By Abdoulaye W. Dukulé
If there is anything worse than a small minority imposing its will on the majority, it’s when the majority becomes the oppressor. Small groups lose their voices in the cacophony and are tramped on. This is something to worry about when one party wins a landslide victory and is soon joined by others in the opposition. The ruling of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is on the path of becoming so powerful that it may start acting like a one-party system.
The current debate about the impeachment of Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh is a cause for worry, because one could determine the outcome if the legislature acts as it did recently. Liberians were told two months ago that two private companies – ETON and EBOMAF- were ready to invest close to a billion dollars in Liberia to build roads. This was a very positive development, but almost “too good to be true,” as a Government Minister put it.
The media and the opposition questioned the deals and when they asked for transparency, they were accused of being “enemies” of the people. In less time than it takes to load paper into a printer, the two deals passed through both houses at the speed of lightning. The two deals may have been good ones but only the legislature could have ascertained that fact and then inform the people of Liberia. Now, there is all likelihood that the two deals may not materialize.
Looking at the speed with which the legislature put its stamps on two major deals without due diligence, one must worry about what would happen to the case of Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh. If the triumphalist and vocal majority manages to scare away dissenters and impose a vote along “majority lines” we may never find out if Associate Kabineh Ja’neh is guilty of anything or innocent. There is always the belief that the Supreme Court – in the US as in Liberia – is apolitical.
This may not really hold water since members of the Court are appointed by the President according to his or her ideological lining. Therefore, the high court can only be immune to political manipulations by appointing powers by sticking to the Constitution. Was there any plenary debate to decide whether Representative Fonati Koffa could pose prejudice to the case… because he was member of an opposition party, Liberty Party (LP) a party that Associate Justice Ja’neh sided with in the recent electoral dispute?
Does the fact that Cllr. Koffa has now joined the CDC makes him more credible in leading the investigation… Ok, too late for this time. In a recent radio talk show interview, Honorable Acarious Gray admitted that he wanted to impeach Associate Justice Ja’neh as far back as in 2014. Is this an old issue between the two that now resurfaces because Honorable Gray has the majority behind him?
What is so urgent about impeaching an Associate Justice for the Senate to postpone its annual break to deal with the issue? The dictatorship of the majority is akin to a horde of elephants stamping in a cornfield. They kill everything on their path. It’s not a good sight. Not what Liberia wants. Liberians have the right to expect a clear and transparent process, that would lay out in the open all the issues.
This is a first time in this dispensation. We hope it will be dealt with fairly, according to the Constitution. And serve as a lesson for the future.