police Probe

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Speaker Bhofal Chambers (center) has mandated that Montserrado County District #10 Representative Yekeh Y. Kolubah (left) cooperate with the LNP in the investigation of the melee from the children's party on Smythe Road. However, the Chairman of the Independent Legislative Caucus, Nimba County District #8 Representative Larry Younquoi, said the Speaker should have allowed Rep. Kolubah’s complaint about the alleged unprofessional conduct of the LNP and the shooting to take precedence and be investigated by the august body with the summoning of the LNP Inspector General, instead of voting to forward Rep. Kolubah to the LNP for investigation.

Seventeen aggrieved members of the House of Representatives have expressed their disappointments at Speaker Bhofal Chambers for the subjection of Montserrado County District #10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah to an investigation of the Civilian Complaints Review Board of the Liberia National Police.

Some of the lawmakers are members of the Independent Legislative Caucus — a newly established block which involves members from all the 15 Counties’ caucuses and it is aimed at bringing about independence and credibility to the House of Representatives.

The lawmakers said Speaker Chambers should not have prioritized a letter from an agency of the Executive Branch — the Ministry of Justice — on a so-called thorough investigation of Rep. Kolubah involving an incident that occurred on Sunday, January 20, 2019, at a Children’s Party in the Old Road area, which was organized by the Montserrado County lawmaker.

The lawmakers’ anger was prompted following a letter from Justice Minister Cllr. F. Musa Dean, Jr., requesting assistance from the House of Representatives to ensure that Rep. Kolubah cooperates with the investigation on the allegations against the LNP, including the accusation of the LNP Inspector General Patrick Sudue’s alleged unprofessional conduct.

in his communication, which was read On Tuesday, January 22, during the 4th day sitting, Cllr. Dean said violence erupted at the children’s party organized by the Montserrado County lawmaker in the Old Road community, in which several citizens sustained injuries, including children.

“Officers of the Liberia National Police were called in to bring the situation under control. Several persons were arrested by the Liberia National Police. Those injured were sent to medical facilities for treatment. There are no reports of any death,” Attorney General Dean wrote.

In counter-argument, the chairman of the Independent Legislative Caucus, Nimba County District #8 Representative Larry Younquoi, said, in the spirit of collaboration, the Speaker should have allowed Rep. Kolubah’s complaint about the alleged unprofessional conduct of the LNP and the shooting to take precedence and be investigated by the august body with the summoning of the LNP Inspector General instead of voting to forward Rep. Kolubah to the LNP for investigation.

“The Legislature is not a branch of the Executive, we are the 1st Branch of Government and must work independently in the interest of the people who elected us,” Rep. Younquoi said.

The lawmakers who frowned on the Speaker included Rep. J. Nagbe Sloh (Sinoe County District #2), Cllr. Beyan Howard (Lofa County District #5); Rep. Adolph Lawrence (Montserrado County District #15), Rep. Larry Younquoi ( Nimba County District #8); Rep. Rustonlym S. Dennis (Montserrado District #4); Rep. Thomas Goshuah (Grand Bassa County District #5); Rep. Vincent S.T. Willie (Grand Bassa County District 4); Rep. Francis S. Dopoh, II (Gbarpolu County District #3); and Rep. Ivar Jones Margibi (County District #2).

Others were Rep. Ben Fofana (Margibi County District #4); Rep. Hans Barchue (Grand Bassa County District #1); Rep. Lawrence Morris (Montserrado County District #1); Rep. Dorwoh T. Gleekia (Nimba County District #6); and Rep. Francis S. Nyumalin (Lofa County District #1).

“We are not against the investigation of Rep. Kolubah, but as a precedent and member of the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature we should first launch our investigation before subjecting one of our own to another branch of government,” Rep. Adolph Lawrence ranted .

Despite the aggrieved lawmakers dissenting views, the motion proffered by Rep. Matthew Zarzar (Sinoe County District #3) which said Rep. Yekeh should cooperate with Civilian Complaints Review Board of the Police was carried by a ‘yea and nay’ votes in which the aggrieved lawmakers also said was a procedural error.

Rep. Ivar Jones of Margibi County District #2, on behalf of colleagues barked that in the case of an intense debates of which of 20 lawmakers expressed their “unreadiness” on a motion, it should have been decided by a ‘head count’ instead of a ‘yea and nay votes.’

“The Speaker has blatantly thwarted the rules. Yea and nay votes are done on un-debated issues not on debated issues,” Rep. Jones fumed.

The aggrieved lawmakers also complained of the Speaker’s decision that the amendment made by Rep. Acarous Gray (Montserrado County District #8) that a motion for reconsideration must be tested only on Tuesday, and not within 72 hours.

“As far as I am concerned, I have 72 hours to file in my motion for reconsideration according to the rules, and for the rules to be suspended there must be a vote of 49 persons to suspend them,” Rep. Lawrence argued against the amendment which demanding him to make the motion of reconsideration on Tuesday.

But in bitter response, Rep. Gray argued that it is a also precedent that when the amendment is made about the motion for reconsideration and is accepted by the moment (the lawmaker who proffered the motion) and there are more than 50 lawmakers recorded in a session, their votes make up the suspension of the rules.’

Speaker Chambers further told his colleagues that in order for democracy to succeed, justice should be given a chance to prevail. He said the participation of Rep. Kolubah into an investigation is part of the tenacity of democracy.

Meanwhile, the Speaker mandated Rep. Yekeh Kolubah to cooperate with the LNP Civilian Complaints Review Board, consistent with Section 22.85 of the LNP Act (2015), for a thorough investigation into the entire incident, including the allegations made by Rep. Kolubah.

“I hereby request Rep. J. Fonati Koffa, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and Rep. Alfred Koiwood, chairman on National Security, to accompany Rep. Yekeh to the investigation and we expect a full report,” Speaker Chambers said.

However, the Chairman of the Independent Legislative Caucus, Rep. Younquoi, said following the procedural errors on the part of the Speaker and differences of  the lawmakers in session which ended in clamor, it would be advisable for Rep. Kolubah not to participate in the LNP’s investigation until a full decision is made by the full plenary.

Commenting on the establishment of the Independent Legislative Caucus, Rep. Younquoi said the Caucus is intended to bring sanity in the House of Representatives and is not going to fight against the interests of the Executive or hatch a plan to remove House Speaker Bhofal Chambers.

“This group is intended to bring back credibility to the House of Representatives,” Rep. Younquoi said. “We have observed that the House of Representatives has become a partisan place and we think this is wrong in the tripartite arrangement of our governing system.

“We are not established to fight the Executive or remove the Speaker. We feel it when it is about the party, it should be and when it is about the Legislature and representation, it should be about the interests of the people we represent,” he added.

10 COMMENTS

  1. What is wrong with the action of Speaker Chambers. Your lawmaker Yekeh Kolubah is lawless and does not respect anyone including those of you who are trying to buy friendship from him. You should first of all advise him to do away with his rebel attitude that is degrading the repetition of many of you. Secondly, a lot of you who are siding with Kolubah have the same attitude of disrespect. All of you needs to be voted out to give way to young people with young brain to reside over the various districts. Yekeh is not above the law of Liberia. See in the picture how his bodyguard bit the ear of the young man in the picture. He lied about people shooting through his house but when he was insulting Liberian president on sky fm 107.1, no cacus said a word.

  2. Good news that some independent-minded legislators have sensed the devious machination of the executive branch to usurp all the powers of the 3 branches of government onto itself and for self-seeking reasons, so as to coalesced into this caucus to forestall any future attempt by unscrupulous lawbreakers to effect that diabolism. The principal rationale advising the framers of our constitution to divide our system of governance into 3 separate but co-equal branches, was essentially so that no one branch could ever wield more power than the other two branches. As a means to avoid or avert any one branch from becoming tyrannical, fascist, totalitarian or undemocratic, once the other two were free and independent to provide that “check and balance” guardrail or deterrence on the other. Meanwhile, recent developments unfolding in Liberia indicate otherwise, alarming of a grand scheme or agenda underway at the behest of this Frankenstein rulership of gangsters imposed on us as a result of some double-crossing shenanigans orchestrated during the past election, which portend a cataclysmic end for us, that is unless we resist and crush that diabolism by any means necessary before it poses incalculable danger for us again in the future. The action of these lawmakers is therefore heartwarming and all-embracing in that regard. This is one way to ward off any sinister ploy by obvious CDC operatives to single out any one vocal opposition to their agenda. This way the legislators will have each other’s back. Hopefully other like-minded colleagues of theirs in both houses, will see the wisdom in the formation of this caucus and cast their lots with it as well. This will afford them the independence and bravery to speak truth to power always, without fear of reprisal with any quarters. Congratulations to the group.

  3. NO MAN IS ABOVE THE LAW OF LIBERIA AND IS THE CHAPLAINS OF ALL CASES SHOULD BE HELD BY SPEAKER CHAMBERS FIRST AND THE PRECEDENT OF A MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SHOULD FIRST LOOK ABOUT THE CASE BEFORE GO TO PRESIDENT. ALL ALLEGATIONS AGAINST LNP OF VIOLENCE ERUPTED OF THE CHILDREN’S PARTY OF FIGHTING AND INJUREDS OF THE FIGHTING AND SHOULD BE TREATING. REP. KOLUBAH SAID THAT THE PRESIDENT GEORGE M.WEAH IS NOT WORKING FOR THE PEOPLE OF LIBERIA. ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE PRESIDENT GEORGE M.WEAH IS WRONG OKAY AND IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE PRESIDENT GEORGE M.WEAH IS THINK OF THE CASE. THE LAW OF LIBERIA HAS A POWER TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE OF LIBERIA. BUT THE EMPLOYEES OF THE LIBERIA GOVERNMENT HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH THE GOVERNMENT FOR LIBERIA PEOPLE. ATTACH THE PRESIDENT, THE PRESIDENT OF LIBERIA IS NOT TO GO FOR ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE OR VIOLENCE AGAINST THE PEOPLE. THE LNP HAS A POWER TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE. IF THE COMPLAINT ALLEGES GO TO PRESIDENT AND WHAT IS WORKED FOR THE LNP AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT WORKS TO DO. PLEASE LET THE PEACE BE IN THE COUNTRY OF LIBERIA. REP.YEKEH KOLUBAH LAWMAKERS BLAST THE PRESIDENT GEORGE M.WEAH IS WRONG FOR A TALK ABOUT THE PRESIDENT OKAY. LET THE LAW OF LIBERIA DO IT JOB.

  4. The Speaker did no wrong in spite of screams of few lawmakers who erroneously believe they have carte blanche freedoms from legally-binding processes and procedures outside the boundaries of the Legislature.

    Liberia’s 1986 constitution which ensures privileges for legislators doesn’t forbade them from being answerable to outside probes on matters that never emanated- out of the performance of their legislative functions. And Chapter V, Article 42 provides privilege from arrest while “attending, going, or returning from session of the Legislature” says “except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace”.

    Most significantly, Chapter V, Article 34, b), stipulates that the “Legislature shall have power to provide for the security of the republic”. So, when Rep Koluba on Sunday, January 20 threatened on live video that he was “going militant on Monday to the Capitol”, a potential or probable intention to commit “breach of the peace”, the MOJ should’ve been proactive by calling him for clarification, not wait until Tuesday, January 22 to send him a written invitation for some kind of Town Hall meeting. Especially, when a threat is made by a former rebel commander accusing the President of sending CDC partisans to kill him.

    The question then becomes, what would MOJ have done had Hon. Kekeh carried out whatever the intended threat on Monday, January 21?

    It speaks to the same lackadaisical attitude, despite availability of actionable intelligence then, which allowed NPFL 1 to cross the MRU Bridge in 1985 and Taylor’s rebels to roll over an ill-equipped, unprepared, and demoralized AFL in 1990. When would we learn some sense with all the smart alecks and bookish braggarts invested in political power? Meanwhile, though other countries are developing, there are the malevolent few with means manipulating agent provocateurs to create weekly tension,

  5. Slyvester Moses,
    If the representative were not a constant critic of Weah, do you believe the speaker would be interested in an investigation? It is alleged that children were injured during the gathering held by the representative. Why isn’t this a concern of the speaker and the Justice Minister?

  6. I am not too sure if Weah is directly or indirectly involved with the infighting that’s going on in the Lower House. I know for sure that there is some kind of political instability. In recent weeks, Speaker Chambers and some members of the Lower House have had major disagreements. Cooler heads must prevail because without unity or social cohesion within the ranks of all House members, the job of the people of Liberia will not be done. We know that it’s not always going to be honky-dory. At some point, the infighting has got to stop. All personal differences must be put aside because the interest of the nation takes precedence over the Lower House members’ self-interests. Fact!

    On the other hand, some pundits are doing all that is possible to fan the flame of character assassination. Even if there’s no need to blame the executive branch of government, some pundits will do so just for the fun of it. That kind of posturing brings about divisiveness. Free expression is great, it is demoncratic! But fake expression of ideas for purposes of character assassination is unhelpful.

  7. The truth of the matter is that Chapter V, Article 44 of the 1986 Constitution makes provision for how to handle obstructionist legislators such as Representative Kekeh Kolubah, it says “Contempt of Legislature shall consist of actions which obstruct the legislative functions or which obstruct or impede members or officers of the Legislature in the discharge of their duties”. Which would suggest that Speaker Chambers and the Deputy Speaker have been lenient with the antics of Kolubah for some time. Indeed, under the old TWP Oligarchy, he would’ve been expelled with cause, because those guys cared about discipline and didn’t allow not even their colleagues to overlook the rules.

  8. Bernard,
    Do you have any direct evidence that validates Weah’s involvement in the ongoing feud between Kolubah and Speaker Chambers?

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