Liberia: Leave Brownie Samukai Alone

opinion

We do not see the logic behind the Solicitor General of Liberia Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus asking the National Elections Commission not to certificate Lofa County Senator-elect, J. Brownie Samukai after the court had convicted him and his accomplices and stipulated timeframe in which they should refund US$1.4 million misapplied from a benefit scheme for soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia.

In the first place, where was the Solicitor General during the candidate nomination process when the NEC qualified former Minister Defense Samukai to contest for the senate in the December 8, 2020 special senatorial election? Why the SG did not act there and then, but waited for Samukai to get elected Senator before going after him?

Shamelessly, here is the Justice Minister Frank Musa, trying to defend Cllr. Syrenius Cephus before the Liberian Senate on his letter to the NEC, asking the Commission not to certificate the Senator-elect, Samukai because he (Samukai) was convicted by the court.

And so last week, both the Solicitor General Cephus and the Attorney General Dean on one hand, and the Liberian Senate on the other, had been pulling and hauling over the certification of the Senator-elect with the Senate instructing the two officials to withdraw the communication sent to NEC.

The Senate in plenary last Thursday argued that Solicitor General Cephus has no authority over election matters, particularly on who should be certificated winner or not, except the National Elections Commission.

We join the leadership of the senate presided over by Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor in calling on Cllr. Cephus and Minister Dean to muster enough courage and withdraw the letter to NEC if they have not already done so, as they seem to be treading on strange grounds.

Samukai and his colleagues involved in tempering with soldiers' benefit scheme had their days in court, were convicted and told to restitute the US$1.4 million within a timeframe. If the court had wanted, they would have been incarcerated until the money is paid. More so, the people of Lofa County are mobilizing funds to pay on behalf of their senator.

The court that convicted Samukai and others is watching; if they failed to pay within the one year period provided, the judge would take the next course of action, not the Solicitor General, who seems to be moving with political emotions.

Solicitor General Cephus and Attorney General Dean should be told in no uncertain terms that going after perceived political enemies, as was in the case of impeached Associate Justice Kabinah Ja'neh is counterproductive and should not be encouraged.

We hail senate presiding officer, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor and the entire leadership of the Liberian Senate for standing up for justice and coming to the defense of their colleague Senator-elect Samukai.

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