Representative Francis Nyumalin has clarified that he has no intentions of unseating the government of President Weah. The clarification comes few days after the National Security Agency flagged one of his recent statements on the Brownie Samukai case as threats against the presidency and the government.
Rep. Nyumalin, who represents the People of Lofa County District #1, told OK FM last week Monday that the government is in bed with the National Election Commission and the Judiciary to stop Samukai, the Lofa County Senator-elect, from taking his seat.
In the Ok Fm interview, Rep. Nyumalin explained that any attempt by the government, the electoral body and the judiciary to nullify the will of his people, all other seats of government in the country will be considered vacant as a result of the government action.
“Let me say this with no regrets, I owe apology to nobody that any attempt to determine the Lofa County seat should be declared vacant, all other seats from the presidency, vice presidency, to all other elected seats would be declared vacant,” said Rep. Nyumalin, who has been vocal in condemning the delay in the certification of his kinsman. “There are plans to determine that the Lofa County seat cannot be occupied by Brownie Samukai – meaning that the decision of the Lofa people will be nullified.”
But in session yesterday, Rep. Nyumalin, who has been invited by the NSA for questioning in light of the arson attacks on the home of Justice Joseph Nagbe of the Supreme Court and on the headquarters of the National Elections Commission, has backtracked on his comment and distanced it from any from subversive activities or hostilities towards the President.
Despite the clarification, Rep. Nyumalin falls short to say by what means or authority the rother elected seats of the government would be declared vacant if the will of his people are reversed, relating to Senator-elect Samukai’s expected certification.
“I have no intention to form rebel group; l have no intention to join rebel group or overthrow any government,” Rep. Nyumalin clarified his statement to his colleagues yesterday, March 20, during the 20th day sitting of the House of Representatives. [However] “if any authority dissolved the election of Senator-elect Brownie Samukai, they will ensure that the same authority will dissolve all other elections, from the President to Representatives.”
Earlier, Rep. Nyumalin defended the statement he made on OK Fm after being complained to his colleagues by Montserrado District #16 lawmaker, Rep. Dixon Seeboe. However, he later sought to clarify his remark to mounting pressure from his colleagues who see his utterances as treat to the security of the state.
‘Samukai’s certification woes
Although Samukai won the Lofa County election by a wide margin, the Supreme Court on February 8 affirmed the verdict of the lower court, convicting the senator-elect and others to two years imprisonment or the restitution of US$1.4 million in the case involving him and the government over the use of AFL pension funds.
As the result of his conviction, the Solicitor General and the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Saymah Syrenius Cephus and Cllr. Frank Musah Dean, respectively, have instructed the NEC not to proceed with the certification of Samukai. Both men argued that since Samukai is now a convict, he is prevented by law from ascending to any elected public position, until after five years of serving the punishment for which he was convicted.
However, the electoral body earlier notified Samukai of his pending certification but, in a dramatic twist of events, the NEC inform him in the presence of his lawyers headed by Cllr. Augustine Fayiah, that based on the Supreme Court ruling, the Senator-elect can be certificated until he comply with court sentence.
The Court also placed a stay order on Samukai’s certification process after a writ of prohibition was filed by the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) seeking the overturning of the decision by the NEC to certificate Samukai, who was found guilty on criminal charges.
Ahead of the stay order, on February 24, 2021, the Supreme Court of Liberia ruled in Samukai’s favour in the electoral dispute case filed by three of his rivals, claiming irregularities and fraud in Lofa County District # 4—mandating NEC to proceed with the matter—certification.
Meanwhile, the Director of the National Security Agency, J. Henric Pearson, has written the House of Representatives of events surrounding the agreed conference with Rep. Nyumalin in the office of the Deputy Speaker.
In his communication, Pearson said the conference with Rep. Nyumalin and his lawyers, Cllr. Beyan Howard, Cllr. Augustine Fayiah and Cllr. Supuwood, was not held on March 19, 2021, as a result of ‘rude behaviour from the lawmaker’s supporters.’
“There was a massive build-up of hostility in the process with supporters of Rep. Nyumalin resulting to mob action, in the hallway and basement of the House of Representatives,” the communication said. [His] supporters were chanting threats against Speaker Chambers and Deputy Speaker Koffa and demanding [their] resignations. Rep. Nyumalin’s supporters chanted that his statement on OK FM was not reckless, thereby creating a volatile and chaotic atmosphere.”
Director Pearson added that subsequent to the evolving impasse, Deputy Speaker Koffa withdrew from the conference and requested Rep. Nyumalin to cooperate with the NSA.
“The NSA representatives disengaged from the conference, aided by the back-up of the Liberia National Police, to exit the Capitol Building. Regrettably, Mr. Speaker, Rep. Nyumalin failed to honor our invitation. The NSA renews its assurances of its highest consideration.”
Despite Rep. Nyumalin’s clarification, his colleagues, including Reps. Jeremiah Koung, Matthew Zarzar, Saah Foko, P. Mike Jurry and Jimmy Smith, all described his statement as “reckless” and “a threat to national security.”
However, prior to discussion of Rep. Nyumalin’s statement and involvement of the NSA, Reps. Larry Younquoi, Samuel Kogar and Jerry Yekeh intimated that the Seeboe communication should have been discussed in executive session.
After lengthy discussion, Rep. Hans Barchue climaxed by saying that “it is baffling for the House to openly discuss one of its members who is been summoned by the NSA. And thereafter, Speaker Chambers then seized the discussion to be discussed in leadership,” he said.
Rep. Thomas Fallah made a motion that Rep. Kolubah be sent outside for dressing inappropriately, at which instance, Rep. Kolubah went out and return in a suit.