Tyler Petitions High Court For Prohibition In ‘Unconstitutional’ Removal
Monrovia – Deposed Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex Tyler, has petitioned the Supreme Associate Court Justice-in-Chambers, Kabineh Ja’neh for the issuance of a writ of prohibition against Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue for his ‘illegal’ removal as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Report by Kennedy L. Yangian kennedylyangian @fromtpageafricaonline.com
“Prohibit, enjoin and restrain Respondent from any act or conduct purporting or intending to elect or select a successor to Petitioner as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Appoint a date and time for the Respondents to file their returns to show cause, if any, why the Preemptory writ should not be issued by your honor,” stated the petition filed by his lawyer, Cllr Johnny Momo.
The deposed Speaker’s appeal comes in the wake of plans by the House of Representatives to hold election for a new Speaker. On Friday September 30 at a special session, plenary of the House of Representatives voted and set Tuesday October 4 as the day for election.
In his petition the ousted Speaker begged the court to command and order that all matters return to status quo ante.
He also prayed the court to declare null and void the respondents’ attempt to oust and remove petitioner from the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives because the proceedings conducted were not in compliance with the constitution and the House’s standing rules.
He further said the Court should undo any act and conduct from his colleagues and it was illegal.
“Conduct a hearing of the petition, returns and any other paper which may be filed and thereafter, direct and order the issuance of the Preemptory writ of prohibition thereby making permanent the alternative writ of prohibition, prohibiting, enjoining and restraining respondents from resorting to illegal,” the writ stated.
On Tuesday September 27, forty-nine (49) members of the House of Representatives signed a resolution to remove Speaker Alex Tyler from his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives. The decision is in keeping with Article 49 of the Liberian constitution.
Article 49 of the Liberian constitution states that; “the House of Representatives shall elect once every six years a speaker who shall be the presiding officer of that body, a Deputy Speaker and such other officers as shall ensure the proper functioning of the House.
The Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and other officers so elected may be removed from office for cause by resolution of two-thirds majority of the members of the House.”
There are 73 members of the House of Representatives and two-third of that number—49—removed Alex Tyler. The decision by the forty-nine members came as a result of a report from the committee on rules, order and administration who recommended that in keeping with the House of Representatives rules 48.1, and 48.3 in the committee’s report, it was unanimously recommended that Tyler be removed from his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives, a position he holds by privilege of the members of the House of representatives.
The committee’s report is a result of a mandate given it by the plenary of the House of Representatives to investigate complaints brought before that body by Representative Henry Fahnbulleh of Montserrado County and Samuel Korgar of Nimba County who accused Tyler of taking bribe and other criminal conducts relating to his position as Speaker.
“The committee was also tasked with the responsibility to investigate Tyler for allegedly taking hooligans and thugs to disrupt the activities at the House. The complainants, witnesses and committee members were present.
However, Speaker Tyler, having been duly notified of charges against him and the date and time for the hearing, failed, refused and neglected to appear and the committee proceeded with the taking evidence.”