21 June 2019

Liberia: Judiciary Warned Against Yekehkolubah's Arrest

Opposition Unity Party (UP) is warning Liberia's Judicial Branch of government to abandon a quest to issue an arrest warrant against Montserrado County Rep. YekehKolubah, a vocal critic of President George Manneh Weah and the regime.

Series of attempts to arrest Mr. Kolubah both by government and former rebel generals have been resisted by supporters of the lawmaker.

He well-armed riot police officers besieged Rep. Kolubah's residence in the week of the June 7 Save the State peaceful protest over claims that he ordered his private security guards to beat and injure one Emmanuel Freeman.

Rep. Kolubah been speedily indicted along with his supporters, but the prosecution here continues to ignore public demands to equally indict ruling party Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Montserrado County Rep. Acarus Gray who also faces accusation that in his presence, his aide brutalized a businessman for arguing with the lawmaker (Gray).

But UP Legislative Caucus Chair and Montserrado County District #17 Rep. Hanson Kaizolu on Thursday, 20 June called on the Judiciary to abandon the quest to issue an arrest warrant against Rep. Kolubah.

He warns against politicizing the administration of justice here, cautioning the Judicial Branch of government against joining the current wave of political tension between the Executive and some members of the Legislature.

According to Rep. Kiazolu, it will not augur well for the governing process here if the judiciary joins the wave of politics between the Legislative and Executive branches of government.

Further, Rep. Kiazolu calls says it has come to the attention of the UP and Alternative National Congress (ANC) Legislative Caucuses that Rep. Kolubah has been pursued by the Judicial branch to be issued an arrest warrant on charges levied against him by the Liberia National Police (LNP).

He adds that as much as they do not support the mal-handling or brutality by any official of government against peaceful citizens, they caution that the procedures or process that will lead to the indictment of any sitting lawmaker be duly followed as a matter of precedent.

Rep. Kiazolu recalls that as members of the Legislature, former Senator Roland Karn of Margibi County and Rep. Emmanuel Willie of Grand Gedeh were both accused of felonious offenses while they were sitting lawmakers.

According to Rep. Kiazolu, the Legislature at the time was firstly engaged through the plenary by the executive or judiciary before the accused lawmakers were turned over to the Judiciary for prosecution as a matter of procedure and respect for the Legislature.

In the case of Rep. Kolubah, armed police besieged his home to subject him to interrogation.

Unlike the approach to Rep. Kolubah, the ruling CDC's Rep. Gray was simply invited by police following claims that in his presence, his aide had brutalized a businessman.

The police continue to insist on radio stations that Rep. Gray had no involvement to the incident.By Bridgett Milton-Edited by Winston W. Parley

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