-Wesseh, Sando Johnson subjected to investigation
The impeachment of former Associate Justice Kabineh Mohammed Ja’neh has reportedly brought split among the senators of the 54th Legislature, leaving its leadership to subject River Gee County Senator Conmany Wesseh and Bomi County Senator Sando D. Johnson to investigation over remarks allegedly made both in and out of chambers.
Ja’neh’s impeachment on Friday, March 29, 2019, on count one of four (the road fund) has reportedly left members of the senate raging in war of words with each other, thus leaving the entire body expressing divided opinions.
Both Johnson and Wesseh described Ja’neh’s impeachment as illegal and that it grossly violated the Liberian Constitution. They are of the belief that the Executive is reportedly influenced entire process, with an undisclosed sum of money allegedly dished to some of senators, who voted to remove Justice Ja’neh.
However, the two senators have openly accused the Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Chie of tampering with ballots during the voting process at the end of the impeachment trial.
Wesseh and Johnson believe that the results announced to remove Justice Ja’neh from the Supreme Court Bench were not commensurate with the senators ballots cast, thus challenging them to publicly display the total votes, which has not happened since the impeachment was done.
In a communication to plenary on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, River Cess County Senator, Dallas A.V. Gueh, complained to Senate leadership that Sen. Wesseh’s recent pronouncements in the chambers, and also on media outlets, have the “proclivity to undermine the integrity, and sanctity of the Senate.”
Senator Gueh, in his official complaint to the august body, said Wesseh has accused the Senate of “being lawless, and also making denigrating remarks with the aim of bringing the senators to public disrepute, as well buy public sentiment.
“I will therefore ask the decision of the plenary to mandate the committee on Judiciary and Human Rights to investigate these claims, which we stand ready to provide all relevant evidences to establish all the facts,” Gueh’s communication said.
Senate Pro-Tempore Albert T. Chie in a separate communication on Thursday, April 4, wrote plenary of the Senate requesting it to investigate Sen. Johnson on the issues of behavioral pattern.
Chie’s complaint said Sen. Johnson had accused the Senate of receiving bribe to impeach former Supreme Court Justice Kabineh Ja’neh. The communication was read in plenary, and turned over to the Senate committee on judiciary to investigate the lawmaker, and report upon return from the Esther break.
In a related development, Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper, like Senators Wesseh and Johnson, said his colleague, 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 Justice Ja’neh, but failed to testify during the impeachment proceedings, should be summoned by law and “prosecuted,” relative to their action.
Cooper accused senators who voted for the impeachment of Ja’neh, believing that they received bribes and therefore should be subjected to investigation. He named Senator Prince Y. Johnson, Nimba County, and several other lawmakers from the House of Representatives, whom he described as “enemies of the country’s Constitution.”
He said he and his colleagues will make sure there is a recount of the ballots cast in the impeachment trial of Ja’neh. Based on the findings from that exercise, he said he will prove the majority of the House of Senate wrong, after which he will then file an appeal to overturn the impeachment decision, which will be filed at the level of the Supreme Court.