Nimba Lawmakers Plead With Boakai -Want Kinsman Ja’neh Salvaged From Legal Ordeal

MONROVIA: Former Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh was axed with impeachment by the 54th Legislature from the prestigious job on a couple of counts, including theft of record of the House of Representatives and illegal acquisition of a private citizen’s real property, amongst other things. Critics of the impeachment which was spearheaded by leading legislators of the then ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, had contended that Ja’neh was a victim of CDC’s political vendetta for his critical role against the party during the electoral legal dispute that followed the 2017 elections. A regional court, ECOWAS Court of Justice, faulted the Legislature’s impeachment, however constitutional it is here, claiming that the former Associate Justice’s rights were denied, and that the action against him be reversed. The CDC administration stood its grounds, slighted the ECOWAS mandate, and Ja’neh has since been nursing the stigma and hurt. Now with the Unity Party on the throne, legislative kinsmen of the former Associate Justice are attempting to take advantage of the apparent amiable political space to enliven the ECOWAS edict and restore a fellow Nimbaian. The Analyst reports.

Nimba County Legislative Caucus is calling on President Joseph Nyuma Boakai to revisit the controversial constitutional action visited upon a citizen of the county, former Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh, whereby he was impeached by the National Legislature.

In a communication dated March 22, 2024, nine legislators of Nimba County reminded the Liberian leader “of the matter of the former (impeached) Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, urging the Unity Party administration to enforce the November 10, 2020 Judgment of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice.

“We, the Representatives of Nimba County, from which county Justice Ja’neh hails, recall that the ECOWAS Court, in its 73-page Opinion handed down on November 10, 2020, and re-affirmed in that Court’s second Opinion, delivered on June 4, 2021, ordered the Republic of Liberia to restore, calculate and pay to the Applicant (Mr. Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh) all his withheld entitlements, including salaries, allowances and pensions benefits as from the date of his indictment from office up to the date of this judgment (November 10, 2020).”

The Nimba lawmakers also reminded President Boakai of other mandates that ECOWAS presented to the Liberian Government regarding the former justice.

These mandates include “to reinstate the Applicant (Mr. Justice Ja’neh) as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; or, in the alternative, to grant the Applicant (Mr. Justice Ja’neh) the right to retire from service on the date of notification with full pensions benefits as if he had retired at the normal retirement age for justices of the Supreme Court (of Liberia); to pay to the Applicant (Mr. Justice Ja’neh) the sum of Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (USD 200,000.00) as reparation for moral prejudice suffered for the violation of his (Applicant’s) rights…”

“Further to the herein above, the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice also ordered the Republic of Liberia to ‘submit to the Court within six (6) months from the date of notification of this judgment, a report on the measures taken to implement the orders set forth herein…’” the Nimba Caucus further refreshed President Boakai.

The Nimba lawmakers lamented that despite repeated calls, “the Weah Administration refused to respect and honor the ECOWAS Court’s Judgment from November 10, 2020 until it left office on January 22, 2024”.

By March 31, 2024, the group said, “it will be sixty (60) months since the Weah Administration illegally removed Mr. Justice Ja’neh from the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia.”

Tracing the Historicity of Case

According the Nimba County lawmakers, the history of this case began in 2018 when the Honorable House of Representatives received a petition from two of its members, Honorable Thomas P. Fallah and Honorable Acarous M. Gray. The petition sought to impeach Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh of the Supreme Court of Liberia.

The said petition, they said, was submitted to the Plenary of the said House of Representatives and referred to a “Special Ad-Hoc Committee”.

The “Special Ad-Hoc Committee” recommended that the Associate Justice (Counselor Kabineh M. Ja’neh) be impeached on the following offenses: Alleged theft of record of the House of Representatives; filing of a petition for the writ of prohibition; issuance by the Defendant of a writ of prohibition growing out of a petition filed by Srimex Oil & Gas Company and Conex Petroleum against the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC); and alleged illegal acquisition of Annie Constance’s real property regarding which the Supreme Court had already entered a final judgment.

The Nimba lawmakers further reflected: “By this time, we note that the Honorable House of Representatives refused to heed a ‘Stay Order’ which had been duly issued by the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia ordering the Honorable House of Representatives to stay any further proceedings in the impeachment matter, pending the Honorable Supreme Court’s determination of the petition filed by lawyers representing Associate Justice Ja’neh for the writ of prohibition.

“But the Honorable House of Representatives, in total disregard of to the Honorable Supreme Court’s stay order, went ahead and adopted the recommendations made by the “Ad-Hoc Committee.” The recommendations listed the case: Ecobank v. Austin Clarke.  The case “Ecobank v. Austin Clarke” therefore became officially designated as one of the cases the Justice handled (allegedly) improperly when he presided as Supreme Court Chambers Justice. Without any hearing to which Mr. Associate Justice Ja’neh was invited to attend, the Honorable House of Representatives declared Associate Justice Ja’neh impeached.”

The Nimba Caucus added: “The Honorable Liberian Senate received the Bill of Impeachment from the Honorable House of Representatives and, under circumstances deemed questionable, conducted ‘an impeachment trial.’  The Honorable Liberian Senate, in Session on March 29, 2019, concluded and voted by a two-thirds majority, removing Mr. Justice Ja’neh as Associate Justice of the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia.

“But immediately after the vote by the Honorable House of Senate, removing him, and optimistic in the belief that the actions taken by both the Honorable House of Representatives and the Honorable House of Senate were without the pale of the law, Mr. Justice Ja’neh filed a formal Petition before the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice challenging the legal propriety of his removal.”

They said following the hearing of Mr. Justice Ja’neh’s complaint (Application), the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice adjudged and declared that the conduct of the two Honorable Houses constituted a violation of Justice Ja’neh’s basic due process rights.

“The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice also held that Mr. Justice Ja’neh’s rights to fair hearing guaranteed under both the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which International Instruments have been duly ratified by the Republic of Liberia, were violated. Hence, the 73-page Judgment of November 10, 2020 by the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, referenced herein above.”

Call for Reprieve

The Nimba lawmakers drew President Boakai’s attention to the fact that Liberia is a founding member of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and a proud and well-respected member of this comity of nations, is obligated to uphold all Agreements, Protocols, Decisions, and Mandates of all organs, Institutions and Bodies of ECOWAS including the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, where two (2) Liberians have served as Justices.

“Mr. President, our country, Liberia, must always be reminded that we were the first member state of the Economic Community on whose soil the blood of citizens of fellow ECOWAS member countries was shed to save us from the brink of self-annihilation,” the Nimbaians continued: “It was therefore most appropriate when the Liberian Senate of the 54th Legislature at its last Session, marking the great transition from the outgoing Administration of President George Manneh Weah to the 55th Legislature and the incoming Administration of President-Elect Joseph Nyumah Boakai, called on the Senate of the Republic of Liberia to formally declare to the world that we shall honor the Judgment of the ECOWAS Community Court rendered in favor of Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh and mandate all appropriate organs of the Republic of Liberia to implement the ECOWAS Court’s decisions in this regard, notwithstanding any adjustment done with Mr. Justice Ja’neh through negotiations and amicable resolution by the Administration of President Joseph Nyumah Boakai.”

They concluded with this appeal: “In view of the above, We, the Nimba County Legislative Caucus, in support of the Honorable Liberian Senate of the 54th Legislature, most respectfully request Your Excellency’s to enforce the November 10, 2020 Judgement of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice. This singular action will ensure that justice and fairness is done to all under Your Excellency’s stewardship.”

3 Comments
  1. khaleejuae says

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  2. Kau Gontee says

    Bunch of clowns. You ignoramuses must be stomach filled. ECOWAS Court has neither the mandate nor the jurisdiction to reverse a verdict, decision, or ruling by Supreme Courts of member states, not to talk about impeachment and removal by the Legislatures of member states. On top of that, Article 59 of the Liberian Constitution makes clear that reinstatement by the President following impeachment is prohibited and beyond the powers of the President and the other two branches of government.

    You people in your chronic ignorance, are conducting yourselves worse than that Ghanaian thief Edward Asante and his cohorts who foolishly and criminally believes that he and his accomplices can use such abstract nothingness about human rights to circumvent the principles of international law, and violate the judicial, and legislative sovereignty, and national sovereignty of member states of ECOWAS.

    Accordingly, you dummies must be politically daydreaming to use our county to rant about a war criminal who killed our people because Taylor was their enemy, and who was corruptly placed on the Bench of the Supreme Court, and who was indicted by the House and impeached, and then finally convicted and removed from the Bench of the Supreme Court should be reinstated and financially benefit from his own wrong in the court of the very Senate which convicted him and removed him from the Bench of the Supreme Court.

    As for such silly arguments as Liberia being a founding member of ECOWAS ….and all such craps obviously expected from dummies, such childishness shows how you people are being used by this killer who killed our people.

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