Nimba Bar Against Call for Justice Ja’neh’s Impeachment

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The embattled Associate Justice, Kabineh Ja’neh

Says it is political and without proof

The leadership of the Nimba County Bar Association has taken serious exception to the planned impeachment of Justice Kabineh Ja’neh by the House of Representative.

The president of the Bar, Cllr. Roland Dahn, who spoke at the program marking the retirement of Judge Emery S. Paye recently in Sanniquellie on July 20, said there is no evidence that shows Justice Ja’neh has done any wrong in order to be impeached.

“Nimba County Bar does not endorse the decision initiated by certain people in the legislature, because the law is clear on how justice is dispensed,” Dahn said.

“You can only remove justices or judges on proof of misconduct, reasonable charges and other behavior that are clearly prohibited by the Liberian Constitution,” he explained.

The Bar also acknowledges that the authority of the legislature to impeach a justice of the Supreme Court should be in pursuance of Article 71 of the Constitution; but the Nimba Bar said it is not aware that Justice Ja’neh has committed any act(s) as prohibited by Article 71 of the Constitution to warrant his impeachment.

According to Article 71, “a justice can only be impeached for proven misconduct, gross breach of duty, inability to perform the functions of his/her office or conviction in a court of law for treason, bribery or other infamous crimes.”

The Nimba Bar furthered that advocates for Justice Ja’neh’s impeachment have not identified any act done by the learned jurist that could form a basis for any person of sound mind and good judgment to engage in such an advocacy.

Accordingly, the Bar regards the call for Justice Ja’neh’s impeachment as a mere false alarm to the public, an unnecessary and misguided attempt to distract the attention of the learned jurist from the performance of his sacred duty of dispensing justice.

The leadership of Nimba Bar is the second largest legal association in the country, with over 100 legal practitioners in Montserrado County.

“We are of the strongest conviction that there is not a scintilla of evidence  to show that Justice Ja’neh has in any way breached Article 71 of Liberia’s Constitution to be impeached,” an embittered Cllr. Dahn maintained.

The Bar has, therefore, called on all elected officials to be careful, thoughtful and confine themselves to the Constitution of Liberia in what they say or do at all times, to protect and preserve the dignity of their offices, and sustain peace and harmony among the citizens.

“While we the Nimba Bar respect the views and rights of all Liberians to speak freely about all government functionaries, we denounce, deprecate, deplore and condemn statements that are emotional, malicious, reckless and without any regard for truth and outside the ambit of the law,” said the Bar in its statement released to the press at the end of the ceremony.

“Nimba Bar urges all those in authority, especially those in elected positions, to speak the truth and uphold the law at all times,” the statement  said.

Meanwhile, Cllr. Dahn said he observed that the decision calling for Ja’neh’s impeachment has an Executive backing, “and so I consider the action as a complete harassment against the judiciary.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. Has the charges levied against Janneh been addressed by the bar member from Nimba Roland Dahn….? Or is he just prepared to subject the impeachment procedings to Antics of cultural entreprenuerialism or Regionalism and ethnicity in Liberian politics?

    The issues raised against Janneh includes conflict of interest as a Supreme Court Justice. The question here includes but is not limited to the fact that is it legal for a Supreme Court Jusitce paid by Liberian tax payers monies authoriziedlegally to provide private legal consultancy for a Private Business not to pay GOL USD$30million Revenue collected from a Petroleum tariff applied on behalf of the same GOL by the Business man?

    Will Janneh and Dahn and their client be prepared to pay interest on the USD$30 Million withheld at the current bank rate from GOL?

  2. Has the charges levied against Janneh been addressed by the bar member from Nimba Roland Dahn….? Or is he just prepared to subject the impeachment procedings to Antics of cultural entreprenuerialism or Regionalism and ethnicity in Liberian politics?

    The issues raised against Janneh includes conflict of interest as a Supreme Court Justice. The question here includes but is not limited to the fact that is it legal for a Supreme Court Jusitce paid by Liberian tax payers monies authorizied legally to provide private legal consultancy for a Private Business not to pay GOL USD$30million Revenue collected from a Petroleum tariff applied on behalf of the same GOL by the Business man?

    Will Janneh and Dahn and their client be prepared to pay interest on the USD$30 Million withheld at the current bank rate from GOL?

  3. Siezie. None of the issues you raised in your comments meets the constitutional test for impeachment. The bar for impeachment of a President, Vice President and Supreme Court Justices must meet the constitutional test as stipulated in this instance for Justices, in Article 71 of the Liberian Constitution. The questions you raised as reasons do not meet the test of proven (key word) misconduct, gross breach of duty, inability to perform the functions of his/her office or conviction (another key word, as I haven’t read of any conviction against him in a court of law) in a court of law for treason, bribery or other infamous crimes (does the constitution define what falls under other infamous crimes or has a court defined it in any prior case, or if relying on American or English Laws precedents, what exactly are the precedents by courts in the U.S and England in defining other infamous crimes?). Under American legal theory, to allow the legislature to define context of what acts fall under other infamous crimes would potentially lead to politicizing the proceedings, as majority members of the legislature belonging to a political party may try to impeach the judge for acts he performed in exercising his Judicial functions along with other justices of the court. I haven’t read of any act that the Judge performed that was outside his jurisdiction as a judge, though I have been disappointed with a decision taken in one instance (the elderly lady’s land). In the instance with the elderly lady’s property, I believe the court can restore the case back on its calendar for a rehearing based on new evidence that it may not have had when the original decision was made in the Judge’s favor. For example, I am not aware that there was evidence the Court knew of the elderly’s lady existence. There was probably no evidence she was alive and the next of kin was probably the now deceased son at the time of the hearing. I am sure the Judge will be glad to return the property under the new conditions, but someone has to go to court with the new evidence. The court will not voluntarily seek out and file a petition on its own, no matter what the judges feel personally. So, this issue is not ground for impeachment. The Judge did not have to recuse himself from the case. There was no constitutional violation when he did not recuse himself. On your alleged accusation that he provided legal advice to a private entity on how to reduce tax or tariff to the government, your statement appears non-compelling from a legal point of view. It appears as hearsay to me. Nevertheless, you did not provide any facts of the case and proof of violation of law that meet the constitutional test for impeachment. The reason I have elaborated in detail on your comments is that, as I’ve noticed in lots of comments, most commenters are expressing their own personal observation of events, decisions made and their own political leaning and concluding on what is legally acceptable when in fact the laws as written and interpreted do not read as such. We have to begin looking at how we relate to each other, our government officials and communities interests from a factual perspective within the constraints of the actual written laws and case laws where there are precedents. There are other avenues citizens can avail themselves of in addressing some of the concerns expressed in many of the commentaries I’ve read, as I believe they do all have merits, though some are completely outlandish and would be foolhardy to follow.

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