Liberia: Senate Suspends Contempt Hearing for Agriculture Minister

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MONROVIA – Agriculture Minister Jeannie Cooper on Tuesday appeared before Plenary of the Liberian Senate to answer to why she should not be held in legislative contempt.

Prior to her Tuesday appearance, the senate had written two separate citations, citing her to appear before them on charges of contempt.

She was, however, asked to reappear next Tuesday with her lawyer in accordance with due process.

She was cited for her alleged non-compliance and non-cooperative attitude exhibited toward the Statutory Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The Plenary decision was based on Minister Cooper’s failure to appear before the full Plenary of the Liberian Senate on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 after a summon order. Senators expressed disappointment in the manner and form the Minister addressed her communication detailing an excuse to the Plenary which some members of the Senate described as mere justification rather a request to be excused.

In her communication of excuse, Minister Cooper cited her absence from the country as reason for not being able to honor the citation of the Liberian Senate.

According to the communication, she left the country on October 24 to form part of the President’s advance team delegation to the Conference of Parties on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Glasgow, Scotland.

It can be recalled that the Plenary of the Liberian Senate wrote Hon. Jeanine M. Cooper, Minister of Agriculture on October 21, 2021 to appear before the full Plenary on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at the hour of 11:05 A. M. to show cause why she should not be held in Legislative Contempt as required by Chapter 5, Article 44 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia.

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