Legislature Will Respect Supreme Court’s Decision

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    A co- chair on the Judicial Committee of the Senate has vowed the 53rd National Legislature would respect any decision by the Supreme Court regarding the controversial Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) amended bill.

    Cllr. Fredrick Cherue, Senator of River Gee County, noted that the High Court is the final arbiter of the law in the country, as such, they would not do anything to disrespect its decision.

    “The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of the law and we need to respect it. This is why we responded to its calls,” the River Gee County lawmaker said.

    “But, if it had been a political one, we wouldn’t have attended its calls. Whatever the result is we will accept it. We will adjust ourselves and we will bow to it,” Cllr. Cherue added.

    He gave the National Legislature’s assurance on Wednesday, February 26, just minutes after a conference with Associate Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie in Chambers at the Temple of Justice.

    The conference was intended to determine whether the High Court should grant or deny a petition for a writ of prohibition prayed for by several CSOs— headed by the Citizens Solidarity Council— against the Legislature.

    A group represented by Counselors Theophilus Gould and Lavela Supuwood filed a complaint with the Supreme Court, challenging the recently amended CBL bill.

    They further argued that the action of the lawmakers was unconstitutional, describing it as “selective justice,” citing Articles 11C and 18 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, thereby praying the Court for a writ of prohibition.  

    Unfortunately, at Wednesday’s hearing, Associate Justice Wolokollie denied the CSOs’ request, describing it as “premature.”

    The Supreme Court in its ruling said, “Though both Houses of the Legislature have passed the bill into law, President Ellen Johnsons Sirleaf has not signed the bill into law, nor vetoed it, nor has her veto been overridden by the Legislature. It has not been printed into hand book by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), therefore, such request is premature.”  

    Recently, the Senate unanimously passed a law barring the governors or staff members of the CBL from participating in the forthcoming election unless they resign three years prior to it; following the unanimous passage, the House of Representative the next day overwhelmingly concorded.

    The amended bill says, “The Executive Governor of the CBL and members of the Board of Governors shall be prohibited to contest political office(s) while serving in their respective offices and shall not be qualified to contest any electable office within three years, consequently, after the expiration of their tenure with the CBL.”

    The 1999 approved act creating the CBL said, “The CBL shall not engage in traders or participate directly or indirectly in the ownership of any financial institution or other enterprise.”

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