At Supreme Court Arguments: Tyler Vs ‘Majority Bloc’, Cllr. Arthur Johnson’s Overwhelm Petitioners

By Abraham S. Sollie/GNN Judicial Reporter

Cllr. Arthur Johnson speaking to Judicial Reporters on the grounds of the Temple of Justice
Cllr. Arthur Johnson speaking to Judicial Reporters on the grounds of the Temple of Justice

Drama at the Supreme Court yesterday for hearing in the arguments and hearing: Speaker Alex Tyler Vs the Majority Bloc was interesting when one of the lawyers representing the ‘Majority Bloc’ took the stand justifying why the honorable Supreme Court should not give credence to the request of petitioners in their quest to overrule the decision of the ‘Majority Bloc’.

The first to take the stand on behalf the indicted Speaker, Cllr. J. Johnny Momoh, told the court that his client wants the court to grant his request because the majority block is proceeding wrongly by breaking away and illegally conducting another session.

Cllr. Momoh argued that his client wants the court prohibits, enjoins and restrain the “majority block” from conducting any legislative affairs, matters or meetings in the joint chambers of the National Legislature.

He added that the “majority block” is not just opting to have Speaker Tyler step aside but said that their intention to is to have him removed as speaker.

He contended that his client was duly elected and that if there is any action to have him removed or step aside, it should be done constitutionally.

Cllr. Momoh other things prayed the court grant his client’s request by giving him the relief  as the law, justice, equity and fair play demand under in Liberia.

But the “majority block”, through their lawyer, Cllr. Arthur T. Johnson, strongly resisted the embattled speaker’s lawyer’s arguments and requested the court to leave the lawmakers alone to carry on their action because he said that the case is highly political that the court cannot hear.

Cllr. Johnson argued that his clients’ want the indicted speaker step aside so as to afford him ample time and chance to face his criminal trial at Criminal Court “C”.

Cllr. Johnson heavily relied on Rule #45.1 of the House of Representatives standing rule that he said talks about conflict of interest adding that Speaker Tyler, serving as presiding officer of the lower house and at the same time going through a criminal case is in conflict with the house’s standing rule.

He furthered that the House of Representatives having an indictee presiding over its affairs places it (house) in an integrity dilemma stating that his indictment presiding officer is an embarrassment to that august body.

He added that by Speaker Tyler stepping aside does not mean that he is will not be speaker but their action is to just prevent him from presiding while going through a criminal trial.

Cllr. Johnson among other argued that the court allows the lawmakers conduct their own affairs because he said his clients have taken a decision that has been endorsed by the Executive Branch of Government.

Following the legal arguments of Cllr. Johnson, many of members of the Alex Tyler camp were seen disappointed on the part of their legal representative, Cllr. Momo who they noted did not perform to their expectation.

The Supreme Court of Liberia Justice-in-Chambers, Jamesetta H. Wolokolie, on Monday, August 22, 2016, reserved ruling in a request filed before it by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, J, Alex Tyler, through his lawyers.

Located at the Temple of Justice on Campus Hill in Monrovia, the Supreme Court of Liberia is the final arbiter of justice in the country.

Chambers Justice Wolokolie’s decision followed legal arguments between lawyers representing the legal interest of the embattled House Speaker and the some members of the House of Representatives under the banner “the Majority Block.”

Before reserving her ruling in the case, Chambers Justice Wolokolie, afforded lawyers representing the both parties the opportunity to present their argument on whether or not the high court should grant the embattled House Speaker’s request.

It can be recalled that House Speaker Tyler, through his lawyers, on August 18, 2016 filed a 17-count petition for the writ of prohibition before the Supreme Justice-in-Chambers, praying the court to grant his request by ordering that august body to return to status quo ante.

Following their arguments, Chambers Justice Wolokolie reserved ruling to a due time after a careful perusal of the evidence, legal citations, and arguments.

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About Cholo Brooks 15592 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.