‘I Can’t Recuse Myself’

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-Associate Justice Nagbe Reacts To Recusal Request

By R. Joyclyn Wea

Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe says he will not rescue himself from the case involving Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh as prayed for by Cllr. Ja’neh’s Counsel Arthur Johnson on grounds that he (Nagbe) has played no role in the impeachment proceeding while serving as Senator for Sinoe County and member of the National Legislature.

According to Nagbe, though the senator promised to look into the matter, there was no hearing conducted while he was still member of that body saying “I have done nothing wrong to warrant my recusal in the instance case. I can’t rescue myself.”

“I thought petitioner counsels had brought to court clear evidence of my role in the impeachment proceeding when I was in the Senate either on record, on radio or copy on the impeachment petition filed by the House of Representatives against Associate Justice Ja’neh. if that were the case, in my mind I would have recused myself.

“Therefore, I find it difficult and also reject the request of the petitioner. I deny the request and I submit,” Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe.

This comes after one of the counsels for Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh prayed the court for Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe to be recused from the ongoing proceeding before that court.

Cllr. Johnson narrated that on July 17, 2017 proceeded with the impeachment proceeding of Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh during that period, Associate Justice Nagbe was serving as Senator for Sinoe County in the Liberian Senate and a member of the National Legislature.

“On August 8, 2018, the writ of prohibition was issued out of this court ordering a stage order on the petition for the writ of prohibition against the impeachment procedure by the honorable house of representatives at that same period, Associate Justice Nagbe was serving as senator and a member of the National Legislature.  On August 8, 2018 Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe was appointed Associate Justice of the Honorable Supreme Court of the republic of Liberia by President George Weah,” Cllr., Arthur Johnson.

On August 27, 2018, Associate Justice Nagbe was confirmed by the president of Liberia to sit on the bench of the Supreme Court; reason why he should be recused from presiding over the matter.

He asserted that why it is true he does not have evidence, assumption is required in the instance case noting “members of the two houses, the Senate and Representatives are colleagues and that Justice Nagbe was a member of a whole at the time, of the stage order issued by the court which have been consistently violated by the house.”

Cllr. Johnson emphasized that there are normal daily interactions between members of the House of Representatives and Senate and that Associate Justice Nagbe may have interacted formally or informally to issue of the impeachment proceedings where he sits at the time and witness the order by the court being disrespected by the same house.

“Being a member of the legislature at the time, petitioner counsels believe he may have participated in discussion about the impeachment why serving as senator of Sinoe County. In view of the above, petitioner pray your honor and most respectfully request your honor that Associate Justice be recused from these proceeding,” petitioner counsel Arthur Johnson.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Justice represented by its Solicitor General wants the court to ignore, denied, and dismissed the petitioner request seeking to recuse Justice Nagbe from the matter.

The prosecution mentioned that petitioner has produced no facts or evidence to support their claim or contention and that their position is based on assumption which the court of law cannot entertained.

Associate Justice Nagbe was not a member of the House of Representatives rather the House of Senate and that in impeachment proceedings the two houses of the Legislature had distinguish and separate roles,” MOJ.

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