Following media reports that Senator Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County was the mastermind behind the plan by some lawmakers to impeach three of the five justices of the Supreme Court, the senator yesterday described the allegation as “untrue, baseless and mere assumptions.” Sherman, who himself is a Supreme Court lawyer, said because his return from the United States of America, where he had a successful brain operation, coincided with some of his colleagues calling for the impeachment of the justices, some have drawn the connection to assume that he is behind the plot, which he said is unfair to him.
Senator Sherman made the clarification during a press conference at his Capitol Building office.
The FrontPage Africa Newspaper, in its Wednesday August 9, 2017 edition under the caption, “Liberia Chaos Looms,” quoted a lawmaker, who the newspaper said asked for anonymity, saying that he “suspected Senator Varney Sherman of being the mastermind of the impeachment proceedings against the justices, but working behind the scenes.” The story further quoted the source, who asked: “Why is that all these things started only when Senator Sherman returned to Liberia? This is not by coincidence. He wants to get even with the President.” However, the paper admitted that it had not been able to independently verify the information.
In his reaction, Sherman said “This story is unfair to me. I am not a well man. I came back to the country, based on doctors advice… I can talk and speak intelligently, I have not lost my eyesight; this is why I came back to contribute and perform my duty as a senator,” adding, “Why will people think that I am behind the impeachment exercise?
“When the senators and some civil society were protesting against the Supreme Court’s opinion (judgment) about the Code of Conduct, was I in the country?” Sherman asked. “I cannot see why this paper will assume that I was in America manipulating the people in Liberia to protest against the Supreme Court.
“I don’t have the time and energy to be involved with the impeachment proceedings and certainly to be behind what is happening; that is not true. You can remember that on May 1 of his year I fell off and was rushed to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center where I was in coma for several days before being flown to US, where I recovered. This story that I am so powerful and influential to manipulate the other senators to petition for the impeachment of the justice is far from the truth,” Sherman noted.
According to the Grand Cape Mount Senator, he wished he had such a power to influence his colleagues, “But I do not have it have and the story is intended to belittle my colleagues; that is, to say they are not men enough to make their own decisions, for me to direct them and tell them what to do. They are people of their own character and to say for me to decide for them, that is unfair to me.”
Sherman argued that to say he was behind the impeachment means that the paper is creating enmity between him and the justices of the Supreme Court. “It is just to create animosity between me and my good friends at the Supreme Court,” Sherman indicated.
Sherman said he represented the legal interest of Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh, one of the justices at the center of the impeachment proceedings, at the Supreme Court, when the justice’s nomination was challenged by some Liberians. “How will I fight against such a person who I represented at the Supreme Court to impeach? I will never do that,” Sherman emphasized.
As for Justice Philip A.Z. Banks, Sherman said Banks was his teacher when he was at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia (UL). “Justice Banks was my teacher and we both worked on several opinions for the Supreme Court at my home in the United States, so I will not manipulate any senators to impeach him,” Sherman indicated.
In addition, Sherman said he served as best-man when Associate Justice Jamessetta Wolokollie was getting married in the US, adding “She is a good friend to me, so why will somebody claim that I am behind her impeachment? That is completely untrue.”