BREAKING THEIR SILENCE WAS GOING TO HAPPEN SOONER OR LATER; THEY NEEDED SOME RESPITE, (RELIEF) FROM THIS STRANGE, UNEXPECTED RUN-IN WITH ASSOCIATE JUSTICE KABINEH JA’NEH AND THE LIBERIAN COURT SYSTEM. IT LEFT THEM CONFUSED. SOME HOW, THEY HAD BEEN ZAPPED—BY SOMETHING RIGHT OUT OF “THE TWILIGHT ZONE”— WITH NO PLACE TO TURN!
By Attorney Keith Neville Asumuyaya Best
TO RECAP: We ended Part I with three questions: Who do we say we are? Just where do we say we are from? And just where do we say we gwoin’? The Sages of the Ages cut the matter short and went straight to the heart of it, sparing generations yet unborn, from having to agonize, (wrestle with, worry over) everything they can find to grumble about: Leadership, they concluded, springs up from the people:
In other words, leaders will do no better than what their people have, are— and, perhaps, what they (the people)will themselves to do, or would want themselves to be. The Daily Observer, in a 26-eve editorial, tried to help readers figure out when, where, and how, this country might have branched, down the wrong road: One president after the other, the Observer pointed out, has betrayed the vision of the Founding Fathers. And they have done so by creating a hydra- headed monster that is become the three branches of government: the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial.
NOW READ ON: The Readers Digest Dictionary defines a hydra-headed monster as a multifarious, (diverse, mixed) source of evil, trouble or destruction that cannot be eradicated, (stamped out, gotten rid of) by a single attempt.
THE EXECUTIVE: POWER CZAR OVER THE YEARS
The Observer’s reference to a hydra-headed monster that the three branches of government, collectively have been reduced to over the years—as the paper’s editorial suggests—offers our readers much to think about—given the new and, obviously, unpredictable steps and choices that came into view, given the economic and political realities that existed before President Weah took over, a few months ago.
The editorialist soon recognized, however, that the betrayal of the Founding Fathers’ vision was actually the betrayal of one of that unholy triumvirate: the head of the Executive Branch; thus, it was every Executive head that—over successive administrations— usurped the authority of the other two, became corrupt, dominated and even emasculated, (rendered impotent, weakened) the others.
The exploits and excessive behavior of the heads-of-state over the past half-a- century is the stuff that legends are made of. It goes farther back than Tubman, and remains with this country, just as much today. Though there is much to think about, in connection with the Executive and Legislative branches, we will, in the interest of time, treat only with what the Observer singled out for the Judiciary as one of the three choices as ‘food for thought—in place of the usual merry-making—during this first observance of the nation’s Independence celebration, since President Oppong Weah won the presidency.
POWER-SHIFT TO THE JUDICIARY
According to the Observer’s editorial, “the Judiciary, for its part, rather than a guardian of the people’s trust over the years, has accommodated the Executive in the abuse of human rights, leaving the citizenry with little or no trust in their Judiciary. Bribery and other forms of corruption have taken hold of and have threatened the independence of the nation.
Rather than ‘holy altars’ of Justice according to the late Chief Justice Louis Arthur Grimes, the Court of Law have been desecrated, presided over by mean, vile and corrupt men and women, placing Justice out of the reach of ordinary Liberians today,” the editorial lamented. Not since Tubman has such a dramatic power-shift occurred, following Oppong Weah’s takeover from Liberia’s iron lady who left the presidency, as strong as ever.
That says quite a bit about how emaciated (thin, shrunken) she left Oppong—with little or nothing. For some reason, with Ellen out of the picture, and Oppong still learning the ropes, it appears to some that the Judiciary might be digging in to take charge of the hydra-headed monster, with two males and two strong females holding together. At least that’s the way it looks to Nathaniel Constance who, after spending a couple of days at Central Prison as a pre-26 treat, courtesy of Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh.
According to this younger son of 90-year-old Annie Yancy Constance, Ja’neh had him arrested, and taken to prison. Nathaniel explained that he did not have enough cash to post bail to keep him out of jail, so they threw him in but let him out two days later, after some arrangement was made for him.
Why he went to jail, Nathaniel says Justice Ja’neh has yet to enlighten him; the ‘writ of arrest’ we were shown seemed connected to his mentally-ill and now, deceased brother, John Nyema Constance. This son had nothing to do with Justice Ja’neh, or any one else. It had been John into whose pocket, Associate Justice Ja’neh is said to have put some money in exchange for Mrs. Constance’s house, while she was in exile in Guinea. Meanwhile, Mrs. Constance has had her things thrown out of her house. She said they would have to take her body, to get her out.
CASE-FILE MISSING, AS WELL
In another development, the gentleman who was supposed to have served as legal counsel for Mrs. Constance, who was reported missing in action, told us after we contacted him, that he had kept telling the Constances to come to Court, but they would not show up. But Nathaniel Constance told us that Counsellor Lawrence Yeakula needed to “get a life.”
Ask him where the case-file is, and why he never presented us one, if at all, he was working on behalf of my mother. What has he done with the case-file when he was the lawyer and knew what had to be done in the interest of his client, if at all he had one, in the person of my mother?
TO BE CONTINUED…