-As Impeachment Proceeding Reaches Lower House
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
Impeachment proceeding against Associate Justice Kabineh Mohammed Ja’neh has finally reached the House of Representatives following a petition by Montserrado County electoral districts eight and five Representatives Moses Acarous Gray and Thomas P. Fallah, both of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
In their petition to the plenary of the House of Representatives Tuesday July 17, 2018, the Montserrado County lawmakers accused the Associate Justice of alleged fraudulent activities.
“We trust that your timely action in this matter will arrest the deterioration of the credibility of our judicial system, protect unsuspecting victims who have been constantly robbed and denied justice and ultimately save the Liberian judiciary from massive corruption, misuse of public office and the abuse of power and discretion,” the petitioners alleged.
In their communication to the plenary of the House of Representatives, the CDC’s stalwarts prayed the indulgence of their colleagues to order an immediate investigation against Justice Ja’neh and have him subsequently impeached, ousted and removed from the Supreme Court of Liberia.
According to Article 71 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and the Judges of subordinate courts of records shall hold office during good behavior and they may be removed upon impeachment and conviction by the legislature based on proved misconduct, gross breach of duty, inability to perform the functions of their office or conviction in a court of law for treason, bribery or other infamous crimes.
Petitioners alleged Justice Ja’neh unmindful of his judicial power and authority and danger of debasing the respect ascribed therein, has allegedly committed a serious official misconduct by engaging in the alleged wanton and unsavory exercise of his purported judicial discretion far exceeding the bounds of elementary judicial interpretation of issues simply to satisfy his personal ego and perhaps vested interest as it was in the controversial code of conduct debate just to unduly hurt, shamefully impede and grossly frustrate the administration of justice and even though his colleagues have moved away from or parted with such controversial judicial bluster for the sake of sanity, Justice Ja’neh allegedly continues to behave as if he was law unto himself to the detriment of others.
Under Article 71 of the Liberia Constitution, immunity to judges and associate justices is free, but the petitioners say such becomes constitutionally sacrosanct when justices and associate justices’ express views or opinions or render judgments or rulings on matter of law by applying both statutory and customary laws in accordance with the standards enacted by the legislature.
Following the reading of the petition, a motion was filed by Representative Nathaniel Barway that the petition be sent to an ad-hoc committee to properly investigate and report in three weeks.
Those appointed to the Ad-hoc committee include Representatives Kanio Wesso, Edward Karfia, Dixon Seboe, Jeremiah Koung, Isaac Roland, Clarence Gahr, Rustolyn Dennis.