Maryland County Sen. Gbleh-bo Brown says former Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh was impeached because the Executive wants to have control over the Supreme Court of Liberia.
“The impeachment went the way it went because the Executive wants to have control over the Supreme Court,” Sen. Brown told legislative reporters Thursday, 4 April, roughly a week after he voted along with 21 other senators to impeach Ja’neh.
As if Sen. Brown’s decision in the impeachment was not independent at all, he continues to lament that the Senate he works in today is not the kind of senate he wanted.
Sen. Brown tells legislative reporters that he wants an independent Legislature, stressing that they (Senators) should not allow the Executive that wants to control the three branches of government to [continue to] control them.
22 out of 29 Senators voted on Friday, 29 March to impeach Justice Ja’neh for granting a writ of prohibition filed by two oil and gas companies that prevented government from collecting taxes imposed on pump prices because the taxes had not been legislated.
Ja’neh’s decision taken in chambers was further validated by the full bench of the Supreme Court, including Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor, Sr. who presided over the impeachment.
In spite of convicting Ja’neh for the road funds, Sen. Brown contradictorily claims that the impeached justice was not wrong for issuing the writ of prohibition in the road funds case and for forwarding the issue to the full bench of the Supreme Court.
“The full bench should have stopped everyone from benefiting from the money until the issue is resolved. All the Justices should have [been] held responsible for the action taken by the Supreme Court and not Ja’neh alone,” Sen. Brown dramatically argues after he voted to impeach Ja’neh alone.
According to Sen. Brown, he acquitted the former Associate Justice on three of the four counts levied against him, saying he blames Ja’neh and all the Justices that signed for the road funds case.
He notes that the full bench was wrong for allowing the oil and gas companies to have their share of the money while the Government was denied.
Hours before the Liberian Senate voted Friday, 29 March to remove Justice Ja’neh from the Supreme Court bench, Sen. Brown was among nine Senators that signed a resolution opposing the impeachment.
But giving reason for crossing carpet overnight to vote against Ja’neh, Sen. Brown says the anti-impeachment Senators had initially planned not to go public until they had acquired 10 or 11 members to block the impeachment.
At least 10 of the 29 Senators on Capitol Hill were needed on Ja’neh’s side to block his removal from the Supreme Court Bench, but some of the nine Senators that initially supported him crossed carpet overnight and voted against him.
Sen. Brown claims he voted against Ja’neh out of anger because his colleagues went public with their resolution to halt the impeachment.
“You don’t expose your secrets to your opponent when you don’t have the strength,” Sen. Brown says.
Further, he accuses some senators of failing to affix their signatures to the anti-impeachment list, in spite of announcing that they were opposed to the impeachment of Justice Ja’neh.
The Maryland County Senator says he got disappointed in his colleagues when he heard the names of those who signed the resolution on the radio.
According to him, their action was supposed to remain a secret until they had succeeded in convincing other Senators to vote against the impeachment.
Additionally, Sen. Brown explains that on the day of the voting, he confronted two other senators, telling them that they could no longer stand by Ja’neh because the names of senators who had committed themselves to vote against his impeachment were already on the radio.
He argues that it made other senators to look bad.
“I got angry and voted against my colleagues because they went against our plans; I don’t regret the way I voted,” Sen. Brown concludes.
-Sen. Brown gives reason for impeachment
By Ethel A. Tweh –Edited by Winston W. Parley