Suspended opposition lawmaker Rep. Yekeh Kolubah has petitioned Liberia’s Supreme Court requesting it to reverse his colleagues’ decision suspending him, complaining to Justice in Chambers Joseph Nagbe that he was denied his right to due process.
“Petitioner says that he was denied his right to due process as provided by the Rules and Procedure that [govern] the House of Representatives,” Mr. Kolubah, a staunch critic of President George Manneh Weah and the regime states in his petition filed last week.
“Wherefore and [in] view of the foregoing facts and circumstances, Petitioner most respectfully prays Your Honor and this Honorable Court to issue the Writ appropriate to stop the illegal act of the Respondent. Further, Petitioner says that Your Honor grant all that seem legal, just and equitable,” Kolubah pleads with the Court.
The House of Representatives suspended the Montserrado County District 10 Representative Mr. Kolubah for 30 days without salaries, allowances and immunities after looking into claims that the lawmaker had insulted President Weah.
“Petitioner says that he received a Letter from the Respondent (House of Representatives) under the signature of Mildred N. Sayon, Chief Clerk in indicating that the Petitioner is suspended by the Honorable House of Representatives for 30 days of meeting/session of the Honorable House beginning Tuesday, April 13, 2021 without salaries, allowances and immunities,” he informs the Chambers Justice.
He argues that Article 20 (a) of the Constitution says “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, security of the person, property, privilege or any other right except as the outcome of a hearing judgment consistent with the provisions laid down in this Constitution and in accordance with due process of law.”
Further, Kolubah indicates that the Rules and Procedures of the House of Representatives provide in Rule 48.1 that the House shall take disciplinary measures against any member who violates or fails to comply with the House ethics and procedure specified in this rule.
In a specific emphasis on Rule 48.5 of the Houses of Representatives, Kolubah notes that it requires that “any member against whom the request which demands the taken of disciplinary step is presented, has the right to due process of law.”
He adds that this rule requires that the “the Speaker shall refer the matter to the Committee on rules and order,” and the House, “after examining the report and recommendation submitted, shall render its decision.”
The lawmaker alleges that contrary to the rule on due process, the House of Representatives refused and neglected to submit the matter to the Committee on Rules and Order to investigative the matter in keeping with the House Rules and Procedure.
He laments that a complaint was filed with the Honorable House of Representatives against him but he was never submitted to the Committee on Rules and Order, as prescribed by the Rules and Procedure of the Respondent nor did the Rules and Order Committee submit report and recommendation to be examined by the House to render a final decision.
“The Respondent rendered final decision against the Petitioner without the guide on due process as [prescribed] in the Rules and Procedure of the Honorable House of Representatives,” he alleges.
More to that, Rep. Kolubah claims that there had been no investigation done by the Committee responsible to authenticate the truthfulness of the allegation. By Winston W. Parley