Lawmakers from Nimba County walked out of Tuesday’s proceeding in the House plenary during the passage of an impeachment bill against Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh of the Supreme Court bench after their insistence to vote by head count, was rejected.
River Gee County Representative Francis Dopoh, who had proffered the motion, rejected the demand by the Nimba Lawmakers.
The lawmakers quietly walked out of plenary, and the motion was amended by Representative Acarous Gray (one of the crafters of the impeachment bill) to proceed with head count, which Rep. Dopoh later accepted.
However, 23 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, while one voted against. Prior to plenary’s decision Tuesday, protesters pre-dominantly from Ja’neh’s Mandingo tribe had gathered before the Capitol, to petition lawmakers to halt the impeachment process, arguing that it is intended to witch-hunt their kinsman, Ja’neh.
But instead of presenting their petition to the leadership of the House through its Claims and Petition committee, they presented it to the Nimba County Legislative Caucus. Thus it was considered dead upon arrival.
The document did not surface anywhere in the Capitol until plenary voted overwhelmingly for the passage.
It all started when the Chief Clark of the House, Mildred Sayon, while reading the impeachment and the report from the specialized committee constituted by Speaker Bhofal Chambers two weeks ago, one of the light bulbs in the chambers fell on a desk for Montserrado County Lawmakers, thereby creating serious noise and disruption.
Bong County Representative Marvin Cole, who appears to be a Christian, shouted, “Holy Ghost fire!” and immediately got robust response from his colleagues.
Following the disruption, Madam Sayon continued with the reading, this time, two pages of the bill disappeared from the file containing the documents, something that is very unusual at the Capitol.
Speaker Chambers with no option called for five minutes break, with the expectation the two pages may be found but to no avail.
The chairman of the committee, Representative Kainee Wesso, ran to his personal file for resubmission, but his entire copy of the report and bill were reportedly missing as well.
In an apparent embarrassment to plenary, the five minutes’ break extended to ten minutes, after which Madam Sayon ended the reading strangely.
Speaker Chambers instructed Chief Clark Sayon to forward said bill alongside the report to the Liberian Senate for possible concurrence.
On July 17, a petition seeking the immediate impeachment of Justice Kabineh M. Ja’Neh, was submitted to the House Plenary by Montserrado County Representatives Thomas Fallah of District #5 and Acarous M. Gray of District #8, respectively.
They, among others, charge that Justice Ja’neh “committed a serious official misconduct by engaging in a wanton and unsavory exercise of his judicial discretion, far exceeding the bounds of elementary judicial interpretation of issues simply to satisfy his personal ego.”
They also want him impeached for “Proved misconduct, gross breach of duty, inability to perform the functions of his office by allowing justice to be served where it belongs no matter the status of the party affected.”
By Bridgett Milton–Editing by Jonathan Browne