Liberia: CPP Senate Caucus Hopeful of Samukai’s Entry in the Senate

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Monrovia – The opposition Collaborating Political Parties Legislative Caucus at the Liberian Senate has expressed optimism that Lofa County Senator-elect Brownie J. Samurai is on the verge of joining them, following the weekend ruling from the Supreme Court of Liberia.

The Supreme Court’s ruling prohibited Mr. Samukai from being certificated but at the same time left room for his possible certification as Senator of the Lofa County should he restitute the remainder of the US$383,552.10 which represents his share of the US$ 1.3 million he and two other former employees of the Ministry of Defense were asked to restitute or face a jail sentence.

The money in question is the pension money of former soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia which was misapplied when Mr. Samukai served as Defense Minister.

Speaking at the Temple of Justice last Friday, the Caucus Chair of CPP at the Senate and River Gee County Senator Conmany Wesseh told Judicial Reporters that the disability imposed on Mr. Samukai will be removed soon, though he refused to state a particular timeline.

“Brownie Samukai will be with us in the Liberian Senate. He will be certificated when that is remove and it will be removed,” Senator Wesseh said.

The Liberian government, through the Ministry of Justice, had contended that Mr. Samukai cannot hold an elected office when he has been convicted by the court and is yet to fully serve his sentence or alternative punishment as ascribed in the Constitution.

In agreement with the government’s argument, the Supreme Court ordered the National Elections Commission not to certificate the Senator-elect until he is cleared by the court.

Mr. Samukai was elected to the Senate during the December 2020 Special Senatorial Election in the vote-rich Lofa County. He is a member of the former ruling Unity Party.

On Friday, the Supreme court ruled in favor of government and granted a petition requesting Mr. Samukai and two others pay 50% of a total US$1.3 Million United States Dollars before a decision can be made to certificate him.

Last Thursday, some prominent citizens of Lofa, Nimba, and others from the southeast and in the Diaspora, as well as some Liberian business persons contributed nearly US$182,000 and presented same to the Court.

The amount represented the former defense minister’s share of 50% (USD$191,276.05) required of him to pay within six months since the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision on the matter to avert him from going to jail.

Criminal Court ‘C’ had ordered Samukai and his cohorts to pay 50 per cent of the amount within six months or risked being jailed. The deadline for the payment is August 25, 2021.

Just a Matter of Time

After Friday’s ruling from the Supreme Court on the Petition for Writ of Prohibition, Senator Wesseh said for Sumukai’s disability to leave him only requires time and that the Senator-elect is currently going through the requisite procedures to clear his liabilities.

“I have come to welcome our colleague, Senator Brownie Samukai, who we believe, it’s only a matter of time, he will join us at the Senate,” Senator Wesseh asserted.

According to him, the legal procedures does not suggest the end of Samukai entry at the Senate.

“I believe the approach we have gone through is only a process, but it is not only our commitment, the Liberian people’s commitment to be peaceful despite our plights, because 18 years ago, we took a decision by signing the Comprehensive Accord to resolve all our conflicts peacefully and that’s what we have done,” Wesseh said.

Senator Wesseh believes the Special Senatorial Election was won by Mr. Samukai, as such the victory simply reflects the will of the people of the vote-rich county.

 The CPP Senate Committee Chairman further expressed conviction that despite the court proceeding, the will of the people of Lofa County will prevail.

Senator Wesseh then admonished supporters and sympathizers of Mr. Samukai to continue exercising restraint until justice finally prevails in Samukai’s favor.

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