By Ethel A Tweh
The plenary of the Liberian Senate has declared the Lofa County Senatorial seat won by Brownie Samukai vacant following a recent Supreme Court’s order for his arrest and imprisonment.
On January 27, 2022, the Supreme Court of Liberia revoked the suspension of the two years jail sentence of Lofa County Senator-elect Samukai and his two deputies, have collectively failed to comply with the mandate and judgment of the Supreme Court in which they were ordered to pay 50 percent of the judgment sum in the amount of US$573,828.15 within the period of six months.
Convicts J. Brownie Samukai, Joseph Johnson and James Nyuman Ndokor will have to serve two years imprisonment and pay the full judgment amount of US$1,147,656.35, less the amount already paid by them.
The trio were indicted and found guilty for theft of property, criminal conspiracy, misuse of public money and money laundering in the sum of one million, one hundred forty-seven thousand, six hundred fifty-six United States Dollars, thirty-five cents (US$1,147,656.35).
The money was expended from soldiers’ pension funds without their consent during Samukai’s service as Minister of Defense under the Sirleaf administration for 12 years.
Against this backdrop, the Liberian Senate has written the National Elections Commission, informing it of a senatorial seat vacancy in Lofa county.
In a communication addressed to the Chairperson of the NEC, dated Wednesday, February 16, 2022, the Senate note that predicated upon the final judgment of the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia, which arose from the bill of information proceedings, incapacitates Senator-elect J. Brownie Samukai from serving as Senator of Lofa
The decision of the Liberian Senate to declare the seat vacant is in accordance with Article 37 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, which provides that in the event of a vacancy in the Legislature, the presiding officer of the Chamber in which the vacancy occurs shall within thirty days after such occurrence notify the National Elections Commission thereof and the National Elections Commission shall not later than ninety days thereafter cause a by-election to be held to fill said vacancy.
“The Presiding Officer would have me to formally notify you that a vacancy for a Senatorial seat for Lofa exists, Please accept, Madam Chairperson and Honorable Commissioners, the renewed assurances of my highest esteem and consideration”, writes Senate Secretary J. Nanborlor F. Singbeh. https://thenewdawnliberia.com/samukai-ordered-jailed/Editing by Jonathan Browne