Senate Defends Its Decision on Ja’neh’s Impeachment

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Even though some members of the Liberian Senate have acknowledged the wrongdoing affecting former Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh, for which the ECOWAS Court of Justice has ruled that the Government of Liberia reinstate him, retroactively pay all his salaries and benefits, and pay him US$200,000 in reparations for the mental stress imposed on him, the Liberian Senate, which voted to uphold Ja’neh’s impeachment and kick him off the Supreme Court Bench, has said that “The trial of the former Associate Justice was conducted in a very fair and transparent manner as prescribed by the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, the relevant laws of our country and the Standing Rules of the Liberian Senate.”

According to the Senate, Ja’neh was fully accorded due process as required by the above-mentioned laws and other legal instruments, and his fundamental rights were respected during the entire process of his trial at the Senate. 

The Senate is now on recess and expected to resume session early 2021. Moreover, the constitutional tenure of nine years for 15 of its members elected in 2011 will be terminated in January next year, to bring on board new a new cadre of Senators after the December 8 mid-term election.  Fourteen of the fifteen Senators are seeking reelection and vigorously campaigning in their respective counties.

As a result of the election at hand, the Senate said it is unable to react to the verdict by the ECOWAS Court in the way it should.

 “The Liberian Senate wishes to state unequivocally that it would have reacted by now to the verdict of the ECOWAS Court in the JA’NEH Impeachment Case. Unfortunately, due to the activities of the pending 2020 Senatorial Elections scheduled shortly, the Leadership of the Senate is unable to meet with the required quorum to review the matter and act accordingly.  In due course, the Leadership of the Senate and House will meet and issue an advisory to the Executive Branch on the verdict of the ECOWAS Court,” the Senate said in a statement issued Tuesday, November 17.

According to the Senate’s release, there are allegations that there were no rules of procedure in place at the House of Representatives prior to its impeachment of the former Associate Justice, that the House did not honor the prohibition of the Supreme Court not to proceed with the impeachment, and there was no quorum on the sitting the day on which the House impeached Ja’neh.

In reaction, the Senate defended that under the Liberian Constitution, it is not clothed with the authority to question how the House passes on legislation and other instruments or make judgment on those matters.

In its argument, the Senate recalled that Article 43 of the 1986 Constitution sets separate functions for both houses that no one house interferes with the activities of the other. “The power to prepare a bill of impeachment is vested solely in the House of Representatives and the power to try all impeachments is vested solely in the Senate.”

The Senate also noted: “On the issue of Amendment to Senate Rule 63 which deals with Impeachment Trials, prior to the receipt of the Bill/Articles of Impeachment from the House of Representatives, the Senate visited its Rule 63, which is the rule of procedure for impeachment mentioned in Article 43 of the Constitution. This rule of procedure for impeachment was validated and approved by the 52nd Legislature on March 30, 2009 and is indicated in the present Senate Standing Rules.”

During the impeachment proceedings, Senators Oscar Cooper of Margibi County and Conmany Wesseh of River Gee were among the few who spoke vehemently against the impeachment that it was wrong.  However, they could not impress their conviction upon their colleagues whose minds were already set to see the Associate Justice removed. 

On March 28, 2019 twenty-six Senators took part in the voting, according to the release from the Senate, and out of this number, twenty-three (23) Senators voted to remove Justice Ja’neh, a decision that government’s lawyers have repeatedly said it was not legal but political.

The Senate said after careful examinations of the House’s decision to impeach Ja’neh, they realized that he was found guilty of “Misconduct and Gross Breach of Duty.”

Meanwhile, following the ECOWAS Court of Justice’s verdict in favor of Justice Ja’neh last week, two other Senators, Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba and Armah Z. Jallah of Gbarpolu, who participated in the process and voted to remove Justice Ja’neh, have in separate statements admitted to wrongdoing and called on the government to adhere to the regional court’s ruling.

11 COMMENTS

  1. What a mockery of democracy and good governance! Those senators who are today regret for the impeachment of Justice Ja’neh, should go to their churches and confessed and ask God to forgive them of their sins of greed, because it is the “Brown Envelopes” that fill their eyes. As for Armah Jallah, he should be complaint to the grievance and Ethics Committee of the Liberian National Bar Association for investigation; he should have advised his colleagues against this violation.
    The other lawyers in the legislature are a complete disgrace to the profession: Varney Sherman, Morris Saytumah, Kanie Wesso, Fonati Koffa, Beyan Howard and others not named. They failed the profession for a morsel of meal. What was Ja’neh Crime? To dissent against the 2017 elections. So they Lawyers decided to break down an institution for “Brown Envelope”.

  2. STOP THE DISTORTION, INACCURACIES, AND FALSEHOOD! Those senators who are ranting about “wrong doing“ are the same and very nine senators who furtively tried but failed to block the impeachment of Janeh. The nine Senators ARE OR WERE – Dr. Henrique Tokpah (Ind. Bong County), Oscar Cooper (Ind. Margibi County), Armah Jallah (NPP, Gbarpolu), Conmany Wesseh (UP, River Gee), Daniel Naathan (ANC, Gbarpolu), Steve Zargo (LP, Lofa) and Sando Johnson (NPP, Bomi) and Nyounblee Karnga-Lawrence (LP, Grand Bassa) and Gbleh-Bo Brown(Independent, Maryland) all posed a united front in their quest to deny the impeachment.

    SO YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY RESCIND SUCH FALSEHOOD OR DISTORTION ABOUT “Even though some members of the Liberian Senate have acknowledged the wrongdoing affecting former Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh“

    As for those judges at the ECOWAS Court, they are simply foolishly thinking the Liberian people and or their PEOPLES BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT …THE NATIONAL LEGISLATURE does not know the difference between ordinary accusatorial proceedings and IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS.

    As for you Flomo, its better you stay away from these discussions, for you are simply boring readers with your ignoramus mentality. Janeh was given his full and complete due process both during the Houses proceedings, and during his Janehs trial on the Senates floor.

    Those incompetent and corrupt so called judges who failed to acknowledge that as an international court or international tribunal, they must apply general principles accepted s law, general principles recognized by civilized nations and inter alia the rules recognized by states have disgraced themselves in not realizing that in such matters ligated to the political question doctrine or the lotus principle, or in such impeachments, they ECOWAS Court are no court of last instance, hence they have absolutely no appellate jurisdiction over decisions of national supreme courts, not to talk about a verdict reached by A NATIONAL SENATE IN AN IMPEACHMENT!.

  3. The Liberian Judiciary needs to be concerned about the need to visualize precedent in its effectiveness. We should not forget the Liberian crisis which as a result of a civil war displaced various branches of government and encouraged disrespect for family norms and values. Ownership may not be known, yet cannot be disowned. You may not know me still you got my name or may not like me but still eat my food. For example, facts must back up a law suit. It is a fact that a government official is duty bound to serve the Liberian people regardless of knowing who or not. Lust and Jealousy ignite disrespect. There is no age range to respect. Even a child born today needs respect and the jurisprudence of this land will fulfil this commitment only if respect is the basis of all such decisions. Interest is another tool to justice. If for instance I failed in a pallet subject I am not interested in, it becomes a success to me. We as Liberians should weight the ramifications of every action before concluding.

  4. Look Edward Asante and his corrupt and incompetent colleagues should have protected the Court´s reputation By putting forward the Court´s rejection and refusal of jurisdiction in that case which is a purely impeachment case.

    The fact that those corrupt and incompetent did not decile jurisdiction of the case proves they judges are either ignorant of the modus vivendi of such court of justice or they acted so incompetently and dishonestly, because they believe they could use “human rights” issue or “due procees” (when Janeh the accused enjoyed all of such rights during the proceedings) as A PLOY TO render A TOTALLY INADMISSISBLE CASE as admissible DESPITE THE FACT THEY ARE AWARE A POLITICAL QUESTION CASE IS BEYOND THAT COURT´S JURISDICTION!

    They need to go back and research such cases as the Mattheus v Doego Fruchtimport and Tiefkiihlkost eG CASE, ETC. ETC. And Ed Asante and his fellow rascals dare order an overturn of a verdict reached By the Liberian Senate. Ed. Asante and his fellow rascals need their heads re-examined!

    If the Court (the great European Court of Justice in that case and many others,) bowed and declined jurisdiction on the basis of the political question doctrine, the Lotus Principle, the Act of State doctrine, state practice accepted as law, etc. etc., these so called judges of this ECOWAS Court of judges, By not rendering that Janeh´s case as inadmissible, and therefore declining, refusing, and rejecting jurisdiction of such an impeachment case, they are simply corrupt and extremely foolish in their attempt to insult the Liberian people and the Liberian people People´s Branch of Government — THE ALMIGHTY LIBERIAN LEGISLATURE!!!

  5. Your misidentification aside, do not just rant a meaningless averment (“Stop flip-flopping!!!“) when you have absolutely nothing epistemological or jurisprudential with which to counter on this matter obviously beyond your head.

  6. The ignorant comes in again to distort the truth that justice seeks. Pay no idiot a mind. Wanting to be with us in things least their concerns, the greed, the hungry, the bad, the good,. the devil, even the ants all God feeds. Happy Holidays.

  7. The honorable Liberian Legislature has finalized its rulings. the so-called Ed Asante and his associates, ECOWAS Court must respect and honor the rulings of the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia. It’s over for the gravy seekers. be patriotic and know the Liberia has the oldest Constitution in that hole of sub-Sahara region and beyond! peace

  8. It was even a mistake to expand the mandate of human rights to this court doomed with incompetent and corrupt individuals on top of the fact the very court suffers a whole lot of needs. No wonder they usually ask for and receive bribe. For example…

    “Justice Edward Asante, President of the ECOWAS Court of Justice has appealed to member states to enforce judgment passed by the Court, an issue he noted was a major challenge of the Court. VANGUARD NEWS NIGERIAN NEWS AGENCY

    Asante also listed other challenges of the courts to include acute accommodation crisis, explaining that the Court do not have sufficient space to accommodate judges and staff who are also working in an unconducive environment. He said that the inadequate numbers of translators was also a challenge which has led to inordinate delay in translation of court processes.“ VANGUARD NEWS NIGERIAN NEWS AGENCY

    They there with their corrupt and incompetent selves want to use our great country as a scape goat to set their silly and extremely evil and smelly diabolical precedence to have an opportunity to ask for and receive bribe from the highest bidder.

    And here incompetent Asante making such a silly utterance as “Member states have not actually risen up to their responsibility, which is a treaty obligation to respect and enforce community judgment within their national jurisdiction. “And this is actually why they must continue to understand and embrace the concept of Supra-Nationality that the ECOWAS Community has adopted.“ WHEN …

    “Enforcement of the ECOWAS Court’s judgments over the years has been a major problem due to the fact that none of the legal instruments — the Revised Treaty or Supplementary Protocols — discusses means of enforcement of the regional court’s rulings in the case where member states default.“

    And why is this ? This has to be the case because ECOWAS STATES are aware that giving such boenuahns such international or regional supreme judicial leverage shall of course threaten the independence of national judiciaries. And this is seen here as those rascals dare question a verdict of the Liberian Legislature in an impeachment.

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