In an apparent outrageous mood, Gbarpolu County Senator Daniel Flomo Naatehn has branded his colleagues as “Sick Senators” for their action seeking to impeach Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh.Justice Ja’neh faces accusation of alleged corruption, proved misconduct and other charges, but some lawmakers are opposed to the processes leading to his impeachment on grounds that they are illegal.
Speaking in plenary Tuesday, 6 November at the Capitol, Sen. Naatehn described the action of his colleagues regarding Ja’neh’s impeachment plot as “uncomfortable, indecent and ungovernable.”
The Gbarpolu County Senator fears that his colleagues’ action brings the image of the august body to public dispute.
He says the sickened attitude of the Senate is reportedly based on the alleged “dictatorial leadership” of Pro Tempore Albert Chie.According to him, some senators at the Legislature have made Pro – Tempore Chie a dictator overnight.
Senator Naatehn’s argument has been that Article 43 of the 1986 Liberian Constitution says that rules of impeachment shall be created by the Legislature and not only the House of Senate.
Currently, the Senate’s Chambers has passed the amendment to Rule 63 of their standing rules which speak to impeachment proceedings.
But Sen. Naatehn laments that both the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate should have crafted the rule and procedurals of impeachment instead of Senate alone taking upon itself the task to do so.Article 43 of the Constitution says the power to prepare a bill of impeachment is vested solely in the House of Representatives, and the power to try all impeachments is vested solely in the Senate.
It partly says no person shall be impeached but by the concurrence of two-thirds of the total membership of the Senate.The Constitution says the Legislature (which means Senate and House combined) shall prescribe the procedure for impeachment proceedings which shall be in conformity with the requirements of due process of law.
Supporting Naatehn’s argument, Lofa County Senator Steve Zargo says the “wrongful action” of Pro – Tempore Chie is based on field study.“The Pro – Tempore studied rocks, so he’s behaving like rock to us, unlike me who studied sociology and criminology,” Sen. Zargo says.
“This kind of leadership will continue for some time because I told you people during the Pro – Tempore election that this man cannot be good leader, but nobody listened,” Senator Zargo continues.The Lofa Senator attempted contesting against Pro – Tempore Chie during the Senate leadership election.
Meanwhile, the Plenary of the Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for the amendments in Rule 63 of the Senate Rule which is expected to be used as guide for the impeachment proceedings against Justice Ja’neh. 21 Senators voted in favor of the amendment, while five senators voted against it.
Those that voted against the amendment include Gbarpolu County Senators Armah Jallah and Daniel Naatehn; Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence, River Gee County Senator Conmany Wesseh and Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper.With the conclusion of the rule of impeachment, the Senate through its secretariat will now invite the defendant of charges and the proceedings will commence.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley