The Liberian Senate is said to be working out plans for the establishment of a corruption court, according to an online platform, the whistle blower Liberia, the President Pro-temporal of the Liberian Senate, Albert Tugbeh Chie of Grand Kru County announced that the Liberian Senate is currently working on a proposed act to establish corruption courts.
He said there will as well be regional appellate courts, within the confines of the Constitution, to ensure that the accused gets a speedy trial.
According to the Senate Pro Temp, this idea will help cool down the nerves of some people in the public sphere calling for the suspension of accused persons without final determination of the matter by the court and those who want to see justice but without violation of the rights of the accused.
He made this known when Independent Candidate Cllr. Joseph Kpator Jallah (JKJ) was inducted as Lofa County Senator on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 following the June 28, 2022 senatorial by-election.
Pro Temp Chie stated that the rights of an accused person are protected under the Due Process Principle as enshrined in Articles 20 (a) and (b) of the Constitution.
It is therefore the opinion of the Pro Temp that it will be a violation of the constitution to seize the property of an accused person, deprive him of his income by suspending him from his employment or seizing his bank account, coercing him to recuse himself from his position, and so forth, without first giving him the opportunity to face a tribunal where he will adduce evidence, produce witnesses, face his accusers, cross-examine opposing witnesses and be convicted beyond a reasonable doubt.
“It is pertinent to note that suspension, dismissal, or request to recuse oneself from a position, in order to appease society, impacts the lives of individuals accused and violates their rights to Due Process. Any recusal in said situation should absolutely be voluntary without pressure,” he said.
Meanwhile, during the induction ceremony, Pro Temp Chie described Lofa County Senator Jallah as an end-product of a series of events that occurred after the 2020 Special Senatorial Elections in respect of the Lofa County seat.
“We witnessed the application of the Due Process Principle at the National Elections Commission, the lower court and finally at the Supreme Court,” he stated.
On behalf of the Liberian Senate, the Pro Temp welcomed Cllr. Jallah as the newest member of the Liberian Senate.
He urged all of his colleagues to render him the necessary assistance as he adjusts to life in the Legislature.
“So our dear Senator, let me remind you gently that the Legislature is a political theatre, no matter your academic and professional background.
“Although we make laws here, but history, records, experience and everyday interaction have shown that all professions count in the lawmaking process. There is so much to learn from colleagues who have been in the Legislature before you,” Pro Temp Chie noted.