-Passes Impeachment Bill
The House of Representatives Tuesday tightened grip on the impeachment proceeding against Associate Justice Kabineh Mohammed Ja’neh by overwhelmingly passing a resolution to have him impeached.
Recently a group of Representatives presented a petition to the plenary of the House of Representatives calling for the impeachment of Associate Justice Ja’neh. The petitioners led by Representatives Moses Acarous Gray and Thomas P. Fallah, both of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) accused Justice Ja’neh of proven misconduct, corruption, theft of property and gross abuse of power, among other charges.
“Honorable Speaker, fellow colleagues, we the petitioners plead with this honorable body to prepare an impeachment proceeding against Justice Ja’neh for gross abuse of power, corruption, proven misconduct, theft of property, among other charges. We seek your indulgence on this request for this body to prepare an impeachment proceeding against Justice Ja’neh,” the petitioners said in their petition to the House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives through Speaker Bhofal Chambers immediately setup an ad hoc committee to peruse the Bill and make recommendations. The specialized committee has since made recommendations to the plenary which has informed the current decision of the house.
The House’s resolution contained five counts including allegations of theft of record from the House of Representatives, impeachment prohibition, road fund, the Constant and Austin Clarke cases among others.
The resolution further revealed that Associate Justice Ja’neh will be suspended from the Supreme Court’s bench, but will continue to receive his salaries and benefits as Associate Justice of the high court in the country.
In a motion for adoption by River Gee County Representative Francis Dopoh added that the first and second readings should constitute the third and final readings.
The conclusion of the deliberation witnessed the walking out of session of nine lawmakers of Nimba County and Beyan Howard of Lofa County. The aggrieved lawmakers recommended the vote cast to be conducted by a roll call or head count, but their recommendation was ignored by the presiding, House Speaker Bhofal Chambers.
The resolution saw 23 lawmakers voted for the impeachment Bill to be passed while Representative Francis Nyumalin of Lofa County voted against and Thomas Goshua abstained.
However, Representative Acarous Gray urged the Supreme Court to divorce itself from Cllr. Arthur Johnson who is legally representing the interest of the Associate Justice.
Representative Gray wants Cllr. Johnson to thoroughly read and digest the constitution before making public utterances.
Representative Roger Domah Speaks for Nimba lawmakers:
Speaking to this paper following the decision by some members of the House of Representatives, Nimba County electoral district seven Representative Roger Domah expressed disappointment in the manner in which the presiding, Speaker Bhofal Chambers conducted the process.
According to him, such critical issue requires head counts and the speaker denying such motion wasn’t a good way to proceed.
“We felt it was unnecessary for us to be a part of that kind of process. This is not based on tribal line, this is a national issue and we are people who have been inclusive and this is not about Nimba county and it’s about the Justice system of this country and we are not taking action because the person affected is from Nimba county, we are taking action because we want the process to be free and transparent so that everybody who will see the result coming out of this process will say the lawmakers are correct,” he said.
Representative Domah said if the speaker was acting in good faith, the amendment made by Representative Dorwohn Gleekia for a head count should have been endorsed.
“You cannot allow us(all Nimba lawmakers) to walk out and you think you have people who can control the vote are left and come back to the amended position. How do they arrive at that? The whole process was premeditated and that’s how they calculated it to have the vote going and it was not a transparent process,” he added.
Prior to the House’s decision on Tuesday, some citizens from Nimba County petitioned the House of Representatives expressing their disappointment over the manner and forms they are proceeding with the impeachment process.
Representative Domah said they received the petition and submitted same to House Speaker Bhofal Chambers and since such decision has been taken, the speaker needs to explain what becomes of the petition from the citizens.