— As Supporters Storm Supreme Court Yard
Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe has mandated the leadership of the House of Representatives to lift the suspension of Rep. Yekeh Kolubah.
Rep. Kolubah, who represents the people of Montserrado County District#10 was suspended for insulting the presidency a few weeks ago by the majority of his colleagues.
Delivering his mandate, Justice Nagbe told the leadership of the house that the suspension of Rep. Kolubah was done outside of the law including their own rules. As a result of this violation, Justice in Chambers Nagbe requested the House to lift the suspension and return to the status quo.
However, Rep. Kolubah argued that the process leading to his suspension was bogus and did not follow due process. Justice Nagbe decision came immediately after listening to both the arguments by lawyers representing the House of Representatives and Rep.Kolubah reserved his decision as to whether or not to place a stay order on the House of Representatives.
The Plenary, the highest decision-making body of the House of Representatives on recently took a decision to suspend Rep. Yekeh Kolubah of Montserrado County Electoral District #10 for 30 Sitting Days (equivalent to almost four months) without py for what it termed as Rep. Kolubah’s constant habit of raining insults at President George Weah.
It was the decision Rep.Kolubah rejected and subsequently filed a petition for prohibition (stay order) before Justice Nagbe, claiming that the plenary action was in violation of the Constitution and the rules and procedures governing the legislature, which he sought the court intervention to halt to allege practice.
The House chairman on Judiciary, Hon. A. Kanie Wesso said that as per the order, the ban on Rep. Kolubah will be lifted and that issues about due process will be fellow.
“As per the order, we accept the order to lift the ban on Rep. Kolubah and take of the law and proceed according without rules,” Cllr. Wesso said.
According to House’s own rule, 48.4, the suspension is only permitted after the investigation is done by the committee on Rules, Order, and Administration, and reports are submitted to plenary for action.
In reaction to the court ruling, Rep. Kolubah lauded the Court for their farsightedness to uphold the rules of law, “We will what happen but I believe in the court that why, I come to it, and this is the second time.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Kolubah and his supporters stormed the premises of the Supreme Court, to the dismay of people who have gone there to seek justice and court workers, where they held placards displaying the alleged illegal activities of the House of Representatives against their lawmakers.
Some of those supporters were heard saying praises to the lawmaker, describing his suspension as politically motivated, and, they would stand up for the lawmakers. Though the holding up of placard and political slogan and campaign are forbidden at the Temple of Justice, Rep.Kolubah and his supporters ignored the rules, and could not listen to the court officers advised not to turn the court facilities into a political ground.
In Kolubah’s case, he has complained that his colleagues rendered the final decision of suspension against him now petitioner without the guide on due process as provided for in their own rules and procedures.
“The respondent compliant against the petitioner was never submitted to the Committee on Rules and Order as they unanimously agreed to deal with their own matter, most surprisingly, the Committee on Rules and Order did not submit report and recommendation to be examined by the House for final decision’,” Kolubah’s lawsuit argued.
Rule 48.1 of the House of Representatives says”The House shall take disciplinary measure against any members who violate or fail to comply with the Houses Ethics and Procedure specified in the rule.” Further 48.2 provides that “where any member is aware of the existence of a breach of the code of conduct and procedures he or she may request the House to take the necessary disciplinary measure against who is alleged to have committed the breach.
However, rule 48.4 states that” the speaker shall refer the matter to the Committee on Rules and Order, the House after examining the report and recommendation submitted shall render its decision, and that decision is final.”
On the issue of what constitutes the 30-days suspension, Kolubah argued that Rule 2 provides that “Daily Session of the House of Representatives shall be held on Tuesday and Thursday of each week from the hours of 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at which time roll call and votes are taken, while Monday and Wednesday are set aside for Committee meeting and Friday to be observed for constituency business and this rule applies that there are sixteen meetings or sessions in a month.”
Rep Kolubah, in his petition argued that there has been no Investigation done by the Houses’ Committee on Rules and Order to authenticate the truthfulness of the allegations as punishment imposed against the petitioner is unconsitutional, vague and ambiguous.
In his petition for a Writ of Prohibition filed on his behalf by Counsellors Lavala Superwood and Jimmy Saah Bombo before Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe, Chamber Justice of the Supreme Court against Speaker Bhofal Chambers and members of the House of Representatives (respondent) to place a stay order on the enforcement of the suspension.