MONROVIA: In line with the usual Presidential tradition each year to pardon individuals convicted of various crimes by the courts of Liberia, President George Manneh Weah has issued executive pardon to Brownie J. Samukai, former Defense Minister, two of his other colleagues, Joseph P. Johnson, a former Deputy Defense Minister for Administration and Nyuma Dorkor,a Comptroller and 98 other convicts, detained at various prison facilities across the country and mandated the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean to ensure the unhindered implementation of the Presidential pardon in keeping with judicial procedures.
According to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), and signed by the Minister, Ledgerhood J. Rennie, the Presidential Pardon is backed by the 1986 Liberian Constitution under Article 59 which states inter-alia that the President may remit any public forfeitures and penalties, suspend any fines and sentences, grant reprieves and pardons, and restore civil rights after conviction for all public offenses, except impeachment.
The statement further said that Samukai, Johnson and Dorbor were also relieved of their legal obligation to refund the $1.1m being money belonging to some members of the Armed Forces of Liberia for pension which were misappropriated by the three individuals while serving in their respective capacities at the Ministry of National Defense.
The statement further said that the rest are individuals who were convicted of committing minor offenses by the courts of Liberia and were serving various prison terms, individuals with life-threatening illments, old age, and individuals who served a substantial amount of the time for which they were sentenced and demonstrated good behaviour while serving their respective sentences.
It can be recalled that the conviction handed by the lower court which was enforced by the Supreme Court of Liberia denied Samukai the opportunity to serve as Senator of Lofa County after winning the senatorial seat in 2020. A bye-election was conducted afterwards exclusive of Samukai and was won by Joseph K. Jallah who ran as an independent but decamped to the Coalition for Democratic Congress (CDC).