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Fireworks Expected At The Senate Today …As Justice Minister And Solicitor General Face Each Other On Letter Against Samukai

By Bill W. Cooper
The Plenary of the Liberian Senate has cited the Solicitor General, Sayma Syrenius Cephus and the Minister of Justice, Frank Musa Dean over recent letter written to the National Elections Commission (NEC) to halt the certification process of Lofa County Senator elect, Brownie J. Samukai.
The Senate took the decision on Tuesday, February 23, during their 12-day sitting based on complaint from Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon in which he questioned the legal standing of the Solicitor General to write the NEC, stressing that there is no law that stops an elected Senator from taking office after he has been elected to office.
Sen. Dillon’s decision to complain to the Liberia Senate was triggered by a letter sent by the Solicitor General to the NEC following the upholding of the Civil Law Court’s ruling by the Supreme Court to convict former Defense Minister, Brownie J. Samukai for misapplying funds intended for soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to be given them as personal pension money when retired.
Following the ruling of the Supreme Court, Cllr. Cephus hastily wrote the Chairperson of the NEC instructing her not to certificate Mr. Samukai due to his conviction by the lower court which was later affirmed by the Supreme Court.
The Solicitor General, in his letter to NEC recounted, “You will recall that prior to the December 8, 2020 election, Mr. Samukai was found guilty by the lower court along with his co-conspirators for the same crimes, but took an appeal to the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia, which automatically stayed the enforcement of the convicted judgment.”
He emphasized, “Therefore, the recent judgment by the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia is not a novelty, and did not depart from the holding of the lower court’s judgment; instead, it confirmed the lower court’s judgment, which means Mr. Samukai together with his co-conspirators has been convicted for felony from the date the lower court rendered its judgment in 2020.”
Cllr. Cephus further said, “Accordingly, since the guilty judgment, it is the law controlling and constitutes a finality of the matter, and by law it is not appealable in this jurisdiction; it is my considered opinion that it will be inarguable to allay any and all concerns that may arise, and you will therefore proceed not to certificate him.”
However, a motion to invite both the justice Minister and Solicitor General of Liberia was made through a motion from Sinoe County Senator, Milton Teahjay, following a statement from Minister Frank M. Dean in which he intoned that he was not in the know about the Solicitor General’s decision.
Minister Dean, appearing before that august body on Tuesday disclosed that he did not see the communication written by the Solicitor General, but was instead being informed about it on Facebook, emphasizing that he also has no idea about why the decision was made to write the NEC.
Although Minister Dean opted not to speak on the matter when quizzed by Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon about whether he was in the know about such letter; he rather referred the Senator to the Solicitor General who he pointed out as the person that could better respond to such inquiry.

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