The lawyer representing Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh in the ongoing impeachment case, Counselor Arthur Johnson, has filed a petition with the Supreme Court urging that newly inducted Associate Justice Joseph N. Nagbe should not sit on the matter.
Justice Ja’neh is battling against an impeachment trial at the legislature. The House of Representative has adopted a Bill of Impeachment against the jurist, alleging corruption and abuse of power.
The Supreme Court set October 18, 2018, to hear his lawyer’s petition seeking to stop the House’s impeachment proceeding but was stalled by another petition submitted by his legal team asking Justice Nagbe not to be involved with the case.
Cllr. Authur Johnson said Justice Nagbe was a member of the legislature up to August 27 when he was commissioned by President George Weah and a day after his appointment on August 8, the House of Representatives voted and transmitted the Bill of Impeachment to the Senate of which, he was still an active member.
‘’Justice Nagbe must recuse himself from the hearing because he was a lawmaker at the time the House of Representatives introduced the impeachment proceeding’’, he said.
Cllr. Johnson argued that when Justice Nagbe served as Senator of Sinoe County there were normal daily interactions between both Houses about Ja’neh’s impeachment and he believed that Justice Nagbe participated in those discussions.
Justice Nagbe reacting, said that the Constitution of Liberia does not rely on perception or assumption but rather facts and the petition on the record has no facts and that there was no basis for his recusal from the case.
‘‘I was not a member of the House of Representatives but rather the Senate. So, I cannot recuse myself and I also deny the request of the petition,’’ Justice Nagbe said.
Writes Jenebou Turay