Unconstitutional – Opposition Leaders Describe Jan’eh’s Impeachment

Leaders of the four opposition collaborating parties have described the ongoing impeachment trial of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Justice Kabineh Jan’eh as “messy, unconstitutional and politically motivated.” Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine, Benoni Urey and Alexander Cummings of the Liberty Party (LP), All-Liberia Party (ALP) and Alternative National Congress (ANC) respectively said the trial is politically motivated because it constitutes the greatest attack on democracy in our country and has no legal basis for impeachment.

The trios have called on the Senators to vote against the impeachment of the associate justice, saying that they have the bird, apparently referring to Liberia, in their hands. The opposition leaders considered the impeachment trial as “the greatest attack on democracy in our country.”

Questioned on his impression of the trial earlier, LP’s former Presidential Candidate Cllr. Brumskine responded that it is a complete mess.  “You know my heart bleeds for our country…”  Brumskine said it was unfortunate to see the Chief Justice of the Republic of Liberia to preside over an unconstitutional proceeding.

The Liberian politician and legal luminary was considering the last sentence of Article 43 of the constitution of Liberia, in which it is provided that the “House of Representatives and the Senate has to enact rules  as to how impeachment trial is conducted,” pointing out that this part of the constitution was not upheld during these impeachment proceedings.

“The worst thing that happened to me today was to hear the lawyer of the House, Cllr. Syrenus Cephus, asking the Chief Justice that ‘please tell me how to question my witnesses’”.

He explained that some people may believe that this is just about impeachment of Cllr. Jan’eh, a belief to which he disagrees.

“This is not about him. We are not here for Jan’eh business; we are here because of the rule of law. None of my colleagues will say we are here because of partisan or because we are asked to come to represent our partisan; but we are here because of the rule of law. We are so concern about our country. Therefore, on your question,  [the impeachment] is a big mess.”

Further speaking to why the trial is politically motivated, Cllr. Brumskine insisted that there is no legal or constitutional basis for this proceeding that is taking place now. “I challenge any lawyer in Liberia, including lawyers in this Senate to debate me on the issue of the lack of constitution basis for this trial; none of them can do it.”

Also speaking to journalists as the opposition leaders descended the stairs of the Capitol Building from the impeachment trial ANC’s Political Leader Alexander supported the impression expressed by Cllr. Brumskine as a lawyer.

“I also echo impression as a lawyer that we come here as a unit and this is about the defense of the Constitution of our country; and this is not about our individual political alliances.

He described as “outrageous” the Jan’eh impeachment trial. “I think this is outrageous, this is an affront to our country, to our people; and so we strongly, strongly admonished the Senate stop this impeachment trial which is a joke,” he said.

Quizzed whether he will stop the impeachment, Cummings answered, “It is the Senate which has the legal and Constitutional authority to stop it.”

As for Mr. Benoni Urey, he said “Not only that this is my first time [witnessing this kind of trial], it is also the first of this kind of trial in the history of Liberia that there has been an impeachment trial of an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

“Look, Cllr. Brumskine has defended what we have to say legally. I want to say it clearly, let the Liberian people know that this trial is politically motivated, and we need to stop it. We must remember in this country is for all Liberians; it is not for one group of persons or one political party.”

Urey accentuated that the actions of state actors today will go down in the history of our country; all these Senators there that are participating in this kangaroo process must realize that they are going to answer to the Liberian people in the future.

“I went up there and I listened to people who could not even reach Kolahun, calling themselves representatives – Liberia is bigger than this,” he asserted.

He then called on all the senators to graduate from being fooled, but to muster the courage and vote against the Jan’eh impeachment trial because there is no merit to this thing.

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