What will Associate Justice Kabineh Mohammed Ja’neh do? Resign or fight to the end? The jurist is enduring the most difficult moment of his life. His law career and reputation are at risk after his fellow Supreme Court judges ruled Wednesday the High Court cannot exercise jurisdiction over individual Senators who have amended their rules to try the House of Representatives impeachment bill against Ja’neh.
Four lawmakers – Senator Oscar Cooper, Daniel Nathan, Conmany B.Wesseh and Milton Teahjay were seeking to stop the impeachment proceedings via a November 9, 2018 write of petition filed with the Supreme Court.
The opposing Senators argued contrary to Article 43 of the Constitution regarding authority of the Legislature as a branch to prescribe the procedure for impeachment proceedings, their colleagues in the Senate proceeded to amend rule 63 of the standing rules, thereby arrogating unto itself the authority and power to prescribe the procedure for impeachment to the exclusion of the House of Representatives.
But the Supreme Court in a 3-1 vote dismissed the Senators’ petition and said they were on the wrong path of the law.
The case was Ja’neh’s last hope and the ruling from his peers didn’t kindle it.
He now goes for trial before 30 Senators who 21 of them On Nov. 6, 2018 signed a resolution to amend the senate’s rules and set the basis for his impeachment trial.
In accordance with the senate’s standing rules and procedures, 20 out of the 30-member Senate are needed to effect the removal of the Supreme Court Justice.
The Amendment of Rule 63 (Section 15-18) of the Senate’s standing rules and procedures will model criminal trials at Circuit Courts in Liberia, allow senators to serve as jurors and witnesses in the jurist pending impeachment proceeding.
Should he’s convicted, Ja’neh could be barred from holding public office and prosecuted for the crimes outlined in the House’s Bill of Impeachment, according to Article 43 of the country’s 1986 constitution.
Lost Legal Battles
Ja’neh has lost all legal battles pursued to prevent his removal from the Supreme Court bench.
On Nov. 30, 2018 the Supreme Court of Liberia ruled the House of Representatives acted constitutional to initiate an impeachment proceeding against Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh.
In a three to two vote, the Court said the legislators had done nothing in violation of due process right of the petitioner to warrant the granting of the Writ of Prohibition.
Senators have officially summoned the jurist to stand impeachment trial grounding out of a complaint from the lower House of the legislature.
The House of Representatives on August 27, voted 23 to one to adopt a bill of impeachment against the Supreme Court Judge for alleged theft of property, perjury, fraud and corruption. Other charges against the Supreme Court Judge include proved misconduct; abused of public office, wanton abuse of judicial discretion and misuse of power.
Justice Ja’neh was served the writ of summon on November 19, 2018.
on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 the Supreme Court ruled it cannot exercise jurisdiction over the matter.