“Let Not Embarrass the Senate” -Sen. Wesseh, Gives Reason for Opposing Dean’s Nomination

MONROVIA: As uncertainty hangs over the confirmation of Cllr. Frank Musah Dean, Minister of Justice and Attorney General who was nominated as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court to replace Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe, Senator Conmany Wesseh of River Gee County has urged his colleagues  “not to embarrass the honorable Senate” by entertaining moves to confirm Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean as a nominee for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Courts and maintained that there was no vacancy on the bench of apex court

Senator Wesseh made the assertions over the weekend when he was hosted on the Spoon TV Network to provide his thoughts on the confirmation saga centering on where the Senate should proceed with the confirmation and whether or not a vacancy exists on the Supreme Court bench.

“My response to the first question is an unequivocal no. As law-abiding citizens of this Republic who are privileged to serve our people in the high offices of the Senate, we must “never, ever disobey” or be seen to disobey the order of courts, especially so, the Supreme Court, whether the order is expressed, implied or constructive. I fully support Senator Sherman on this. He obviously benefited and shares his forty years of experience as a Counselor of the Supreme Court Bar”.

The tough talking lawmaker asserted that there is what he called “a pedestrian view” being peddled by some people who have no knowledge of the constitution that once an agency or branch of government is “constitutionally or textually charged”, it cannot be prohibited from performing those duties by the Supreme Court. He said that was a wrong impression of the constitution, terming it, “dead wrong” because the constitution was clear on it as provided in Article 65 as it relates to the judgment role of the Supreme Court.

“Article 66 goes further to say that: The SC shall be the final arbiter of constitutional issues … The Legislature shall make no law nor create any exceptions as would deprive the Supreme Court of any of the powers granted to it. The court is seized of this matter that some colleagues want us to proceed on. I think that we are by law, required to await a determination of this matter by the Supreme Court”, he said.

Responding to a question whether there was a vacancy or not, Senator Wesseh who is among those who have contrary direction with respect to confirmation of Cllr. Dean said he was of the strongest conviction that there was no vacancy on the bench of the Supreme Court because the condition that led to the prevailing controversy did not meet the criteria to create such vacancy.

“With respect to the answer to the second question, I would like to respond with another emphatic NO. To the best of my knowledge, there is no vacancy in law and fact. Without going into the details of the judiciary Law and Civil Service Law covering retirement, I would look at the chronology of the relevant events/communications from and about Justice Nagbe”, he said

Buttressing his position where he also highlighted some ambiguity in the manner and shape Justice Nagbe, whom he referred to as “My friend and brother” wrote his communication to the President requesting retirement and the follow up letter from the Chief Justice her honour, Sie-A-Nyenneh Yuoh justifying the request for retirement.

“He has not been well for the past couple of years. He has therefore been absent from the Bench for at least eight consecutive months. He wrote the President on December 21, 2023 requesting retirement; the President wrote the Senate on December 26 nominating his replacement; the Chief Justice wrote the President on December 27 (should we read anything into this, coming a day after the nomination letter is made public) supporting and advising the President on the actions he took on the matter without any reference to a controlling law.

“Should we read anything into the Chief Justice’s apparent unilateral action coming a day after the President’s nomination when the opinion of the Court was not sought?”, Senator Wesseh said.

He held a contrary view to the reference made by the Chief Justice in which she cited by error the case of the late former Chief Justice of Liberia, Cllr. Johnny Lewis, adding, “Lewis resigned and not retired; a special package was arranged and settled with the Executive before the nomination of his replacement was made”.

While stating that none of the procedures in the Lewis’s case happened in the Nagbe’s  setting, he observed that  from past experiences with the government of President George Manneh Weah, “Nagbe’s fate will be left at the mercy of the incoming Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai  administration”, adding that if he was ever to advise Justice Nagbe, he would urge him to negotiate with the incoming government for a departure package but not retirement package because his situation did not meet the threshold.

“All these raise more questions and uncertainties about whether or not there was a resignation or retirement or at best a request – whatever Justice Nagbe may have called it.

“Because of all these, we should not embarrass the Senate at the end of the 54th Legislature and the end of the fairly honorable service of a good number of us. The sad end, Justice Nagbe and my other good friend and junior brother Dean, the “nominee” will be the big losers. Let’s prevent this”, he concluded.

It can be recalled that the President nominated Cllr. Dean upon acceptance of the requests for retirement of Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe who has been ill for some time now and could attend most of the sittings of the honorable Supreme Court but the nomination along with that of Deputy Minister of Finance for Fiscal Affairs Samora Wolokollie who was nominated to replace the late Director General of the Liberia Revenue Authority(LRA) has generated so much controversies from the public with many saying with few days to the expiration of President Weah’s tenure, it is a matter of expediency that the entire process should be left with the incoming government to take on the task of making the replacements.

The ongoing protest by staffers of the Liberian senate in demand of their sitting arrears and other benefits has further compounded the prospect of the nomination going ahead.

2 Comments
  1. Garsuah Gborvlehn says

    Commany Wisseh, it is chronic stooges and opportunists like you who are so ignorant of the modus vivendi of government or of the state that you shamelessly come out to deceive yourselves and others. The letter from the Supreme Court to the President is absolutely clear that there Is a vacancy at the Supreme Court. Here below is the letter …

    Chief Justice Youh:

    Dear Mr. President,

    Mr. Justice Nagbe’s request for retirement for reasons of ill health is within the pale of the law, which grants an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court the right to honorably retire to private life. This finds precedent in the case of the Late Chief Justice, Johnnie N. Lewis, who for reason of poor health, was retired before the age of seventy (70).

    The retirement of Justice Nagbe automatically creates a vacancy on the Supreme Court, and Judicial Canon Two provides that in the event of any seat of honor on the Supreme Court becoming vacant, same shall remain vacant until the vacancy is filled by appointment and such appointee is commissioned and ceremoniously seated.

  2. Jake Doe says

    Mr. Wisseh, are simply ignorant or you have chosen to lie through your rotten teeth to rant such rubbish as “I think that we are by law, required to await a determination of this matter by the Supreme Court”, he said.???

    My God! Wisseh, you are an embarrassment, a disappointment, and a disgrace! Have you no shame? Do you not know about the separation of powers doctrine and constitutionality which forbids and prohibits the Supreme Court from encroaching or usurping the legislative functions of the legislative and Executive branches???

    NOW LISTEN UP, COMANNY WISSEH

    The recusal IS AS DEAD as is their ignoramus argument based on Article 32 B of the Liberian Constitution.

    The President shall, on his own initiative extend a regular session of the Legislature beyond the date for adjournment or call a special extraordinary session of that body to discuss or act upon matters of national emergency and concern.

    Unity Party is really a mess. Their so called “charge and bill” lawyers are so disgustingly incompetent that they lack this common knowlege that THE CONJUNCTION “OR” (THE SIXTH WORD OF THE FIRST CLAUSE OF ARTICLE 32 B), FOLLOWING THE PHRASE “OWN NITIATIVE,”

    (1) MAKES CLEAR AND ABSOLUTE, ONE OF THE MANY ALTERNATIVES THE PRESIDENT HAS WITHIN HIS RIGHTS AND POWERS TO EXTEND A REGULAR SESSION OF THE LEGISLATURE WITHOUT

    (2) SUCH ACTION OF THE PRESIDENT having to being prmpted by or contingent on or upon receipt of a certificate signed by at least one-fourth of the total membership of each House, and by proclamation.

    READ CAREFULLY THE FULL ARTICLE A AND B INFRA …

    Article 32 OF THE GREAT LIBERIAN CONSTITUTION.

    A. The Legislature shall assemble in regular session once a year on the second working Monday in January.

    B.The President shall, on his own initiative or upon receipt of a certificate signed by at least one-fourth of the total membership of each House, and by proclamation, extend a regular session of the Legislature beyond the date for adjournment or call a special extraordinary session of that body to discuss or act upon matters of national emergency and concern. When the extension or call is at the request of the Legislature, the proclamation shall be issued not later than forty-eight hours after receipt of the certificate by the President.

    AGAIN, Unity Party is really a mess. They are there “stabbing in the dark” as Justice Jamesetta Wolokolie makes a big fool of them, even after the very Justice Jamesetta Wolokolie told FrontpageAfrica to pull down that reckless headline about “halting confirmation”.

    If Justice Jamesetta Wolokolie was or is convinced that you people had a case, she would have never been compelled to rant about “citation “!!! She would have allowed that headline about “halting confirmation” to remain. BUT SHE DARE NOT AS FAR AS THE SEPARATION OF POWER CONSTITUTIONALY DICTATES, AND AS ARTICLE 32 B MAKES VERY VERY CLEAR VIZ THE SOVEREIGN LATITUDE AND ELASTICITY OF THE PRESIDENT IN SUCH A SCENARIO!

    Hence, The recusal IS AS DEAD as is their ignoramus argument based on Article 32 B of the Liberian Constitution….AN ARTICLE THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND, NOR CAN THEY INTERPRET.

    THAT TRASH YOU IGNORAMUSES CALL PETITION TO THE SUPREMEME COURT SHOULD HAVE BEEN TRASHED BY NOW IF JAMESETTA WOLOKOLIE WERENT MAKING A FOOL OUT OF HERSELF AND YOU DUMMIES.

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