Sen. Naatehn Writes Liberian Senate -Complains Against Unethical behavior by MOJ Officials

Senator Daniel F. Naatehn, Sr. of Gbarpolu County, has written to the Liberian Senate, informing the upper chambers of the national legislature of what he called a pattern of unethical conduct, abuse of power and executive overreach by Officials of the Ministry of Justice targeted at him and other prominent citizens of the country with respect to the ongoing trial for the alleged alteration of the framework document of the Collaborating Political Parties(CPP) filed by the political leader of the All Liberia Party(ALP), Mr. Benoni Urey.

In a letter addressed to the august body through the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Albert Chie, dated  April 26, 2022, copy of which is in the possession of The Analyst Newspaper, Senator Naatehn made specific reference to a text message which emanated from the Solicitor General Cllr. Syrenius Cephas and sent to the host of the Spoon TV Talkshow, Stanton Witherspoon during a live interview with the Political Leader and Standard Bearer Alexander B. Cummings, where Cephas was said to have blamed the ordeals the ANC leaders were going through on the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean.

“I wish to bring to the attention of this august body a pattern of unethical conduct, abuse of power, and executive overreach by officials of the Ministry of Justice targeted at my person and those of other prominent citizens of the Republic of Liberia. Specifically, the Solicitor General (SG) of the Republic of Liberia, Cllr. Sayma Syrennius Cephus is alleged to have revealed, in a text message to a Talk Show host Stanton Witherspoon, which was read during a live interview with the Political Leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings, on Sunday, April 24, 2022. It states that a conspiracy by Justice Minister Musa Dean to have me and others arrested and indicted on charges of “forgery and criminal conspiracy brought by All Liberian Party (ALP) of Mr. Benoni Urey was against the advice of the office of the Solicitor General due to a lack of evidence”, Mr. Naatehn said.

“According to Cllr. Cephus, his office had “quashed” a writ of arrest previously issued only to be ordered “reissued” by Minister Dean. On the other hand, Clir, Dean, in a Ministry of Justice Press Release of 25 April, denied the claim of Clir. Cephus and instead requested the Solicitor General to furnish him (Minister Musa Dean) with “proper evidence which provides the basis for the prosecution of Alexander B. Cummings and others,” consistent with Section 22.2 of the Executive Law. The Minister’s request comes four months after the case had commenced in Court. This means that the Justice Minister had not had any evidence against us for the past four months we have been in court; hence, we consider this as harassment from the Justice Minister and his deputy. Ironically, contrary to the SG claim of quashing the case for lack of proper evidence, he has ascribed unto himself the powers of prosecutor, judge, and juror, handing down guilty verdict and describing me and others as criminals at multiple media appearances”, Sen. Naatehn said further.

The Gbarpolu lawmaker noted that the actions of the two senior officials of the Ministry of Justice run counter to the underlying purpose of criminal prosecution,  stressing that it abuses the integrity of the judiciary system, and risks plunging Liberia’s struggling democracy into increased uncertainty and chaos. He further said that It is also malicious and intended to bring him into public disrepute and impede the seamless discharge of his  duties as a Senator  in the Country, adding that it gives an unsavory impression that the Government is at war with itself, and further denigrates the image of the country internationally.

“Given the above premises, I request that this body cause the two senior officials of the Ministry of Justice to appear and explain their actions and give reasons why this body and the Liberian people should continue to repose confidence in them to properly and impartially discharge their functions and responsibilities”, concluded.

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