Former Superintendent of Nimba County, Madam Edith Gongloe-Wehyee blames controversial Nimba Senator Prince Yormie Johnson, and his colleague, Senator Thomas Grupee for the recent impeachment of Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh from the Supreme Court.
Former Justice Ja’neh was impeached by the Liberian Senate last Friday for alleged proved misconduct, abuse of public office, wanton abuse of judicial discretion, frauds, misuse of power and corruption.
But Ja’neh’s lawyers had argued that the decision he took in chambers while performing his constitutional duties was further validated by all five Justices of the Supreme Court, including Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, who presided over the impeachment trial in the senate.
President George Manneh Weah has subsequently appointed Judge Yussif Kaba, as an Associate Justice to replace ex-Justice Ja’neh on the Supreme Court of Liberia, pending senate confirmation.
Speaking to Voice of Gompa, a community radio station in Ganta City, Nimba County, Madam Gongloe-Wehyee, also a former senatorial candidate notes, the nation only needed two votes from the Nimba senators (Johnson and Grupee) to have combated the impeachment process.
She laments that Senators PYJ and Grupee allegedly voted for the impeachment against their own kinsman and son, Ja’neh.
She explains that while nine senators from various counties voted against the impeachment process, the two Nimba senators were among senators, who led the former Associate Justice to the gallows for his eventual impeachment.
However, Senators PYJ and Grupee have since distanced themselves from Ja’neh’s impeachment, claiming instead, that they voted against the impeachment process.
The two Nimba senators, appearing on a community radio station in the county, distance themselves from said allegation.
They maintain that they voted against the process because it was unconstitutional.
But most Nimbaians, including ex-Superintendent Gongloe-Wehyee strongly believe their senators were induced by cash to go against their own brother, Ja’neh.
In a widely circulated audio posted on social media here just a day after Ja’neh was impeached last week by the Liberian Senate, Senator PYJ disclosed that all available efforts from elders of Nimba, including his personal intervention to have the ex-Associate Justice resigned honorably from the Supreme Court bench were turned down.
The audio contains an interview which PYJ held with a community radio station in Ganta, Nimba County via mobile phone in which he is heard narrating several interventions made to give Ja’neh a dignified exit, since according to him, services of the Associate Justice were never needed by the current administration.
Senator PYJ: “When I returned from Nigeria, I decided to find out what the actual problem was, and I discovered that this was a political matter, not a judicial trial that was following. And after making some contacts, I discovered that Kabineh Ja’neh was no longer needed among his colleagues on the bench; and that he was no more needed by the authority of the day.
I was told; I wouldn’t tell you who told me; I wouldn’t tell you who I discussed with, but I made every frantic effort, and I was told ‘Kabineh is no longer needed; [he] sabotaged a lot of things for this Republic, but because he is a son of Nimba and you are the godfather of Nimba, and Nimba County stood behind us, we will not want to take him on; What we want you to do is to intervene for a win-win situation. If he can honorably retire, we will pay him off for five years; whatever he makes, we will give him all of the incentives, a diplomatic passport, a vehicle, everything will be given to him; we just don’t want him there because he is a saboteur.’”
He says immediately he went to see Ja’neh the following night at 10:00 pm.
“And I went to see Justice Kabineh Ja’neh 10:00 o’clock in the night. And I said to him, I am your leader, I will not fool you; this matter that is pending is not a judicial trial where you will need lawyers to plead for you, they will only eat you money. Political trial requires political solution; political maneuvers, so I have come to tell kindly resign and you will get all of your incentives. I will bring the traditional leaders from Nimba, the 34 paramount chiefs I will bring them they will join me to intervene so that you can now tell the world I’m not guilty, but because my people in Nimba have appealed to me to step down; I honorably bow off, so that you can get your money. But when you put up a fight, you cannot win the power of the government. And Kabineh looked at me and said, he will never step down; that he will fight on.”
PYJ maintains that he did not vote in the Senate for Ja’neh’s impeachment likewise Senator Thomas Grupee, because they thought the entire process was political and not legal, adding that “Anybody accused us in Nimba, they need to check their brains very well, because we are only two senators, and we are 29 in the place; if two of us cast a vote against, it means nothing!” Editing by Jonathan Browne