Embattled Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh has been discharged from the witness stand at the Liberian Senate after answering questions from lawyers representing the House of Representatives and the Jurors (Senators) in his impeachment trial.
For three days Justice Ja’neh took the stand as a witness providing evidence on charges levied against him by the House of Representatives.
He has since denied all four-count allegations levied against him by the House of
Representatives, claiming that he was not accorded due process by the honorable body.
The House of Representatives wants Justice Ja’neh removed from office on charges that include theft of property, theft of public records, prohibition on the Road Fund Tax and prohibition on the House of Representatives decision of impeachment.
Of the four counts, according to LINA legislative reporter, the issues of the Road Fund and Theft of Public Records seemed more of an interest to the jurors.
“I need clarity as a juror on the issuance of a Writ of Prohibition. You told us when the petroleum companies filed a petition before you contesting the legality of the matter, you forwarded it to the full bench of the Supreme Court. Is it possible as a Justice-in-Chamber to forward a matter without issuing a Writ of Prohibition?” Senator Henry Yallah questioned Justice Ja’neh.
In response, the witness said: “In order for a justice-in-chamber to forward a matter to the full bench for determination, it is a law that you might take an action, it is mandatory that in order to take an action you must issue a writ, and that’s what I did, issued the writ before forwarding the matter to the bench”.
Another juror, Senator Henrique Tokpa, said the impeachment trial is one of facts and not emotions or sentiments, but what remains unclear to him is why Justice Ja’neh forwarded the matter to the full bench without calling a conference.
“I did call a conference where the petroleum companies and the government of Liberia were represented and they decided to take the case outside the court for amicable solution,” Justice Ja’neh said.
Meanwhile, the trial is expected to resume on Monday, March 25, in the chamber of the Liberian Senate with former Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks appearing as an expert witness to discuss the impeachment proceedings, using the 1986 Constitution.
It can be recalled that on Tuesday, July 17, the 46th day sitting of the 1st session, the petition to impeach Justice Ja’neh was filed before the House by Representatives by Acarous Moses Gray (Mont. County, District 8) and Thomas Fallah (Mont. County District 5).
Both alleged that Justice Ja’neh “committed a serious official misconduct by engaging in a wanton and unsavory exercise of his judicial discretion far exceeding the bounds of elementary judicial interpretation of issues simply to satisfy his personal ego.”
The lawmakers also want Ja’neh impeached for what they termed “proved misconduct, gross breach of duty, inability to perform the functions of his office by allegedly allowing justice to be served where it belongs no matter the status of the party affected.”
Out of 49 lawmakers in session that day, one voted against, while nine members of Nimba Legislative Caucus walked out of the Chamber. LINA