The shocking death of Montserrado County District #15 Rep. Adolph Lawrence has prompted the postponement of the ongoing impeachment trial of Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh at the Liberian Senate for a day.
Announcing the decision Monday, 25 March to postpone the hearing, Liberia’s Chief Justice and presiding officer Francis S. Korkpor, Sr. says while the late Rep. Lawrence was not a member of the Liberian Senate, the deceased’s wife Sen. NyonbleeKarnga Lawrence is a member of the Senate.
Justice Ja’neh is on trial following accusations by lawmakers that he used his influence as Associate Justice to secure a ruling in his favor at the Supreme Court to take possession of a land being claimed by 94-year-old Madam Annie Yancy Constance, among other charges.
But he denies all the accusations.
News of Rep. Lawrence’s death along with a second victim identified as Gwendolyn Wilson came early Monday morning, with reports suggesting that a jeep personally being operated by the deceased lawmaker en route to Monrovia had collided with a failing truck on Tower Hill along the Roberts International Airport (RIA) Highway, Margibi County.
Rep. Lawrence was said to be returning to Monrovia from Buchanan, Grand Bassa County where he had gone to celebrate his 50th birthday when he and Gwendolyn got killed in the car accident while other occupants of his jeep including a student leader also sustained injuries.
The Chairman of the campus – based Students Unification Party (SUP) at the University of Liberia (UL) Carlos T. Edison and Aaron Cassell are said to be in critical condition at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia following the accident.
Rep. Lawrence, the husband of Grand Bassa County Sen. NyonbleeKarnga – Lawrence, was pronounced dead at the John F. Kennedy Hospital Sunday night, 24 March following the tragic motor accident along the RIA Highway.
Due to the incident, Chief Justice Korkpor says the Legislature is bereaved, noting that bereaved Senator Karnga – Lawrence has been there from the beginning of the impeachment proceedings of Justice Ja’neh.
He says there was no hearing for Monday 25 March, postponing the trial to Tuesday, 26 March at 2PM.
He indicates that it is no secret that a member of the Legislature was involved in a motor accident and he passed away.
According to the Chief Justice, Senators went to sympathize with the bereaved family.
Just before his sudden death, key among Rep. Lawrence’s last legislative actions was recorded last week when he moved the House of Representatives through a communication to invite Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean and Police Inspector General Col. Patrick Sudue to give report on the mysterious death of Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) official Matthew Innis.
The House heeded the late Rep. Lawrence’s call by inviting Justice Minister Dean and Col. Sudue to appear before the full plenary to report on the death of Mr. Innis who was serving as Deputy Director for Micro Finance at CBL in the Regulation and Supervision Department.
In Rep. Lawrence’s communication, he stated that in relation to Innis’ death, family members of the late CBL official were contesting report that their relative died of a hit and run accident.
Rep. Lawrence said the family was raising contentions that this alleged incident occurred just after the release of two damaging reports surrounding the printing and importation of billions of Liberian Dollars into the country and a controversial US$25 million dollars intended to mop – up excess Liberian Dollars by a Technical Economic Management Team (TEMT) and the CBL.The death of Mr. Innis was reported on 3 March, with claims that he was hit by a vehicle at about 2AM.
Based on Rep. Lawrence’ request, the officials were ordered to appear before the House with all documents required.
By Ethel A. Tweh –Edited by Winston W. Parley