As the impeachment proceedings of Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh continues at the Liberian Senate, more allegations emerging at the hearing has put the defendant in the middle of the controversial US27 million dollar road fund.
Justice Ja’neh is standing impeachment trial at the Liberian Senate for alleged proved misconduct, abuse of public office, wanton abuse of judicial discretion, frauds, misuse of power and corruption.
Among the cases which triggered his impeachment trial are the controversial US27million dollar road fund and a land dispute involving the embattled Justice and a private citizen, Madam Annie Yancy Constance.
Justice Ja’neh has since denied these allegations.
However, at the hearing on Monday March 18, 2019, Justice Ja’neh took the witness stands defending himself as he appeared to have fumbled briefly on the allegation of the misapplication of the US$27 million intended for road maintenance.
It has been alleged by Lawyers representing the House of Representatives that Justice Ja’neh issued a prohibition noticed to stop Srimex of Musa Bility and Connex of Abdallah Sheriff, from paying into Government revenue the additional amount charged on a gallon of gasoline and fuel to be used for the road fund.
The total money amounts to USD27millon for the 2017/2018 Budget year, an amount owned by the petroleum importers.
In an attempt to raise fund for roads maintenance here, the Liberian Government and the petroleum importers agreed that the public would be charged an additional 25 cent for every gallon of gas and fuel purchase.
The money is an extra charge which has nothing to do with the profit or operational funds of the importers. Their duties were to simply remit those extra 25 cent on a gallon of fuel or gasoline to the Government to be used for road maintenance here under the Road Fund.
The total money that should have been raised for the 2017/2018 budget year was US$31 million. The petroleum importers including Srimex of Musa Bility, Connex of Abdallah Sheriff, Aminata &Sons of Mr. Siaka Toure, Kailondo petroleum of Mr. George Kailondo, MOTC, Nexium Petroleum, West Oil Investment, NP Liberia, Mayoubah &Sons Inc. and petro Trade were all required to remit these extra funds.
Of the $31milloin owned the Road Fund by the importers listed above, Srimex of Mr. Musa Bility and Connex of Mr. Abdallah Sheriff owned over US$ 11million.
It is alleged by lawyers representing the House of Representatives that after the two companies refused to turn over the collected revenue to the Government, and knowing that “their business partner” Justice Ja’neh was the Chamber Justice at that time, Justice Ja’neh asked the companies to file a writ to the Supreme Court praying for a stay order against government request for a turnover of the revenue collected purposely for the road fund.
According to the House of Representatives, the alleged action by Justice Ja’neh amounted to abuse of power and gross breach of duty.
They further noted that Justice Ja’neh’s action in issuing the writ of prohibition which stopped the Government from collecting the SU$27milloin of the Road Fund Money deprived the state of such much needed revenue.
The House of Representatives alleges that Justice Ja’neh received Kickbacks from his two friends who are his business partners and is getting more money from the deal since the importers have been unable to repay the Government despite stipulations for repayment that have been made.
When Justice Ja’neh was quizzed about his role in the road fund case, he went mute for minutes and later explained that the cancellation of the case was a decision of the entire Supreme Court Bench. (see article: “I committed no impeachable offense”)
Sources within the corridors of the Senate told this paper that most senators take this allegation of the Road Fund most serious of all the four allegations and are conducting private investigation into the matter.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor -Edited Othello B. Garblah