MONROVIA-The house of Representatives on Tuesday this week suspended Montserrado County District #10 Representative, Yekeh Y. Kolubah for 16 meeting days (Two months) without salary, allowances and benefits. The decision was taken by the plenary, the highest decision making body of the house.
The decision followed by a communication from Montserrado County District #5 Rep. Thomas Fallah asking the body to take action against their colleague for his unruly behavior.
Plenary then voted in favor of the 30 meeting days suspension.
This is the second time for Yekeh to be suspended. Recently, Rep. Kolubah was suspended by the House for 30 meeting days (about four months) by Plenary, the highest decision-making body of the House of Representatives on Thursday, March 25, 2021 without salary, allowances and benefits for what it termed as Rep. Kolubah’s constant habit of raining insults at President George Weah, the Speaker and some of his colleagues within the confines of the Legislature.
He challenged his suspension at the time and went to the supreme court for redress. It termed his actions as gross violation of the House’s Rules.
However, Rep. Kolubah, through his lawyers filed a writ of prohibition to the Supreme Court, saying the House’s decision was illegal.
Following the complaint from Rep. Kolubah, Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe mandated the leadership of the House of Representatives to lift the suspension of Rep. Yekeh Kolubah, indicating that his suspension was done outside of the law, including their own rules.
As a result of this violation, Justice-in-Chamber Nagbe requested the House to lift the suspension and accord him due process as outlined in Rule 48.4 of the House of Representatives.
According to Rule 48.1:“The House shall take disciplinary measures against any member who violates or fails to comply with the House ethics and procedure specified in this rule’
It says in Rule 48.2 “Where any member is aware of the existence of a breach of the code of conduct and procedure, he/she may request the House to take the necessary disciplinary measures against any member who is alleged to have committed the breach.
Also Rule 48.3 states: ”The request to be presented pursuant to Chapter XI of this rule shall be in writing and submitted to the Speaker together with the evidence.
And Rule 48.4 says “The Speaker shall refer the matter to the committee on Rules and Order; The House after examining the report and recommendation submitted by that committee, shall render its decision and the decision shall be final.”
Following call for due process the Speaker of the House of Representatives mandated the committee on Rules, Order and Administration Chaired by Nimba County District #9 Representative Johnson Gwaikolo to investigate and accord Rep. Kolubah due process and report to plenary after the Easter Break.
Reading the committee’s report in plenary on Tuesday, Rep. Gwaikolo stated that on “April 27, 2021 convened a meeting with Rep. Thomas Fallah, the petitioner, and Rep. Yekeh Y. Kolubah, the respondent, together.
“When the meeting was called to order Rel. Kolubah requested that the meeting be rescheduled for April 28, 2021 because, according to him, the letter of invitation for the meeting was delivered to him on April 27, 2021 the same day of the meeting.
“He, therefore, noted that he needed time the next day to prepare himself, and his request was granted. The committee reconvened on April 28, 2021 with committee members and Rep. Thomas Fallah present after waiting for an hour with no excuse from Rep. Kolubah the meeting was adjourned at 12noon.
Following the reading of the report and deliberations, the committee explained that Rep. Kolubah was accorded due process as mandated by the Supreme Court of Liberia, at which time Rep. Kolubah refused to show up terming it as gross disrespect to the committee and the committee further recommended that Rep. Yekeh Kolubah be suspended for 30 meeting days without salaries, allowances and benefits.
Following heated debates and arguments for hours Representative Yekeh Kolubah apologized to the Liberian people and the presidency, saying, “Whatsoever I have said, the insults, I take it back and I want to say I was wrong”.
Following his apology, a motion was filed by Nimba County District #5 Representative Samuel Kogar reducing the 30 meeting days to 16 working days and it was agreed and voted upon by the plenary, with 18 members voting for, 4, members against and no member abstaining. It is not known if he will run back to the Supreme Court.