LIBERIA: Senate Shuts Social Media Platforms Over Leaked Docs During Ja’neh’s Trial
The Liberian Senate has closed its two social media chat rooms until further notice after it found that “classified” information in those chat rooms were sneaked to the public in the course of the just-ended impeachment trial of former Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh.
Speaking Tuesday in the chamber of the Senate, presiding officer Dan Morias told plenary that the action to close the platforms was in the interest of that body.
One the chat rooms was for the general use of senators, while the other was exclusive to the leadership of the Senate – all created for the exchange of information between colleagues on their official workings.
“We have observed that our documents were leaked to the public during the impeachment trial by some members. Even Mark Zuckerberg, who created Facebook, can control it, and, so, we should be able to control our chat rooms,” said Senator Morais.
He acknowledged that the leadership of the Senate was aware of the opening/creation of the social media platforms, but did not institute appropriate guidelines to control them.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Senate has set up a three-man committee, including Senators Nagbe Chea of Sinoe, Henrique Togbah of Bong, and Daniel Naatehn of Gbarpolu to formulate rules that would govern and control the upper Houses’ social media platforms.
On the sideline of this development, River Gee’s Senator Commany Wesseh walked out of session, alleging that Tuesday’s gathering was illegal because there was no quorum, a charge presiding officer Morais dismissed on grounds that the leadership received official communications from lawmakers who sought excuse.
The Maryland County senator said Wesseh was “ignorant” of the rule of the Senate.
But Sen. Wesseh insisted that Rule 7 of the Senate was violated by the presiding officer and other senators, and that he would not sit in such session.
Rule 7 of the Senate, in part, provides that a simple majority of the senators who have been duly seated shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business and a decision of a two-third (2/3) of said quorum shall be binding.