Thursday, July 15, 2010

DEPUTY SPEAKER MULBAH WALKS: High Court Halts Probe into Cop Assault

07/15/2010 -  by M. Welemongai Ciapha II
Source: FrontPageAfrica
Monrovia -

Tokpah J. Mulbah, (Congress for Democratic Change, 5th District, Bong County),the embattled Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of Liberia, will hold no responsibility for his alleged role in last weekend’s flogging of Police Patrolman Lexington Beh, according to a writ of prohibition in possession of FrontPageAfrica.

The writ was filed with the Chambers Justice on Wednesday, July 14, 2010, ordering the police to release all suspects arrested into connection with the Sunday, July 12, street protest, allegedly staged by CDCians of the grass root in solidarity to prevent police from arresting the Deputy Speaker at his Fish Market residence.

A communication from Associate Justice Kabineh Janeh to Justice Minister Christiana Tah reads:
“By directive of His Honor Kabineh M. Ja’ neh, Associated Justice presiding in Chambers you are hereby cited to a conference with His Honor on Thursday, July 15, 2010, at the hour of 10:00a.m in connection with the case: Tokpah Mulbah versus Ministry of Justice. Meanwhile, you are hereby mandated to stay all further proceedings/actions in this matter pending the outcome of the conference.

Section 31 of the Legislative Law proscribes and prohibits the issuance of any precept or arrest of any Legislator, or his family living in his household, or his servants, clerical staff during the Session of the Legislature, or 30 days before or after the opening of Session.

It further states that: “no judge or magistrate or justice of the peace or officer who administers the law shall issue or cause to be issued any writ of attachment, or other legal precept against any member of the Legislature, or the members of his family living in his household, or his servants or clerical staff during the session of the Legislature or for 30 days before or 30 days after such session, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace. Any judge or other official acting in contravention of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of contempt of the Legislature and may be dismissed from office at its next session”.

Petitioner Mulbah submitted that in utter violation and wanton disregard of the immunity vouchsafed to him and family members under the above quoted provision of the constitution and the statutory law, Co- Respondent, Director of Police, Marc Amblard, arbitrarily ordered 15 LNP officers, led by its Deputy Director for Operations, Al-Karley invaded, searched, arrested carried away and detained occupants of house, situated in Sinkor.

The petitioner, represented by Cllr. Francis Y. S. Garlawolo told Justice Ja’neh in the petition filed that the ‘illegal order or mandate’ executed by Amblard and Al-Karley occurred on Saturday, July 10 at about 11: 15 P.M, in which seven wards of Mulbah were handcuffed and taken away by the police and detained in police holding cells.

Petitioner’s counsel, Garlawolo who described the incident as an ‘illegal invasion’ of the Deputy Speaker’s official residence, further alleged that in the process, US$ 500. 00 and L$ 16, 000.00 including four cell phones were taken in the police raid.

Cllr. Garlawolo further maintained that his client freedom of movement and liberty have been restrained, which he said, is in quite violation of Article 21(b) of the Liberian Constitution, which reads: “no person shall be subject to search or seizure of his person or property, whether a criminal charge or for any other purpose, unless upon warrant lawfully issued upon probable cause supported by a solemn oath.

Petitioner Mulbah contended that to the best of his recollection, he has committed no breach of the peace, after ordering the flogging of officer Beh, for which he would have been arrested on the scene, nor has he committed any first degree felony for which he would be divested of his immunity by his peers and turned over to a court of competent jurisdiction consistent with established protocol and procedure as hoary with age.

“That this illegal act of the respondents, Amblard and Karley have not only infringed upon Petitioner’s constitutional immunity, but also rendered it impossible and diminished his ability to attend upon legislative session and official function prescribed by law,” Petitioner’s counsel averred.

According to the petitioner, the respondents have grossly violated the privacy and citizen’s immunity, when agents of the respondents, without the benefit of any warrant issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, searched and invaded the private home of Mulbah.

The petitioner further submitted that Amblard and his deputy Karley, repugnant to the doctrine of Separation of Powers and in violation of the Legislative Immunity that he was entitled to has, in addition to the invasion of his privacy and premises, initiated an extra judicial investigation, thus arbitrarily citing him to a purported interrogation, when allowed, shall obviously subordinate the office of the Deputy Speaker to mere police officer.

Attached to the copy of the petition was a letter, written by Marc Amblard to Deputy Speaker Mulbah, which was dated July 12, 2010.

Portion of the letter reads:
Dear Hon Tokpah Mulbah.

We present our compliments and wish to bring to your attention the incident of July 10, 2010, where an officer of the Liberia National police (LNP) was physically beaten while on official duty on the Robersfeild Highway. The LNP has reliably learnt that you were present at the scene of the incident and were involved in the commission of the offense.

As a follow-up to the investigation that commenced on July 10, you are hereby cited to the headquarters of the LNP on July 14 at 0900hrs.

In keeping with your request and consistent with your constitutional rights, you are entitled to be accompanied by your counsel of choice.

The petitioner further told the court that his arrest was predicated upon his persistent stance and protest on the passage of the Threshold Bill, now before the House of Representatives.

Representative Mulbah has set his political future on a bad note, beginning with the confiscation of several tons of high grade rubber from one Tamba, without paying for the seized rubber.

This was followed another incident when in 2007, his official assigned pick-up was impounded by police at Pipeline Road Community, after the discovery of several compressed bags of narcotic drugs in his vehicle.

With the latest incident of Beh on a critical list at the John F. Kennedy Hospital, counsel representing the legal interest of Representative Mulbah, who was expected to submit to police investigation has shield under Title 19, Section 31 of the Legislative Law of Liberia, by filing a petition for a Writ of Prohibition to the Justice-in-Chambers, Kabinah M. Ja’neh against the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the Directors of the Liberia National Police (LNP), from further criminal investigation into the beating of officer Beh.

Meanwhile, latest information reaching FrontPageAfrica Thursday night revealed that two of the seven arrested suspects in connection with the beating of Patrolman Beh have admitted to the act.

The suspects King T. Mulbah and Emmanuel Quemine told investigators that they were asleep when Mulbah woke them up to proceed to the Zone Eight Police Checkpoint where Patrolman Beh was beaten.

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Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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