By Grace Q. Bryant
The Justice-in-chambers at the Supreme Court has mandated the House of Representatives to lift the 30-days suspension slammed on Rep. Yekeh Kolubah for failure to follow due process in accordance with their own rule 48.4 that calls for complaints to be submitted to their Committee on Rules, Order and Administration.
In support of Article 20(a) of the Constitution of Liberia, Rule 48.4 says “The Speaker shall refer the matter to the Committee on Rules and Order and that the House after examining the report and recommendation submitted shall render its decision and the decision is final.”
Justice Nagbe who was expected to find closure in suspension case involving the Montserrado County District 10 Representative Kolubah and the plenary of the House of Representatives gave the instruction yesterday following a conference with the parties based on Rule 48.5 that says “Any member against whom the request is taken of disciplinary step is presented, has the right to due process of law.”
A motion was then made by Montserrado County District 10 Rep. Acarous Moses Gray requesting his colleagues to accept the court’s ruling and at the same time submit Yekeh Kolubah for investigation to the Committee on Rules, Order and Administration.
After a successful conference between the House of Representatives and Yekeh Kolubah, the Representatives has reinstated the District 10 Lawmaker but mandated its Committee on Rules, Order and Administration to investigate the matter internally.
While the Committee is expected to report to plenary on next Thursday, Rule 48.1 equally states that, “The House shall take disciplinary measures against any members who violates or fails to comply with the House ethics and procedure specified in this rule” and 48.2 says that, “Where any member is aware of the existence of a breach of the code of conduct and procedure, he/she may request the House to take the necessary disciplinary measures against any member who is alleged to have committed the breach.”
According to the Montserrado County lawmaker through his legal team headed Cllr. Jimmy S.Bombo, Article 20(a) says “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, security of the person, property, privilege or any other right except as the outcome of a hearing judgment consistent with the provisions laid down in this Constitution and in accordance with due process of law.
However, residents of Montserrado County District 10 appeared to be divided over the abrupt suspension of their lawmaker for 30 sitting days without salary and other benefits.
Representative Kolubah was suspended on March 25, 2021 by his colleagues over what they termed as his continuous and constant hobbit of raining insults against the Liberian Presidency, something which they said is bringing that august body to public ridicule.
The Montserrado County lawmaker through his lawyers filed a Writ of Prohibition against the House of Representatives to place a Stay-Order on the process but that did not materialize as the Justice in Chambers, Associates Justice Joseph Nagbe rather cited both parties to a conference which was held yesterday.
As both parties patiently await the outcome of the conference, residents of his district who are for and against his suspension peacefully protested on the grounds of the Capitol Building, while some hailed the lawmakers’ decision and others are now calling for his reinstatement.
Several women, predominantly Muslims were yesterday seen holding placards with the inscription, “District 10 supports her lawmaker; our Rep’s voice must be heard; respect Article 38 of the Constitution and residents of District 10 love their lawmaker” among other things are now cautioning the House to rescind its decision against their representative.
According to them, the action by the House to suspend Rep. Kolubah did not only violate Article 38 of the Constitution of Liberia, but also Article 1 which states that all powers are inherent in the people and as such, they, as constituents of the district were not respected or valued by the House’ latest decision.
They added that the lawmakers especially those from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC’s) action was not to discipline Rep. Kolubah but instead to see that their district becomes under-represented at the level of the House as well as a means of silencing critical voices whose aims and objectives are to see that the President do the right things for the country.
“This issue of coming down hard on critical voices in the country is only because they refused to dance to the tune of the Liberian Presidency which needs to be stopped. We, as residents of District 10 will not sit supinely and see our lawmaker be humiliated in that form and manner exhibited by his colleagues recently,” Fatu Weah, a resident voiced out.
In a more disenchanted mood, Martha Sieh intoned, “We as the women of District 10 need our lawmaker back because our voices too need to be heard in that Chamber. Resident of District 10 voted for him and love him for the way he talks and do things.”
Recently, some residents of the District under the banner, District 10 Advocates for Transparency and Accountability (DATA) petitioned the House of Representatives supporting that august body’s decision to suspend their lawmaker.
Reading the statement on behalf of the group, the DATA chairperson Calvin R. Summon said, “We have come without fear or favor instead to support, appreciate, welcome and endorse the suspension of Rep. Yekeh Kolubah as it is.”
He added that the residents of District 10 wholeheartedly welcome the decision of the lawmakers for taking said disciplinary action against their District Representative, something which he said now upholds and sustains national values and societal morals.
Chairman Summon further intimated that the move by the lawmakers to suspend one of their colleagues is quite cogent with the objective of providing him the opportunity to re-examine himself and subsequently desist from his alleged attitude.