Pressure from the Senate is said to be intensifying on Judge Boima Kontoe (Criminal Court ‘C’) who is expected to cast a decisive vote on the granting or rejection of the Writ of Prohibition prayed for by Justice J’aneh. The Writ seeks to prevent members of the House of Representatives from actualizing plans to impeach Supreme Court Associate Justice Kabineh J’aneh.
Judge Kontoe’s appointment as ad hoc Justice of the Supreme Court by President George Weah was necessitated by the need to fill the vacancy, however temporary, resulting from Justice J’aneh’s decision to recuse himself from hearing of the Writ of Prohibition filed on his behalf against the House of Representatives. Earlier, the four remaining members of the Bench had arrived at a split decision on the matter at bar. The nomination of an ad hoc justice therefore became necessary to meet the quorum requirement for the full bench.
Since his appointment as an ad hoc Justice, Judge Kontoe has not been seen in the environs of Criminal Court ‘C’ where he presides, neither has he since been seen in public as was the case prior to his preferment.
Moreover, Judge Kontoe, it appears, has resolved to switch off his phone possibly to avoid any undue interference but, many of his fellow judges (names withheld) told the Daily Observer that Judge Kontoe’s silence was intended to give him enough time to familiarize himself with the matter.
“From the look of things and with the Senators amending their rules, it is only God that can protect Kontoe from undue influence when making his decision,” a judge observed.
Another Judge said that Kontoe was under serious tension and only the wisdom of God would help him to come up with a fair and transparent decision.
“My friend needs to seek God’s intervention for the decision,” the judge admonished his colleague.
It is now Judge Kontoe, who many believe is the right person for the job, and who appears to bear most of the pressure arising from the Senators’ decision to amend their rules.
“This is a clear indication that the Senators have resolved to concur with their colleagues in the Lower House to proceed with the planned impeachment,” another judge told the Daily Observer.
The impeachment saga originated from a series of events which began on August 28, 2018, during the 52nd day sitting of the 54th Legislature, when majority members of the Lower House voted to pass a Bill of Impeachment against Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh. The Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to impeach an official, and the Senate to try the impeachment.