Liberia: ‘ECOWAS Ruling Signifies Lack of Respect for Rule of Law under Weah’s Administration’ – Justice Kabineh Ja’neh

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Monrovia – Impeached former Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh says his illegal removal from the Supreme Court Bench is due to the lack of respect for the rule of law under the George Weah-led administration.

He made the statement at his residence in Duport Road upon his arrival ceremony from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“What the ECOWAS Court did was just to say the same thing we said here [said] that our own people didn’t agree with. So, the ECOWAS Court now has given all of us hope that when you are living in a country where the government believes that it can’t respect the laws, or you can’t get redress, you can go to the ECOWAS Court and there, there is no issue of envelop,” Ja’neh stated.

Justice Ja’neh was illegally impeached from the Supreme Court  Bench in 2019 by the Liberian Legislature for granting a writ of Prohibition petitioned by petroleum dealers in the country to stop the government from collecting levy/taxes of USD$0.25 (road fund) imposed on the pump price of petroleum products.

Following his impeachment, Justice Ja’neh through his legal counsel filed a lawsuit against the Liberian government to the ECOWAS Court.

In the suit, he alleged that his removal violated his human rights, particularly the right to fair hearing and impartial trial, right to work and dignity of person guaranteed by the African Chapter on Human and People’s Rights.

He also claimed that the purported impeachment, trial, conviction, removal from office and replacement violated the Liberian Constitution.

However, during the determination of the case, the court ordered the Liberian government to pay Counselor Ja’neh the sum of USD$200,000 as a reparation for the moral prejudice suffered for the violation of his rights.

The court also ordered the Liberian government to restore, calculate and pay to Justice Jan’eh all his withheld entitlements, including salaries, allowances and pensions benefits as from the date of notification of the  judgement.

It further ordered the government to reinstate Justice Jan’eh as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Bench, the position he previously occupied, or as an alternative, grant him the right to retire from service on the date of the notification of the judgement with full pension’s benefits as if he had retired at the normal retirement age for justices of the Supreme Court Bench.

It further ordered his reinstatement as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court or in the alternative, to grant him the right to retire from service on the date of notification of this judgment with full pension’s benefits as if he had retired at the normal retirement age for justices of the Supreme Court.

Also, speaking at the ceremony, the legal counsel of Justice Ja’neh, Atty. Samuel Koffi Woods said the ruling of the ECOWAS Court is a clear manifestation that the Judiciary system of the country is “corrupt and rotten”.

Counselor Woods added that the ruling of the ECOWAS also means that the Executive of the Liberian Government is a juvenile executive and that the Legislature is of no value to the Liberian people.

“You have given us more energy because I saw in your eyes the demand for justice, and you say you want justice. It means that you told us that the Executive of our government is a juvenile Executive. It means that you told us that the Legislature is not of any value to you, and you are saying that our Judiciary is corrupt and rotten so you want justice. But we can only say to you that we commit ourselves to working with you to ensure that justice is done for all boy, girl, woman, and man in this country and we will not rest, we will fight with you to make sure that justice is done,” Cllr. Woods told supporters who had gone to cheer Justice Ja’neh.

Also speaking, Senator Abraham Darius Dillon said that the victory of Justice Ja’neh over the Weah-led administration sends a message that the country (Liberia) is looking for good against evil.

Senator Dillon also urged supporters of Justice Ja’neh to vote out politicians who use public office recklessly against their interests to butcher the independence and vibrancy of the Judiciary by illegally impeaching their kinsman.

December 8, we should not fight, we should not make confusion among ourselves. December 8, let us beat those people as if they never existed. December 8, is democracy versus dictatorship, December 8 is Liberians verses George ‘Weahians’. December 8 is about the heart and soul of this country. December 8 is about Liberians who are mysteriously getting missing versus a reckless government that has no time for our people. December 8 is about the U.S rate coming down, the Liberian dollars getting value, and all of the reckless bad governance practices. December 8 will solve all these problems. December 8 is light versus darkness,” Senator Dillon said.

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