In Ja’neh’s case
Even though Nimba County Senator Prince Johnson was one of the Senators who cast the deciding vote to approve the impeachment of Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh last in 2019, he is at this time calling on the Government of Liberia to comply with the recent ruling by the ECOWAS Court, to settle with the impeached Associate Justice to end the legal row.
Ja’neh was impeached last year by the votes of about 22 Senators, including Senator Prince Johnson, after receiving a bill of impeachment from the House of Representatives, who sought the impeachment of the Associate Justice through their votes as required by the Liberian Constitution.
Upon hearing about two weeks ago the ruling of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, where Ja’neh sought redress, Senator Johnson went public to admit that the government “did wrong” to Cllr. Ja’neh.
Reiterating his apparent repentance, Senator Johnson said the Senate acted wrongly to have impeached former Justice Ja’neh, and this is why the regional court overturned the ruling to have the Cllr. Ja’neh impeached.
“We acted wrongly to have Cllr. Ja’neh impeached, and if we were right, our decision would not have been overruled by the ECOWAS Court,” he said.
Speaking on Hott FM Nimba, Senator Johnson said there was no need to go into a legal row with the regional court anymore, rather, the government should now begin to dialogue with former Justice Ja’neh to find a way forward.
Senator Johnson did not recommend any definite solution to resolve the crisis, but openly urged the government to negotiate for an amicable solution to the standoff.
Regarding the response to the ECOWAS Court’s ruling by Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Chie that the Senate never proceeded wrongly, Senator Johnson said it was the responsibility of the Pro-Tempore to issue a statement on behalf of the House of Senate; notwithstanding, every Senator has his or her own view.
“If we were right altogether, I don’t think our decision would have been overturned in the regional court,” he said.
Cllr Ja’neh’s impeachment last year created resentment among some citizens of the Nimba, blaming the two Senators, Johnson and Thomas Grupee, for voting against their own brother to have him ousted from his post.
In his response to the many criticisms from the public, especially Nimbaians, Senator Grupee defended that he took an oath to defend the Liberian Constitution, therefore whatsoever he did was in defense of the Constitution.
“If someone is accused of several counts and guilty of one or two, does it in any way exonerate him from being guilty,” Grupee asked defense of his vote.
In the ongoing special senatorial election campaign, critics have been referencing the removal of Cllr. Ja’neh to caution voters not to vote sitting lawmakers with close links with or supported by the ruling administration.
In another development, President George M. Weah is expected in Nimba on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 to break ground for the construction of the Ganta – Tappita Highway. It is an outstanding development project with history dating back to the regime of late President Samuel K. Doe who began this project under the “Ganta-Harper Highway” Project in 1983. Following years of war, the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Administration before completing its second term secured US$200 million for the road and some survey work was done on it before the ascendancy of President George Weah.
The President, according to Superintendent Nelson Korquoi, is also expected to break ground for 100 housing units in Nimba and also dedicate the Ganta General Market on the same day.
This pending visit will be President Weah’s third visit since he took office as President of the Republic of Liberia. His first visit was in 2018 to enforce the construction of Ganta-Yekepa Road. His last visit was when he took kickoff of the National County Sports Meet in Sanniquellie, where he also spoke about the relocation of the Sannquellie Hospital, something that is yet to be realized.