Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, the standard bearer and political leader of the Movement for Economic Empowerment was on Tuesday, Dec. 5, suspended indefinitely by the party’s Executive Committee.
A statement issued at the end of the meeting yesterday said Dr. Jones was suspended pending a 72-hour investigation into a formal complaint against him by the party’s assistant national secretary general, James Roberts, alleging that Dr. Jones ordered his security officers to assault him (Roberts) and forcefully removed a 7.5KVA generator from the party’s headquarters in Congo Town, Monrovia.
The statement, signed by Robert Sammie, the party’s National Vice Chairman for Communication and Media Relations, said the party’s executive committee unanimously reached the decision because Dr. Jones’ action was highly regrettable and violated the party’s constitution and bylaws.
The statement said the Executive Committee suspended Dr. Jones as standard-bearer and political leader of the party with immediate effect, pending conclusive investigations into the matter in seventy-two hours.
“Dr. Jones is hereby mandated to turn over all party properties in his possession and must avoid all premises of the party until otherwise ordered by the party’s National Executive Committee or cited by the Grievance and Ethics Committee for investigation into the complaint brought against him by assistant secretary general James Roberts,” the statement said.
It said considering the gravity of the matter, the Grievance and Ethics Committee is mandated to carry out a speedy and impartial investigation into the matter.
“Within seventy-two (72) hours and upon receipt of this mandate from the Executive Committee, the Grievance and Ethics Committee must expeditiously dispose of this matter and submit its findings to the National Executive Committee, in keeping with its by-laws and constitution,” it said.
The statement admitted that these are hard times for the party, but that there is no singular guarantee for institutional building and democratization than the adherence to the rule of law and justice; therefore, the party subscribes to the fundamental principle of justice that no one is above the law.
Confirming the National Executive Committee’s decision, the party’s Vice Chairman for Administration, Dan Saryee, said Dr. Jones was suspended for exhibiting “serious intolerable act and gross disregard for the party’s Grievance and Ethics Committee.”
The Committee, according to Mr. Saryee, invited Dr. Jones to give reasons for taking his personal security to the institution’s premises to take away a generator and other belongings that did not belong to him personally.
He added that Dr. Jones refused to submit to the committee and therefore, the Executive Committee of the party took a decision to suspend him for time indefinitely.
Dr. Jones, as the standard bearer of MOVEE, contested in the October 10 Presidential and Legislative elections and accumulated 12,854 votes (0.8 percent).
It may be recalled that on Dec. 3, Dr. Jones was reported to have violated the MOVEE’s, Article XV. Section 9: b, National Officers, and Duties, when he ordered his security to assault and disgraced publicly Assistant National Secretary-General for Administration, among other violations.
It was also alleged that his wife, Mrs. Esther B. Jones, without the knowledge and consent of the Party took a freezer from the headquarters.