Finance Minister, Samuel Tweah Declares Wanted, Orders Arrested  

The House of Representatives has issued an order for Finance Minister Samuel Tweah to be arrested as a wanted person and brought before the body. This decision came after the minister failed to comply with two contempt charges presented by the lawmakers.

To enforce their claim against Minister Tweah, the plenary of the Lower House instructed the Acting Sergeant-at-arms, Morris Gibson, to apprehend the Minister. Gibson was instructed to seek assistance from any law enforcement agency in the country to ensure Tweah’s arrest and appearance before the House.

The House made this decision after the finance minister failed to appear for a second time in response to contempt charges. Instead, he sent a letter of excuse, citing illness and requested Deputy Finance Minister for Fiscal Affairs, Samora Wolokollie, to appear as his proxy.

The House dismissed this excuse and ordered the arrest of Minister Tweah, resulting in a four-hour recess for the Sergeant-at-arms and staff to carry out the order. However, after the recess, the Acting Sergeant-at-arms reported to the Plenary that they could not execute the mandate due to Tweah’s absence at work and residence.

In light of this report, Lofa County District #1 Representative, Francis Nyumalin, proposed a motion to declare Finance Minister Tweah “wanted”.

“Honorable Speaker, Co-presiding and colleagues: I move, if I could obtain a second, that a communication be sent to the Finance Minister, from the office of our Chief Clerk, that he appear here on Thursday, at 10 AM with his lawyer to show reason why he should not be held in contempt,” Nyumalin said, seeking a second to his motion.

“Contempt of the Legislature shall consist of actions which obstruct the Legislative function or which obstruct or impede members or officers of the Legislature in the discharge of their Legislative duties. It is punishable by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) and/or imprisonment in a common jail for not more than one month or the duration of the current session of the House after a hearing consistent with due process of law. Decisions rendered from contempt charges are not appealable,” the House’s rule #4 states.

The House’s Plenary took the decision Tuesday after the Finance Development Planning Minister failed to honor another citation from the body to appear along with his principal deputies in continuation of deliberation of national issues of concern.

It is important to note that on the previous Tuesday, the House of Representatives summoned Finance Minister Samuel Tweah to explain the reasons for his repeated unexcused absences.

The purpose was to address the issue of four months’ arrears in benefits. The House’s Plenary made this decision when the Minister failed to honor the citation, along with his principal deputies, to discuss matters of national concern.

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