For violating the Constitution in Ja’neh’s Impeachment Proceedings
Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper said his colleague, Senator Prince Y. Johnson (PYJ) of Nimba County, as well as other senators, who reportedly received “credible information” about the purported plan ahead of the impeachment of former Associate Justice, Kabineh Ja’neh, but failed to testify during the impeachment proceedings, should be summoned by law and “prosecuted”, relative to their action.
Although Cooper did not detail how the prosecution of Sen. Johnson and other senators accused of receiving bribes to vote against former Justice Ja’neh should be conducted, and by whom, Sen. Cooper said PYJ and several other lawmakers from the House of Representatives and the House of Senate are “enemies of the country’s Constitution.”
“They should prosecute Senator Prince Johnson, because this is criminal in nature and we cannot let this thing die like this,” he said.
“I know that those of us who respect the Constitution are not many at the House of Senate, and even at the House of Representatives, but I know that one man can begin a war. Not being in majority as conscious minded people and respecters of our Constitution does not mean we will leave this thing alone.”
Although it is not clear whether any senator received money from any source to vote in favor of the impeachment of former Associate Justice Ja’neh, a day after the impeachment of Ja’neh, Senator Prince Johnson said that a big hand was behind the removal of Ja’neh from the Supreme Court Bench as Associate Justice.
Senator Oscar Cooper, on the other hand, said on Truth Breakfast Show on Monday, April 1, 2019, that in politics, “no campaign easily succeeds without the use of money.”
“I am still troubled by the realization that even though they were seven Senators, who signed a resolution and later joined by Senators PYJ and Thomas Grupee of Nimba County to deny the “anti-Justice Ja’neh group the decisive vote to impeach him; a majority vote was accumulated to give Ja’neh his marching orders.”
“If Senators Johnson and Grupee truly voted for Ja’neh, then how come the vote went against Ja’neh? We were nine Senators, who signed the resolution condemning the need to vote in the impeachment of Ja’neh, and I am not aware that any of my colleagues did not vote for Ja’neh,” he said as he rhetorically asked why the votes against Ja’neh were in majority.
Cooper said Senators Grupee and Johnson of Nimba County and Jonathan Kaipay of Grand Bassa County, assured the team of nine other Senators (a number to which he claimed to belong), the total number of votes in favor of Ja’neh should have been 12 rather than seven.
“If the result is to be taken serious, how did the two-thirds come about? We suspect that the one day the ballot box stayed with Senator Henry Yallah of Bong County, and Senate President Pro Tempore, Albert Chie, gave them the opportunity to conspire against the Constitution, which is the organic law of our country,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, the Margibi County Senator said there is chaos hanging over the country as it was in the late 1970s, 1980s as well as the 1990s, and the early 2000s when civil crises engulfed the country and led to the deaths of over 250,000 people.
“Because of the rampant injustice, and the complete breakdown of the rule of law in the country, the Constitution was rewritten or revised in 1986 so as to correct the many wrongs that led to the Coup d’etat in 1980,” Cooper said.
He said there were many upheavals in the country in 1980, and those terrible happenings led to the gruesome killings of President William R. Tolbert, the Chief Justice, the Senate President Pro Tempore, the Speaker, the Justice Minister who were among the 13 men shot to death by a firing squad.
He added that due to the lack of respect for the Constitution, incidents such as the 1983 Nimba raid under the rule of the then People’s Redemption Council (PRC), the fracas between Thomas Quiwonkpa and President Samuel Doe, and the 1985 failed coup in which Quiwonkpa was killed, “Liberia is at the stage it finds itself.”
He said if people do not have trust in any of the branches of government, then there is chaos and that making the Executive Branch or the president more powerful or imperial is crippling in the country’s young democracy.
Sen. Cooper promised that he and his colleagues will make sure there is a recount of the ballots cast in the impeachment trial of former Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh and, based on the findings from that exercise, he will prove the majority of the House of Senate wrong. Afterwards, then filed an appeal to overturn the impeachment decision will be filed at the level of the Supreme Court, Sen. Cooper maintained.