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Liberia lacks impeachment laws

-Ex-Senator Wesseh says

Veteran politician and ex-Senator Conmany Wesseh discloses that no law exists in the country for impeachment proceedings. 

By Kruah Thompson 

Monrovia, Liberia, June 10, 2024—River Gee County former Senator Conmany Wesseh reveals that Liberia does not have laws to impeach presidents, judges, and chief justices of the Supreme Court.

Speaking to a group of journalists over the weekend, Senator Wesseh highlighted this legislative lapse, which dates back to 1986, when the country failed to establish procedures within the constitution for impeachment of government officials when something goes wrong.

He argues that despite these gaps, sufficient laws “on our book” enable judiciary officials to carry out their duties.

The former senator notes that this constitutional gap is creating what he describes as a problem of sub-censorship within the judiciary, similar to what is seen in the media.

“Sub-censorship is that no one prevents you from being an honest person. But if you choose to be corrupt, that decision lies with you, and no one should use excuses claiming fear of repercussions from the executive or the senate.” He says.

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He adds: “If the Chief Justice urges anyone at the Supreme Court to change their judgment, that constitutes a form of censorship, but to say the representative says so is wrong.”

He argues that those advocating for the removal of Judge Channa are merely expressing their opinion because there is no law supporting that. He dismisses the idea as something inconsequential.

For instance, he maintains that Justice Chennai cannot refrain from fulfilling his judicial duties because doing so would also constitute a form of censorship.

He believes that those representatives who decided to call for the impeachment of Justice Chennai acted based on their beliefs rather than on legal grounds. “They cannot remove a judge solely through a written letter, nor even with the approval of the House Representatives alone.” He notes.

Wesseh also argues that the Supreme Court, as per the constitution, did not have the right to decide on the matter or hold no opinion.

Additionally, he references the issue of former Justice Kabina Ja’neh, revealing that the ECOWAS court ruled in favor of him (Ja’neh) because of the same 1986 constitutional gap.

According to him, Mr. Ja’neh’s removal was not properly done because there is no law supporting that, and for this reason, the former Justice can and should be reinstated to his post.

Mr. Conmany further notes that there is no law currently governing the impeachment of government officials; therefore, Justice Ja’neh’s impeachment was unconditional.

He explains that the laws that were supposed to govern the impeachment process had not been established since the Constitution was established and passed in 1986.

He believes that when the law was passed that year, the Legislature had opportunities to enact it but failed.

According to him, while he was in the Senate, he exerted every effort to have this gap ratified but claimed his actions yielded no fruit, adding, “I have taken the issue to the Supreme Court, but no action has been taken.” Editing by Jonathan Browne

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