Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson has broken silence over speculations that he would have been arrested and subsequently transfer to face war crimes charges in The Hague had he attended the just ended ECOWAS Parliamentary conference in Abuja, Nigeria.
But Johnson who returned from Nigeria over the weekend ended the protracted period of his arrest rumor describing those behind the rumor as mere gossipers. Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, February 16, 2016 in the conference room of the House of Representatives upon his return from Nigeria where he was elected as committee member on the ECOWAS parliament on security and defense, Senator Johnson further stated that it is unfortunate for Liberians to dedicate their time and resources on gossips and lies.
“Even some of my colleagues were also in the habit of spreading gossips and lies about me that Nigeria would have arrested me if I were to attend the ECOWAS parliament summit but God is good. I in fact brought some gifts for those who believe that I would have experience arrest or any form of intimidation,” Sen. Johnson averred.
Sen. Johnson was the subject of wide spread speculations that he was avoiding travels outside of the country for fear that he would be arrested in connection to war crimes he allegedly committed here during the civil conflict. Of particular reference was his most recent trip to the ECOWAS summit in Nigeria.
In October of last year, Sen. Johnson reportedly abandoned his post as Liberia’s representative to the ECOWAS parliament, fearing arrest for alleged war crimes. Since his election by the Liberian Senate in early February this year to represent the country to the regional parliament, he has conspicuously been absent at all sessions and functions of the regional body, though tickets and travelling allowances were made available by ECOWAS.
His conspicuous absence drew the attention of the Liberian Senate in plenary at the time, prompting Sen. J. Milton Teahjay of Sinoe County to write a formal inquiry to the august body asking why their colleague, who they elected to represent Liberia, is not performing his duty accordingly.
However, due to the seriousness of the matter, Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe herif, who presided that (October 1, 2015) plenary, recommended that the matter be discussed in Executive session, meaning in closed doors, barred from the public, including the media.
Sen. Johnson and Montserrado County Senior Senator George Mannah Weah, were elected by the Senate as Liberia’s representatives to the ECOWAS Parliament.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by Othello B. Garblah