By R. Joyclyn Wea
The impeachment trial of Associate Justice, Kabineh Ja’neh is said to be in limbo as several petitions have been filed by the defendant’s council against some key actors who are to preside over proceeding.
As you may know, the impeachment trial of Justice Ja’neh is to kick start today (Monday), February 18, 2019 at the Legislature particularly before members of the House of Senate who will be serving as Jurors during the proceedings.
Ahead of today’s proceedings, several petitions have been filed with the Liberian Supreme Court, the final arbiter of Justice in the country in relations to determining the constitutionality of Justice Ja’neh impeachment trial at the House of Senate something which have placed the trail in limbo according to many legal minds.
It can be recalled that on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 Justice Ja’neh lead lawyer Cllr. Author Johnson filed a petition with the High Court seeking to prevent Grand Cape Mount County Senator, Varney Sherman from presiding over the impeachment of his client as it would put his client (Ja’neh) in a disadvantage position. On Thursday, the same being February 14, 2019 filed another petition for the writ of prohibition for that court to prohibit the senate from proceeding with said trail until the matter can be looked in to and determination is made by the high court.
Associate Justice Ja’neh also filed another writ calling for the recusal of the Chief Justice Francis Korkpor from the impeachment trial because they believed he (Chief Justice) have had a position on the matter.
Justice Ja’neh’s petition for the recusal of both Senator Sherman and CJ Korkpor is based on judgment rendered in a motion to file by counselors defending the legal interest of the Justice demanding the recusal of Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe early November when he was appointed by President Weah replacing retired Associate Justice Philips A.Z. Banks.
This petition for Justice Nagbe’s recusal was denied by Supreme Court on grounds that Justice Nagbe did not have a knowledge on the matter and have had no position on said matter up to his ascendency at the High Court. Unlike Associate Justice Nagbe, the CJ have had a position on the matter and is a signatory to opinion taken on the matter as well as senator Sherman who represented ECO-Bank at the time one of the counts of the lawmaker reliance. It is against this backdrop that Justice Ja’neh’s counselors are calling for their recusal.
It is further being rumored that Ja’neh lawyers will file another petition or lawsuit against Senate Pro-Temporre Albert Chie who said that the impeachment of Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh is strictly political.
With all of these different petitions or complains, the impeachment trial might not go on until these matters can be looked into by the supreme court in keeping with the constitution and status of law governing the country.