22 July 2013

Liberia: Open Letter to Sinoe County Citizens of the Republic of Liberia

opinion

Dear Sinoe County Citizens:

Thank you for given one of your sons to represent your interest in Government. The fact that you reelected him for a second term indicates that he is indeed one of your finest sons of Sinoe County.

However, there is a development that you need to know, so that you, the citizens of Sinoe County, can talk with your senator to continue his good works not only for you, Sinoe Citizens, but the rest of us, citizens of the Republic of Liberia, by virtue of his position in the Liberian Senate.

Sinoe Citizens, you see, the 1986 Constitution of the Republic of Liberia says in Article 34:e, that the Legislature constitutes two specific inferior courts to the Supreme Court, including "Circuit Courts", "Claims Courts". As you will observe, all of us, citizens of the Republic of Liberia, are always in one of the two groups: the followers (the governed) or the leaders (the governors).

When and if you are amongst the followers-(the governed), and have allegedly done wrong or cause injury to any person or any association and same chooses to invoke the privilege and benefit of court direction to bring suit for appropriate redress, it is the "Circuit Court" that has prescribed jurisdictional powers for the proper administration of justice. When and if you are amongst the leaders-(the governors), the "Claims Court" is it that has the prescribed jurisdictional powers for the proper administration of justice.

The absence of "Claims Courts" in the judicial system means, when and if you are amongst the governors (like the Senator is) you go with impunity for wrong doings or causing injuries; thus, the alarming corruptions with impunity in the Republic of Liberia, because there are no Claims Courts to prosecute governors.

The "Bill" to constitute "Claims Courts" throughout Liberia was introduced in the House of Representatives by one of Grand Bassa County finest sons, District #4 Representative, Hon. Jeh Byron Brown (Sponsor) and the "Bill" passed (in the lower House) and has been forwarded to the House of Senate for concurrence. Said Bill was received in the Senate's plenary and sent to the Judicial Committee (of which your son is chairman) for findings and to report back to plenary within two weeks. Since April up to today, the Chairman has not convened the members of the committee to consider this Bill. We think this is very troubling and does not warrant the honor and value of your votes, as the great people of Sinoe County, as far as good governance is concern.

One can't help but wonder why the Senator is showing no concern for the people he is representing in Government. For us, citizens of Liberia, amongst the governed, not to be able to find the appropriate redress when our rights are constitutionally contravened or when we are injured by an act of the Government or any person acting under the authority of the Government only because, there are no "Claims Courts" in the Republic of Liberia, even though the Constitution says in Article 34:e that said courts should be constituted by the Legislature, and this Senator, (your son), is not concerned, surprises us, and we think his purpose does not justify the cause.

We personally met with the Senator on the issue of the Bill to constitute "Claims Courts" throughout Liberia, and he told us we do not need Claims Courts in Liberia. Then we said to him, but the Constitution says we should have "Claims Courts". He told us the Constitution does not say so. Then we read Article 26 to him. His response was: "The Constitution is not right". A colleague of his who was standing with us asked him, but why will you say so Senator?

Sinoe County Citizens, all of the corruptions in government with impunity are due to the absence of Claims Courts. All of the constitutional contraventions of our rights (as the governed) with impunity are due to the absence of Claims Courts. Correction, deterrence and prevention are very essential to the existence, growth, and development of our society. Imposing a penalty to set things right in a fair way, responding to wrong doings in a way that will prevent reoccurrence, or discouraging Government or any person acting under the authority of the Government from committing wrongs or causing injuries for fear of the consequences is not possible, lawfully in the Republic of Liberia in the absence of "Claims Courts"-(from government to government).

What the Senator doesn't know or he thinks we don't know is that his action is an attempt to undermine this (1986) Constitution; and as such, it is "Treason against the Republic" according to Article 76. This is a crime under our laws and no amount of legislative immunity can prevent prosecution.

Please, Sinoe County Citizens, prevail on your son and let him see reason and follow the good example of the Grand Bassa Lawmaker to release us, Citizens of the Republic of Liberia, who are amongst the governed from economic and social slavery.

We do not think we will take it kindly were it to be so. There are enough resources and wealth for all citizens of Liberia to live in "safety" and "happiness". Let him not deprive the majority of us off our "safety" and "happiness" just because we are the governed and he is the governor. He will not like to be treated as such when he is no longer governor. What is good for the "goose" is also good for the "gander".

Thank you for the understanding. Let us work together to make Liberia to take her rightful place amongst the community of nations. (An 1847 State position).

Very truly yours,

Augustus Daikai Jones

the Advocator

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