POSITION OF SENATORS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL JUSTICE IN THE ASSOCIATE JUSTICE KABINEH M. JA’NEH IMPEACHMENT TRIAL
We the undersigned Senators of the 54th Legislature of the Republic of Liberia have decided and resolved that we cannot, shall not and do not support the impeachment trial now underway at the Senate which exercise is aimed at a possible removal from office of His Honor Kabinaeh M. Ja’neh, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia because the said trial is being held in gross violation of the Liberian Constitution.
Relevant articles of the constitution that are being violated are:
- Article 29, which defines the Legislature as the branch of the Liberian government consisting of two houses-the Senate and the House of Representatives, both of which must pass on all legislation;
- Article 43, which provides that “The Legislature shall prescribe the procedure for impeachment proceedings which shall be in conformity with the requirements of due process of law.” It is uncontrovertibly established that the Legislature as defined in article 29 has not prescribed any such “procedure for impeachment proceedings” against the President, Vice President, Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of the Subordinate Courts of Records. The Justice Kabineh Ja’neh Impeachment Trial being held without the prescribed procedure as envisaged in the constitution is hereby declared unconstitutional and without legal effect;
- Article 71, which provides: “the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of subordinate courts of record shall hold office during good behavior. They may be removed upon impeachment and conviction by the Legislature based on proved misconduct, gross breach of duty, inability to perform the functions of their office, or conviction in a court of law for treason, bribery or other infamous crimes. ”None of these is proven against Justice Ja’neh;
- Article 73, which provides: “No judicial official shall be summoned, arrested, detained, prosecuted or tried civilly or criminally by or at least at the instance of any person or authority on accounts of judicial opinions rendered or expressed, judicial statements made and judicial acts done in the course of a trial in opened court or in chambers, except for treason or other felonies, misdemeanors or breach of the peace. Statements made and acts done by such official in the course of a judicial proceedings shall be privileged, and, subject to the above qualification, no such statements made or acts done shall be admissible into evidence against them at any trial or proceedings”; and,
- Article 21 (a), which forbids the Legislature from enacting any bill of attainder or ex-post facto law.
We the undersigned Senators further note, with grave concern, that the position of the Senate on the impeachment of Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh was essentially but negatively influenced by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Claims and Petitions. As it is now public knowledge that the Senate position in this matter is constitutionally faulty, flawed, ill-advised and a result of confidence betrayed and appears to be designed to serve a selfish interest, we demand that Senator Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman should do the most honorable thing by resigning from the chairmanship of the committee to save the Senate further and future embarrassment.
Done this 28th day of March, 2019 by Senators who support the decision to halt the illegal and Unconstitutional Impeachment Trial and Removal from office of Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh.
- Oscar A. copper – Margibi County
- Nyonbloee K. Lawerence – Grand Bassa county
- Conmany B. Wesseh – River Gee County
- Armah Zolu Jallah – Gbarpolu county
- Sando D. Johnson – Bomi County
- Henrique Tokpa – Bong County
- Daniel F. Naatehn, Sr. – Gbarpolu County
- Stephen J. H. Zargo – Lofa county
- Gbleblo Brown – Maryland County