Liberia: Senate to Expel Senator Dillon?

-Sources say, as Lofa County lawmaker writes Senate Plenary to Investigate the Montserrado County Lawmaker

Impeccable legislative sources have told the Daily Observer that popular Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon's days at the Liberian Senate are numbered as a plan to have him expelled from that body is at the point of hatching.

A member of the Senate who asked to remain anonymous, told the Daily Observer on Thursday that majority members of the Senate are conspiring to have Sen. Dillon expelled from the House of Elders.

"About two-thirds of the Senate membership have resolved to expel the Montserrado County Lawmaker," the source said.

Reports of the conspiracy against Senator Dillon come on the heels of written communication from Lofa County Senator George Tengbeh, calling for the Senate Plenary to investigate Montserrado County Senator Darius Dillon for invectives spewed against that august body.

Senator Tengbeh, in his communication, which was read in the Senate plenary on Thursday, said that his colleague frequently refers to the Senate as "spineless", "rotten" and "useless".

"Senator Dillon is in the constant habit of throwing invectives at his fellow Senators and shows no respect to officers of the Senate who try to call him to order," Senator Tengbeh's communication noted.

He requested Senate Pro-Tempore Albert Chie and the leadership of the Senate to investigate Sen. Dillon and give him due process in line with the Senate's standing rules and apply the appropriate actions, if found guilty of the allegation levied against him.

When asked whether the Senate has any plan to expel Dillon, Senator Tengbeh said his communication is the beginning of such an action, especially if the outspoken Senator does not desist from his actions.

"This communication is the beginning of the conspiracy against Dillon. We will fight vehemently until he is taken from this Legislature," one of the sources said.

Senator Dillon, a staunch critic of President George Weah, has frequently expressed regret over why the country does not have a very strong, robust and courageous Legislature -- as a lot of bad governance practices in the CDC administration and other societal ills would be punished and curtailed.

The Montserrado County Senator, who campaigned on the platform of "lighting up the Legislature", holds the view that the Legislature has been in darkness from time immemorial as lawmakers only look after themselves and not considering the interest of the country.

Threats of removal from the Senate greeted him on his first day as he was threatened by the President Pro-Tempore during his induction in the Chambers of the Senate on August 15, 2019.

While on his way to the Upper House, Dillon made a number of promises. Among these, he promised to reduce his salary to the maximum of US$5,000 and to "light-up the Senate," meaning that he will expose shady deals that pose a threat to national security.

Chie, in response to Dillon's tirades, warned that as per the Liberian Constitution, the Senate has the power to remove him from the Senate, and people who elected him will not be able to keep him there.

"Here, the rules of the Liberian Senate are the Bible of the Senate. This is a political house that you do what it says. You were elected by the people of Montserrado County, but from today's date, you belong to the Liberian Senate and that is why the framers of the Constitution stated that the power to remove you from here is not with the Liberian people, it is with us here; we alone have that power.

"Here Mr. Senator, we act beyond party lines. We act and think independently; no party dictates to us. Within six months, Mr. Senator, you will understand that we do serious business here because legislative politics is practical and different from church book politics. Here, we are masters of our own rules."

But Dillon immediately fired back hours later, throwing out a challenge to the Pro-Tempore Chie over verbal threats of his expulsion from the Liberian Senate. "When you expel me, my people will still elect me in the next election as there is no law against that. But as I have promised, I will light up this building," Senator Dillon said in an interview, adding that he would work in line with the hope and aspirations of those who elected him. He subsequently posted a similar response on his social media page.

However, the 1986 Liberian Constitution does not prohibit an expelled member from contesting again in any election to fill the vacancy resulting from his/her expulsion. As such, Senator Dillon is confident that, when expelled, eligible voters of Montserrado County will re-elect him.

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