Rep. Yekeh Kolubah Threatened with Expulsion From House of Representatives

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— Rep. Fallah discloses

Tough talking and controversial District# 10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah has been threatened with expulsion from the House of Representatives if he does not , within three months, retract and apologize for remarks he allegedly made about unseating the government of President Weah.

According to Montserrado County District#5 Representative Thomas Fallah if Rep. Kolubah does not desist from consistently and continuously bringing the House of Representatives into ‘disrepute’ with his ‘reckless and insulting comments’ he will either be suspended if he is lucky, or expelled based on Rule 40 of the House’s Rules and Procedures.

Rep. Fallah said majority members of the House, at least 49 members, in accordance to the House’s Rules and Procedures, will either suspend or expel Rep. Kolubah for ‘bad conduct and undesirable acts.’

“I want to use this time to urge my colleague and my nephew (that’s how we call one another in Lofa), Rep. Kolubah, to desist from raining insults and bringing the Honorable House of Representatives [into disrepute] and, if he does not desist and continues as of this (Tuesday) evening or tonight, if he is lucky he will be suspended and, when bad-lucky, he will be expelled,” he said.

Rep. Fallah further urged Rep. Kolubah to limit his advocacy on policy issues, including the economy, health and other basic social issues, but not make unsubstantial issues and rain insults, which will cast a dark cloud on the Legislature and the government.

But legal experts here, commenting on Representative Fallah’s remarks,  have scoffed the idea of having Yekeh expelled from the body on account of statements he has allegedly made against the President. They maintain that threats to have Yekeh expelled if actualized could provoke a constitutional crises with implications for peace and stability in Liberia.

They further noted that such threats are intended to institutionalize the criminalization of free speech and expression s guaranteed under Article 15 of the Constitution.

Article 15 of the Constitution provides the following: a) Every person shall have the right to freedom of expression, being fully responsible for the abuse thereof. This right shall not be curtailed, restricted or enjoined by government save during an emergency declared in accordance with this Constitution.

b) The right encompasses the right to hold opinions without interference and the right to knowledge. It includes freedom of speech and of the press, academic freedom to receive and impart knowledge and information and the right of libraries to make such knowledge available. It includes non-interference with the use of the mail, telephone and telegraph. It likewise includes the right to remain silent.

c) In pursuance of this right, there shall be no limitation on the public right to be informed about the government and its functionaries.

d) Access to state owned media shall not be denied because of any disagreement with or dislike of the ideas express. Denial of such access may be challenged in a court of competent jurisdiction.

e) This freedom may be limited only by judicial action in proceedings grounded in defamation or invasion of the rights of privacy and publicity or in the commercial aspect of expression in deception, false advertising and copyright infringement.

Moreover, according to a leading legal practitioner(name withheld) , Article 42 of the Constitution of Liberia provides that “No member of the Senate or House of Representatives shall be arrested, detained, prosecuted or tried as a result of opinions expressed or votes cast in the exercise of the functions of his office”.

Article 42 further provides that “Members shall be privileged from arrest while attending, going to or returning from sessions of the Legislature, except for treason, felony or breach of the peace. All official acts done or performed and all statement made in the Chambers of the Legislature shall be privileged, and no Legislator shall be held accountable or punished therefor”.

The legal practitioner questioned whether  or not Yekeh is being threatened with contempt of the Legislature. And in case he is, according to the lawyer, Article 44 of the  Constitution of Liberia specifically provides that  “Contempt of the 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 legislative duties and may be punished by the House concerned by reasonable sanctions after a hearing consistent with due process of law”.

Article 44 further provides that “No sanctions shall extend beyond the session of the Legislature wherein it is imposed, and any sanction imposed shall conform to the provisions on Fundamental Rights laid down in the Constitution”.

According to the lawyer the last part of Article 44 has to do with disputes between legislators and non-members which, according to the Constitution, shall not be entertained or heard in the Legislature if such disputes are properly cognizable before the courts. But more to that, according to the lawyer, under Article 20 of the Constitution Yekeh cannot be deprived of his privilege as a legislator “except as the outcome of a hearing judgment consistent with the provisions laid down in the Constitution and in accordance with due process of law”.

The lawyer in closing said gone are the days when an elected member of the House could be expelled at the whims of the Executive under the cover of what was at the time referred to as a Joint Resolution (JR). He observed that during TWP rule a former legislator, at the time from Grand Gedeh County, Chea Cheapoo was expelled from the House because he had run afoul of the True Whig Party elites who dominated local politics, according to the lawyer.

Meanwhile it remains to be seen whether  Representative Fallah can indeed make good on his threats which may, more likely than not, prove untenable.

16 COMMENTS

  1. The same House of Representatives that overthrew a sitting Associate Justice by illegal used of the constitution, that very same House is about to use the same political tactics to come against one of their own . The Senate too has many of its members under alleged investigation following their verdict to honor the impeachment proceeding sent to them by the House. Now the two chambers are going after their own members with threats and counter threats. Some people knew that once the political impeachments against the Associate Justice started, there would be no end in sight as it relates to the illegal used of the law to go after each other. So after Representative Kolubah , who is next in the House for the illegal used of the political tactics for speaking out loud and clear ? The two Chambers that agreed to impeach are after their own members.

  2. Actually, Yekeh Kolubah needs to be expelled from the House of Representatives. This guy has tuned himself into a disgrace; thereby bringing direpute upon the House of Representatives. Just retrospect on his appearances, demeanor, and utterances, of late.

    One could still be a radical or an orthodox lawmakers or politican without conducting yourself even worse than a street-thug or a rebel on trucks as we saw during the war.

    MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SHOULD BE SEEN AND KNOWN AS HONORABLES, AND NOT THE STREET-THUG THAT IS YEKEH KOLUBAH.

    • I don’t agree with some of his tactics, but Rep. Kolubah has a right to speak up against the ills of this corrupt government. Liberia is a democracy my friend.

      • Representative Kolubah also do not have right to make theroristic threats and vowed to unseat a democratically elected government in 3 Months. He will face the full weight of the law.

        • By saying that he will overthrow the government in three months is protected speech. It’s just words! The government will have to prove materially in court that he has the means to overthrow the government by providing evidence such as weapons, or a plot to carry out his threat. I have not read anything from opposition leaders that they want to overthrow the government. But I can understand why the government would be so sensitive because things are not going very well for George Weah’s Administration. The best thing to do is ignore Rep. Kolubah. Any actions against this guy will only inflame the political situation and lead to unintended consequences.

        • Because of the terrible economic situation and the poor leadership of George Weah, the country is becoming more unstable by the day. Liberians are pissed off that while they’re suffering under very harsh economic conditions, Weah and a handful of officials had the audacity to steal $25 Million to enrich themselves. This is one thing that is really causing a lot of commotion across the country. Weah must be careful because even the military and Police are not getting paid and he can’t rely on them to defend his government. If there is any trouble in the country, it is Weah’s fault.

  3. Wow, in any case, despite this exhaustive news report cum legal brief, Chapter V, Article 38 of the same 1986 Constitution holds that “Each House shall adopt its own rules of procedure, enforce order and with the concurrence of two-thirds of the entire members may expel a member for cause”. Moreover, Article 42 is unequivocal about “treason, felony or breach of the peace” being exception to the “privilege” from arrest of legislators.

    This means that when Rep. Kolubah “threatened” on video to go “Militant” to the Legislature (a term which citizens who know of him as a former vicious rebel understood as “armed and dangerous”), he was putting others in mortal fear hence committing a “breach of the peace”. A threat, without doubt, which frightened colleagues could see as “cause” to expel him. Not to mention that if any forensic evidence, for example, recording of his voice, emerged from police investigation indicating that he had foreknowledge or incited the mob violence which resulted in burning of a police station, he could be charged as an accessory to arson, a felony.

    I have laid it out like a devil’s advocate would as a contrarian take to the fawning supportive portrayal of Rep Kekeh Kolubah as a Martin Luther King. What confounds credulity is the defensive stance of pundits accustomed to moralistic vituperations vis-a-vis destabilizing antics of other former high profile rebels. Oh, well, as geopolitical theorists would have it: The for of my foe is my friend! Folks, lest some forget, independence, impartiality, and fairness in reporting are key journalistic standards.

    • You need to shut up, Baghdad Moses. Where were your golden stance when Acarous Gray was promising a “bitter Liberia”, donning military uniform and stand atop vehicles? Oh, now that karma has come to haunt them, you go on philosophizing? hahaha Karma is coming for you too for all you did when u headed NSA. Observer needs to ban you just how FPA did.

    • Time is in short supply to respond adequately to your surfing verbalization, other than to say this. If you were an impartial and credible judge how will you proceed with a case of suspension or expulsion realizing the fact that the Constitution does no offer a clear path for such decision. If you were to V 38, there is the problem of freedom of expression as cited above. If it became a matter of treason one will have to deal with the question of motive.

      However, what is of critical importance, is the attempt by some to ignore the political undercurrents that have and are giving rise to the current tense atmosphere. Rather than engaging in an honest dialogue about the current realities and the emergent possibilities with their adversarial impact on the government and the country as a whole. Only people who choose to be willfully blind to the realities and the pending consequencies would suggest otherwise.

      Even if no one commented on the current state of affairs. Even if every chooses to be silent. Even if everyone pretended that all is well, when in reality it isn’t, the impending consequences are inevitable. This tendency of trying to scare people into silence does no good for the government and for us, except for those bent toward personal aggrandizement in the face of looming existential threats.

      Liberia, for all practical consideration is gradually, or rapidly, depending on one’s perspective, being written off most international agendas as a prospect for any kind of serious political engagement of economic consideration. No reasonable and responsible government would want to invest in a rouge state. And for your info, this is much the thinking of most governments. Can’t or don’t you see the weariness of governments and the vast international community posture toward Liberia? Liberia is not potential, especially under this current administration, which has all, but shown itself to be uncredible and untrustworthy.

      This is a time for sobriety and not silly political gestures which benefit no one. The events of our most recent history are still very fresh. These are not occurrences of a century. Every act, behavior and utterances that led us down the path of chaos and anarchy are being tactfully and fancifully display, thus, leading others to believe that we are a country with no sense of Destiny. Yet, under such amorphous cloud thete are those who choose political expediency over and above reality.

      The fact remains that The current socio-political and economic realities are unsustainable; and it will not be long ere the country collapses under the unbearable weight. State or nation collapse is an inevitable reality that this government cannot evade.

      The right and appropriate course is for this government to engage the Liberian people in an honest dialogue. Thus, in my honest opinion, the pending demonstration slated for June offers a window to achieve that. President Weah should see this as an opportunity and seize upon it to broker a dialogue. Let him allow the demonstration and after which invite the leadership of the demonstration for a dialogue. Otherwise any attempt to replace good common sense with stupidity or irrationality will redound adversely to the President and the Government. Take a page from Liberia political history in which extremism was courted in place of moderation. Can we again afford This?

      Unfortunately, your response, Sir, offers no solution. Thanks but no Thanks!

  4. Veteran rabble-rousing comrade-pamphleteer of many aliases, learn to debunk comments logically instead of abusing commenters. It is exasperating. Of course, you’ve the authority to block me; I’m not fooled and care less. The fact of the matter is that you won’t either be the first or twelfth politico masquerading as a journalist who had tried to silence yours truly. In other words, I don’t depend on this platform alone to air views on public safety and stability.

  5. There’s no need for violence. Every issue can be resolved without the use of force or through intimidation.

    I wholeheartedly agree that Kolubah has a right to express himself. But Kolubah has to understand that in a democratic society, all issues can be resolved through the courts. The days of militancy are gone.

    • Hney – I think if they move on Rep. Kolubah, it will inflame an already tenuous situation and I’m afraid violence could erupt. Although Rep. Kloubah’s rhetoric is inflamatory, however, it is protected by the constitution. Unless the government has proof that he has the means (arms, plot, etc.) to carry out a coup, the government will be better served by leaving Rep. Kolubah alone. The Liberian people are very upset with this government given the harsh economic conditions so it’s not wise to target his man because he is accusing President Weah of corruption which most Liberians agree. It’s like throwing fuel on fire.

  6. This is totally untrue
    According to this paper; “Rep. Fallah further urged Rep. Kolubah to limit his advocacy on policy issues, including the economy, health and other basic social issues, but not make unsubstantial issues and rain insults, which will cast a dark cloud on the Legislature and the government.”
    Rep. Fallah said, Rep. Kolubah should retract and apologize for remarks he allegedly made about unseating the government of President Weah and stop accusing the president of things he have no prove of, not even those insults he ring on our presidency, these sstatements bringing our honorable house to public this repute. And you people know this, I’m highly disappointed in you people, because you are always saying things not a reality

  7. I think Rep. Kolubah should focus on using his energy and voice on attracting investors in his Country than Insulting the President that is far above him. The People put him in power to make Laws not to break laws and insult people.

  8. Citizen,
    I hope there’ll be no violence. That’s my prayer. Weah was elected. Let him do the job for which he was elected. Some people cannot wait; they want quick answers. Well, little patience is needed. The hardship started under Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. But, people are blaming Weah. Ex Generals have stormed the Lower House building already. No, violence is unwanted!

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