The much-awaited appearance of Minister of Youth and Sports, Eugene Lenn Nagbe before the Senate plenary to face contempt hearing scheduled for yesterday, was placed on hold until his return to the country next Tuesday.
According to a communication addressed to the Secretary of the Senate, J. Nanborlor F. Singbeh, Deputy Minister for Sports Henry Yonton, said Minister Nagbe is currently out of the country attending official duty. “He is therefore unable to appear before the Senate on March 5, as requested ….”
Deputy Minister Yonton’s letter further informed the Senate that his boss will return to the country on Tuesday, March 10.
“The Ministry of Youth of Sports (would) like to inform members of the Liberian Senate that as soon as the Minister returns to the country next week, he will certainly appear before the Senate plenary.”
A motion to receive and make notation of the Ministry’s communication was proffered by Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif, one of the 13 Senators that voted to defeat Bong County Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor’s motion for reconsideration.
During its 15th day sitting last Thursday, 13 Senators voted to defeat a motion earlier proffered by Senator Taylor against the Senate decision to cite Minister Nagbe to appear before that body to show cause why he should not be held in contempt.
The Bong lawmaker had argued in her letter of motion for reconsideration that the oversight committee of the Senate responsible for that ministry must be allowed to function, and that the plenary should be the last stop for action where the committee fails to resolve issues.
The Senate is citing Minister Nagbe, based on a report submitted to the plenary by an Ad Hoc Sports Committee accusing the Minister of refusing to cooperate with the Committee to probe a complaint by River Cess Senator Francis Saturday Paye, over report that MYS was contemplating hosting the annual National Sports Meet.
The five-member committee headed by former soccer icon George Manneh Weah, among other things, informed the plenary that Minister Nagbe, a former Secretary General of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change’s (CDC) refusal to attend the hearing was an obstruction to the work of the Senate; describing it as totally unacceptable, disrespectful, and urged his colleagues that such practice and utterance should not be encouraged.
The Ad Hoc Committee further accused the former CDC Scribe and powerful strategist for George Weah, when he ventured to contest the 2005 General and Presidential Elections, “as a serious affront to the Senate,” and requested that body to intervene.