Liberia: Ecowas Court Hears Former Supreme Court Justice Ja’neh’s Impeachment Case
ABUJA – Nearly fifteen months after he was found guilty and impeached as Associate Justice on the Supreme Court bench, Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh will have his case heard before the Ecowas Court of Justice.
Report by Rodney D. Sieh, [email protected]
The ECOWAS Court is an organ of the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS), a regional integration community of 15-member states, created pursuant to the provisions of Articles 6 and 15 of the Revised Treaty of the body.
The Court has jurisdiction over four general types of disputes: (1) those relating to the interpretation, application, or legality of ECOWAS regulations, (2) those that arise between ECOWAS and its employees, (3) those relating to liability for or against ECOWAS, and (4) those that involve a violation of human rights committed by a member state.”
The impeached Justice told FrontPageAfrica Tuesday that the case was heard and he is awaiting the outcome. “This morning, our lawyers in Abuja and Cllr. Laveli Supuwood argued our case and we are now awaiting judgment”, Justice Ja’neh told FrontPageAfrica Tuesday.
FrontPageAfrica has learned that a ruling is schedule for September.
In a statement this week, the court announced that fifteen cases are scheduled for judgment over the next three weeks by the ECOWAS Court of Justice following the resumption of court sessions suspended on 20th March 2020 in response to the outbreak of the Covic-19 pandemic, according to the current cause list for the period 22nd June to 10th July 2020 released by the Court.
“The Court will also deliver one Ruling during the period while the remaining 18 cases, including one by Counsellor Kabineh Muhammad Ja’neh, a former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia contesting his removal from office, will be heard.”– The ECOWAS Court
According to the court, the judgments will bring the number of judgments delivered by the Court since January 2020 to 19.
“The Court will also deliver one Ruling during the period while the remaining 18 cases, including one by Counsellor Kabineh Muhammad Ja’neh, a former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia contesting his removal from office, will be heard,” the statement said.
Ahead of the resumption of sessions through virtual technology, the Court has installed the necessary infrastructure and undertaken stakeholders training.
In this regard, the President of the Court, Justice Edward Amoako Asante said the Court has approved a Practice Direction on Electronic Case Management and Virtual Court session, a Manual Guide on the use of Zoom for virtual court sessions and Lawyers Guidelines for Virtual Court sessions.
“We were on our way to make a significant dent in the number of pending cases which stood at 139 as at 19th of June 2020 but for the three-month disruption caused by the Coronavirus which affected our momentum,” the president said.
Last March, Justice Ja’neh was found guilty by the Senate following impeachment by the House of Representatives on one of the four counts, involving the official misconduct and gross breach of duty of the Road Fund Case.
During that case, petitioners believed that Justice Ja’neh has exercised an “abuse of discretion, granting a Writ of Prohibition” in the Road Fund Case, which denied the government of collecting levy/taxes in the total sum of US$27 million.
In the Road Fund Act, petroleum dealers in the country have been authorized to collect US$0.30 (thirty cents) imposed on the pump price of petroleum products and remit US$0.20 to government revenue, which has over the years summed to US$27m.
On March 29, 2019, in the Senate Chamber, 22 Senators voted guilty on the count of the Road Fund Case in the Associate Justice Ja’neh’s impeachment trial; 4 Senators voted not guilty.