Liberia: ‘No Intent To Suspend Or Expel Dillon’ – Senate Leadership
Monrovia – Senators Albert Chie (CDC-Grand Kru County) and Varney Sherman (UP-Grand Cape Mount County) both in Senate leadership positions have dispelled public perceptions about a plot to suspend or expel Senator Abraham Darius Dillon(LP, Grand Bassa County) as a result of a communication written by Senator George Tengbeh(UP, Lofa County).
Report by Henry Karmo, [email protected]
The issue, according to Pro Temp Chie and Senator Sherman, is based on a simple complaint which will be investigated in keeping with precedence.
Senator Sherman said; “Allegations are being made how we determine these allegations are false of true without an investigation? How can we assume at this time that someone want to suspend or expel our colleague even if these allegations are true?”
Pro Temp Chie said public perceptions about him harboring a plan expel Senator Dillon from the very beginning of Montserrado Senator Induction are totally untrue. In his attempt to disclose the relationship between him and Senator Dillon, the Senate Pro Temp outlined some of the instances he had render personal assistance to the Montserrado Senator.
He told plenary how he helped the Senator pay his poll watchers after the by-election that brought him to the senate and that he (Chie) has on a regular basis render assistance to Dillon.
“Dillon knows from his heart I have no plan to expel him. “It is dishonorable to say one thing to the Public and come behind closed doors and say another thing. I am disappointed in Dillon. I hate pretentious people. Senator Dillon knows the personal assistance I have rendered him.”
The Pro-Temp statement was in response to Senator Dillon, who had accused him of harboring a plan to expel him from the senate if he failed to follow the “Old orders” of the senate from the first day he entered.
Said Pro Temp Chie: “There is no way a complaint will be brought on the floor by two third of the Senate and the same two -third await to convict that same Senator. So, the only way is to first investigate the complaint brought by our colleague as per precedence set in other complaints.”
The Pro Temp further explained that Senator Saah Joseph’s recent complaint against Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence after she wasted water on him, is no different from that of the complaint against Senator Dillon. “How can someone talk about suspension or expulsion. There is no discussion of such and anyone pushing that is buying public sentiment because what is before us is a simple compliant. I have no plan to expel Dillon this is a matter of precedence. I don’t know why people are making issue out of this matter.”
In line with senate standing rules and recent precedent cases, the leadership referred the complaint to an Ad Hoc Committee for investigation. The mandate of the committee is to conduct investigation of
Those named on the committee are: Senator Sherman; , Senator Henrique Tokpah, (IND-Bong County) and Senator Matthew Jay (IND-River-Gee County).
They have been tasked with looking into the complaints against Senator Dillon in keeping with due process and present a report in 15 calendar days and all Senators have been are asked to cooperate.
The Senate leadership’s decision comes a day after they met and deliberated on a mandate given them by plenary of the senate.
Meanwhile the eight senator who signed a letter informing plenary that in keeping with the rules of the Senate, there is no complaint before the Senate maintained their position and asked the plenary to dismiss the complaint or asked Senator Tengbeh to redo the communication and follow the procedure.
“Allegations are being made how we determine these allegations are false of true without an investigation? How can we assume at this time that someone wants to suspend or expel our colleague even if these allegations are true?”– Senator Varney Sherman (Unity Party, Grand Cape Mount County)
What does rule 23 says
Rule 23 of the senate standing rules states: “A senator may be suspended or expelled from the Senate when a petition signed by two-third of the membership of the Senate, same shall be forwarded to the plenary for consideration.”
Section B of the same rule 23 states that after a petition has been read and considered by plenary, a vote of 2/3 (Two-third) majority of the total members of Senators duly seated shall determine the merit or non-merit of the petition.
Also in rule 23 C, in the event the Senate believes that there is merit, a cross-sessional review team, compromising not less than 3 and not more than 5 Senators, none of whom shall be signatory to the petition, shall be constituted to investigate the matter, consistent with due process as provided for under the Liberian constitution and report their findings and recommendations to the plenary within a period not more than 30 calendar days.
The time to report may be extended by the plenary upon request of the review team, but the combined total time shall not exceed 60 calendar days. Section D. of rule 23 further states that plenary shall debate the report and act upon the recommendation. If the recommendation calls for suspension or removal from the senate, a two thirds (2/3) vote is required and that expulsion of a member of the Liberian Senate shall conform to Article 38 of the constitution.