The Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives has served a write of summon on three Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia to appear for trial after five legislators accused the jurists of undermining the rule of law and filed petition with the House to draw a bill of impeachment against them.
Three Senators, H. Dan Morais (Maryland), Peter Coleman (Grand Kru), Jim Tornola (Margibi) and Representatives George Mulbah (Bong County) and Numene Bartekwa (Grand Kru) filed the petitioned on account of the Justices’ role in a July 20, 2017 ruling, which they the High Court judges violated their “oaths of office by engaging in misconduct, gross breach of duty and exhibiting clear inability to perform functions of their offices as Associate Justices.”
The justices have been given 10 days ending August 14 to respond to the charges contained in the impeachment petition. Following the August 14 deadline, the Judiciary committee will hold a preliminary hearing to afford the judges the opportunity to defend themselves against the allegations consistent with the constitutional requirement of due process.
On Tuesday, August 8, 2017 the House’s plenary session adopted a resolution outlining the rules and procedures for the impeachment. Should the jurists fail to file their returns, a declaration of default will be rendered and a bill of impeachment drafted for debate and voting, the resolution reads.
The Resolution: section (6) If the report of the judiciary committee of the Honorable House of Representatives shows probable cause for impeachment of one or more of the three Associate Justifies and a bill of impeachment is attached to said report, the plenary of the Honorable House of Representatives shall debate the report and the bill of impeachment and vote thereon.
If the Vote of the plenary of the Honorable House of Representatives sustains the report of the judiciary committee of the House of Representatives for impeachment of one or more of the Associate Justices, the draft bill of impeachment shall be forwarded to the Honorable Senate for impeachment proceedings to commence. If a simple majority vote of the plenary of the House of Representatives is not obtained, any of the Associate justices who is declared in the report impeachable shall be absolved and discharged from the impeachment proceeding.
Section (6) If a simple majority vote of the plenary of the Honorable House of Representatives is obtained, then the records of the impeachment proceedings, including the report of the judiciary committee of the honorable House of Representatives and the bill of impeachment, shall be forwarded to the honorable Senate for the trail of the impeachment.