Supreme Court Dumps Justice Ja’neh

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Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja'neh fate to be decided on Thursday, February 14, 2019.

Efforts by Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh to prevent suspended Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh’s impeachment trial were on Friday, November 30 dashed when three Supreme Court Justices, including Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, refused to support her stay order on members of the House of Representatives’ bill of impeachment.

On August 18, Justice Yuoh, then Justice in Chamber, imposed the stay order on some members of the House of Representatives, which included Speaker Bhofal Chambers, to desist from any proceedings about Ja’neh’s impeachment, pending the ruling of the Justice’s complaint of a constitutional violation, by the full bench of the Supreme Court.

In response, members of the House wrote the Supreme Court to “vacate the purported stay order and avoid embarrassment.”

At Friday’s judgment, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, who spoke on behalf of the Court after weeks of deliberation, said the writ issued by Justice Yuoh was premature and it compromises the integrity of the court.

The majority opinion  held that she should not have issued the writ because it put the Court in an embarrassing situation when the matter is yet to proceed to the House of Senate for deliberation.

The Justices reached the decision after deliberating behind closed doors for weeks with 3-2 votes as the Justices rejected Justice Ja’neh’s prohibition request against the House of Representatives.

Chief Justice Korkpor, Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe, and Ad Hoc Justice Boima Kontoe were the Justices that voted “no,” while Associate Justices Jamesetta Howard Wolokollie and Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh, voted yes.

It may be recalled that on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, the Petition for a Bill of Impeachment  together with a motion proffered by Grand Kru County District #1 Representative Nathaniel Barway, received a favorable vote in the House of Representatives. Shortly afterwards, Speaker Chambers set up an 8-man Ad-Hoc Committee to review the Impeachment Bill as well as the write-up of the proceedings.

That committee was given three weeks as of July 17, 2018, to begin work and report to Plenary. The committee is chaired by Gbarpolu County District#2 Representative Karnie Wesso and co-chaired by Bong County District #5 Representative Edward Karfiah.

Others were Representatives Dickson Seboe of District 16, Montserrado County; Jeremiah Koung of District #1, Nimba County; Dr. Isaac Roland of District 3, Maryland County; Clarence Gahr of District #5, Margibi County, and Rustonlyn S. Dennis of District#4, Montserrado County.

While waiting for the expiration of the three-week ultimatum for Speaker Chambers to start Justice Ja’neh’s impeachment debate, Justice Yuoh mandated them to stay all further proceedings in the matter.

On July 17, 2018, a petition signed by the acting chairman of the CDC in the House of Representatives for Montserrado County, Rep. Thomas P. Fallah of District #5, and Rep. Acarous Gray of District #8, a staunch member of the CDC, called for Justice Ja’neh’s impeachment.

The pair argued that Ja’neh should be impeached and removed from the Supreme Court on grounds of “proven misconduct, abuse of public office, wanton abuse of judicial discretion, fraud, misuse of power and corruption.”

Article 43 provides that “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…”

A copy of the lawmakers’ letter, which has been obtained by the Daily Observer, references the “Purported Writ,” dated on August 18 and under the signature of Mildred N. Sayon, chief clerk of the House of Representatives, and subsequently addressed to Chamber Justice Yuoh, reads: “I present compliments and by directive of the Plenary of the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature (in Session), have the honor to inform you that it is in possession of a paper served on it entitled, Writ of Prohibition by Justice-in-Chambers Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh.”

The letter further says, “The Plenary of the House of Representatives has instructed me to inform you for reasons set out below, that the House of Representatives does not intend to honor the terms or conditions of the writ.”

Justice Yuoh’s stay order, which is at the center of the lawmakers’ response, directed that “All parties are ordered to return to the status quo ante, pending the disposition of the Writ of Prohibition.”

Her action was prompted by a request from one of Ja’neh’s lawyers, Arthur Johnson, who prayed the Court to issue an “Alternative Writ of Prohibition,” in hopes of preventing the lawmakers from proceeding further with Ja’neh’s impeachment, which she did.

5 COMMENTS

  1. impeaching justice ja’neh, is it an achievement for the CDC led government.
    Justice ja’neh is just one man. the house of representative should making laws that will impact the live of the Liberian people and the issued of impeaching justice ja’neh.

  2. It just shows that only the women Justices have spine or any type of backbone on the Supreme Court to stand up to the whims and caprices of the CDC government. The CDC are working their way to an absolute dictatorial government where the three (3) branches of government are in their pockets. Today it is Janeh, tomorrow it will be someone else. Let all sit and think it is not happening to me. Learned lawyers like Varney Sherman, J. Fonati Koffa in the Legislature and Senate and others feel that they can get on the good side of Weah, by letting the CDC government break the rule of law and carry out acts detrimental to the constitution and bedrock of our republic. Let them sit idly by and watch this happen to Janeh. Who knows who will be next, Jewel Taylor? Speaker Chambers? Varney Sherman? Justice Korkpor? Let’s wait and see!! Time will tell!!

  3. Because Ja’neh has been dumped by his colleagues so mysteriously, the Liberian people will be left in the dark forever. In other words, the intricate details of why an impeachment was threatened against Ja’neh will never come to light for public scrutiny. Some Liberians may pretend to know how Ja’neh got in trouble. Don’t be fooled. There’s too much hearsay floating around.

    From the get-go, Ja’neh played his hands as a sort of a double-dealer. First, the Nimba Elders of Nimba vouched against Ja’neh’s impeachment without knowing precisely why an impeachment was threatened. When the Nimba Elders’ involvement didn’t work superbly, a Muslim civic organization was charged with the responsibility to do damage control. When the second group of supporters, (meaning the Muslin civic organization), failed to change the tide, Ja’neh employed an arm-twisting tactic. Believe you me, the arm-twisting tactic worked! No one has to “cut sand” in order to search for answers……the evidence is apparent. Ja’neh’s impeachment trial is dead in the pond. He will never be accused of wrongdoing. Why? Because Ja’neh’s impeachment trial has been dumped, dropped or forgiven. Maybe a cover-up! Who knows what’s what in Liberia’s murky world?

    It doesn’t pay to be a neophyte. For sure, Ja’neh is not one. But it pays to be a gentleman of clout. That’s exactly what Ja’neh was. The issue of clout absolved Ja’neh of wrongdoing.

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