Liberia: Senator Conmany Wesseh Slams Senate for Making Justice Ja’neh Impeachment a Priority

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Monrovia – When the Senate reconvened for emergency sitting last week, the expectation was to discuss some pressing national issues relating to the economy and the ratification of financing agreements for some major roads in the country, but surprisingly, the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Kabineh Ja’neh was rather high on the agenda.

Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]

The Senators agreed to discuss the current economic situation, depreciation of the local currency and the ‘missing’ Liberian dollar banknotes; road financing agreement (Fish Town, River Gee County to Grand Gedeh); road financing agreement (Sanniquellie to Logatuo); road financing agreement (RIA Highway expansion), the financing agreement (Waterside to St. Paul Bridge) and other matters.

The impeachment of Justice Ja’neh was not one of the prime factors triggering the reconvening of the Senate, however, immediately upon the return of the Senators, President George Manneh Weah appointed J. Boima Kontoe as Ad-Hoc Justice to sit for the hearing and determination of a Writ of Prohibition in the matter brought on behalf of Justice Ja’neh – “Petitioner” versus The House of Representatives of the National Legislature, by and through its Speaker, Honorable Bhofal Chambers – “Respondents.”

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Neglecting the key issues for which they were called back by the President, the Senate decided to make priority deliberations into the impeachment of the Supreme Court Justice – a decision some Senators, including River Gee County Senator Conmany B. Wesseh has strongly opposed.

Speaking on the Truth Breakfast Show on Monday morning, Senator Wesseh said it is disheartening that his colleagues would choose to ignore pressing national issues and prioritize a discussion that has no economic or development impact on the lives of the ordinary Liberians.

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Senator Wesseh: “Impeachment is not a priority. Impeachment is not going to put bread on our table or solve our economic problem, bring the [missing] money back or put the roads – we want those roads. Some of us from the Southeast haven’t been home because of the roads. Even the elections that they’re about to have in Sinoe, the biggest problem that they’re going to have is lack of roads… Should we not consider those issues as issues of national concern or emergency that we should act on first before you talk about impeachment?”

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Senator Wesseh lamented that his colleagues serving on the Judiciary Committee which comprise of some of the country’s best lawyers attempted bending the rules of the Senate and the Constitution in order to make possible the impeachment of the Supreme Court justice.

He noted that House of Representatives where the bill of impeachment originated erred in the procedure but the Judiciary Committee took upon itself to amend the bill and set a timeframe for implementation.

“I want to tell President Weah he must not be misled, that these rules to impeach Kabineh Ja’neh is the same rules that can be used to impeach the President with or without any reason,” he warned.

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According to Senator Wesseh, President Weah must be cautious and bear in mind that the rules for impeachment are not just for Justice Ja’neh but also for the President, the Vice President and Justices of the Supreme Court.

“Nobody should fool you by a title that says it’s a ‘Rule to Impeach Kabineh Ja’neh,” he stated.

He alarmed that attempting the impeach the Associate Justice unconstitutionally is a very dangerous move that poses threats to peace and democracy of the country. 

He said he expects his colleagues in the Senate who are knowledgeable of the country’s past and incidents that led to the civil upheaval to refrain from indulging in acts like this (unconstitutional impeachment) and at the same time advice their young colleagues of the consequences of such decisions.

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