Implement ECOWAS decision on Ja’neh

Sources on Capitol Hill have hinted this paper that several Senators have prepared a petition requesting the Liberian Senate to honour the Judgment of the ECOWAS Community Court to re-instate or honourably retire Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’ neh. Through the petition, the concerned signatories are said to call on the Liberian Senate to formally declare…

Sources on Capitol Hill have hinted this paper that several Senators have prepared a petition requesting the Liberian Senate to honour the Judgment of the ECOWAS Community Court to re-instate or honourably retire Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh.

Our sources say several Senators are signatories to the instrument, considering that this Senate Session ends the 54th Legislature, and marking the great transition from the outgoing Administration of President George Manneh Weah to the 55th Legislature and the incoming Administration of President-elect Joseph Nyumah Boakai.

Through the petition, the concerned signatories are said to call on the Liberian Senate to formally declare to the world that they shall honor the Judgment of the ECOWAS Community Court.

The signatories said the Senate shall mandate all appropriate organs of the Republic of Liberia to implement the ECOWAS Court’s decisions notwithstanding any adjustment done with Cllr. Ja’neh through negotiations and amicable resolution before the inauguration of Amb. Boakai.

Ja’neh was impeached in 2019 following a trial at the Liberian Senate for alleged proven misconduct, abuse of public office, wanton abuse of judicial discretion, fraud, misuse of power, and corruption.

But in its Judgment, the ECOWAS Court ordered the Liberian Government to pay Cllr. Ja’neh US$200,000 for “the moral wrong” done to him and “re-instate him as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia.”

Cllr. Ja’neh was also granted the option to “retire” and be accorded full benefits of retirement as if he had retired at the constitutional age of 70 years.

Following rendition of the Judgment, providing six months for compliance, the Government of Liberia, on 1 February 2021, filed two applications before the ECOWAS Community Court.

One of the applications requested the ECOWAS Court to review the 10 November 2020 Judgment for what it termed as “violating the legislative sovereignty of the Republic of Liberia.

The other application called for the Chief Justice of the ECOWAS Court to recuse himself from sitting in any matter in which the Republic of Liberia is a party.

The ECOWAS Court, in its Final Judgment of 4 June 2021 dismissed the two applications in their entirety for “lacking legal merits.”

Given the records of the case, the Liberian Senators said it is an established fact that the Republic of Liberia is a Founding Member of the ECOWAS.

Being a very proud and well-respected member of this comity of nations, they said Liberia is under a duty to uphold all Agreements, Protocols, Decisions, and Mandates of all organs, Institutions, and Bodies of ECOWAS including the Community Court of Justice.

“Liberia must always be reminded that our country was the first member state on whose soil and for whose people, the blood of citizens of fellow ECOWAS member countries was shed so that Liberians could live,” the petition said.

“We the undersigned Senators, humbly petition the Honourable Liberian Senate sitting in its 6th Session of the 54th Legislature to reconsider its decision taken against Associate Justice Kabineh Muhammad Ja’neh removing him from the Supreme Court of Liberia for a reason and through a manner that has since been challenged in Liberia and internationally.”

The Liberian Senate in Session on 29 March 2019, concluded an impeachment trial, although deemed questionable, and voted by two-thirds majority, removing Justice Ja’neh as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia.

Immediately after that decision, Justice Ja’neh filed a formal application before the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice challenging the constitutional propriety of his removal.

Following the hearing of the Application, the ECOWAS Court concluded on 10 November 2020 that the conduct of the Liberian Senate constituted a violation of Justice Ja’neh’s basic due process rights.

The Court also held that Justice Ja’neh’s rights to fair hearing guaranteed under both the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were violated.

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