As Rep Gray Opts For Justice Ja’neh’s Impeachment, House Ad-Hoc Body To Report In 3 Weeks

Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh

An Ad-Hoc committee of the House of  Representatives has been given three weeks to report to plenary on a  petition seeking the impeachment of Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh  before the august body.

The petition to impeach Justice Ja’neh was submitted to the House by  Montserrado County Representatives Acarous Gray and Thomas Fallah on  Tuesday.

The petition by the two lawmakers against the Associate Justice cites  “proved misconduct, abuse of public office, wanton abuse of judicial  discretion, fraud, misuse of power and corruption” as reasons why the  Associate Justice should be impeached.

As prayed for in the petition, the two lawmakers urged the lower House  to order an immediate investigation against Justice Ja’neh and have  him subsequently impeached, ousted and removed from the Supreme Court  Bench of Liberia for reasons contained in the petition.

Montserrado County Representatives Acarous Gray

Among several counts as enshrined in the impeachment petition, the  lawmakers contended that as elected representatives of their  respective districts, they are legally entitled to openly challenge or  demand the prosecution or impeachment, removal or dismissal of any  elected or appointed public official for the misuse or abuse of power,  corruption and misconduct, among other infractions.

Referencing Article 71 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, the  petitioners cited that the code provides the fundamental framework  upon which a judge or justice can be impeached.

They contended that Justice Ja’neh, unmindful of his judicial power  and authority and the danger of debasing the respect ascribed, has  committed a serious official misconduct by engaging in the wanton and  unsavory exercise of his purported judicial discretion far exceeding  the bounds of elementary judicial interpretation of issues simply to  satisfy his personal ego.

The petitioners alleged that at the detriment of others as was  exhibited in the controversial Code of Conduct debate just to unduly  hurt, shamefully impede and grossly frustrate the administration of  justice and even though his colleagues have moved away from such  controversial judiciary bluster for the sake of sanity, Justice Ja’neh  continues to behave as if he was a law unto himself.

In line with Article 71 of the Liberian Constitution, “the Chief  Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and the judges of  subordinate courts of record shall hold office during good behavior.

It further states: “They may be removed upon impeachment and  conviction by the Legislature based on proved misconduct, gross breach  of duty, inability to perform the functions of the office or  conviction in a court of law for treason, bribery or other infamous  crimes.”

Arguing further, the petitioners stated, that the constitutional  guarantee of immunity to judges and justices as enshrined in Article  71 is not absolutely free, as the immunity becomes constitutionally  sacrosanct when justices express views or opinions or render judgments  or rulings on matters of law by applying both statutory and customary  laws in accordance with the standards enacted by the legislature.

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About Cholo Brooks 11555 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.