Liberia: Ja’neh Accuses House of Representatives of Not According Him Due Process
Monrovia – The under-fired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Mr. Kabineh M. Ja’neh, who is facing impeachment trial at the Senate on several counts, has ended three days of speaking in his own defense after he faced cross examinations from lawyers and senators, who are jurors of fact.
Before he had ended his testimony, Justice Ja’neh accused the House of Representatives of not giving him due process when they impeached him and forwarded him to the Senate for trial.
The embattled Associate Justice, who appeared very calm and settled throughout the three days said, the action of the House of Representatives to impeach him without investigation is a violation of the due process of law and it contravenes Article 43 of the Liberian Constitution.
“Even though the House of Representatives brought in belatedly an instrument, which they labeled as rule for impeachment and in that instrument they obligated themselves for the parties to have the right to be heard they went about the impeachment without serving me an invitation to hear my side of the story,” Ja’neh stated.
Responding to question about what he knew about discussions on the road fund with petroleum importers that led to a voluntary withdrawal of a petition for stay order filed by some petroleum importers, he said: “The notice of voluntary withdrawal signed by the parties in other words both plaintiff and petitioners as to whether they have reached a settlement agreement with the government represented by the Ministry of Justice was not our work. All we were concerned about is that they had arrived at how they will solve their case, how they did that I have no idea.”
While on the witness stand, Justice Ja’neh repeatedly claimed that the road fund case he is being accused of was signed jointly by the five justices of the Supreme Court Bench, including Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, who is presiding over the case, as the Constitution mandates.
It has been alleged by the prosecution lawyers that the prohibition issued by Justice Ja’neh to stop Srimex of Musa Bility and Connex of Abdallah Sheriff, from sending to government coffer the money they was collecting from the public on each gallon of gasoline and fuel is one thing prosecutors are holding onto.
The Supreme Court Justice is accused of multiple offenses including theft of property (stealing House of Representatives’ records), acquiring property wrongfully, and denying the government money rightfully due it from the road fund.
The total money owed by the petroleum importers is US$27 million for the 2017/2018 budget year. By agreement between the government and the importers, the public would be charged an additional US$0.25 cent for every gallon of gas and fuel they buy at the station.
The House of Representatives believes that Ja’neh’s, who was the Justice in Chambers, action was abuse of power and gross breach of duty for him to have issued the prohibition, which stopped the government from collecting the US$27 million of the Road Fund Money. Meanwhile, retired Supreme Court Justice Philips A. Z. Banks is expected Thursday, March 21, take the witness stand to testify to the constitutionality of the ongoing trial. Justice Banks was the Justice in Chambers when the first Writ of Prohibition was filed by Srimex of Musa Bility and Connex of Abdallah Sheriff.