Senate Pro-Tempore Armah Jallah
Senate Charges Konneh With Contempt, But…
By Wilfred Gortor, LINA
MONROVIA, February 9 (LINA) – The Liberian Senate Tuesday held Finance Minister Amara Konneh in contempt, but he could not face his 72-hour jail punishment as a result of a “Motion of Reconsideration” filed by Grand Gedeh County Senator Alphonso Gaye.
The Liberian Senate recently requested Minister Konneh to appear before its plenary with his legal counsel to give reasons why he should not be held in contempt for forwarding a communication to that body which it termed “disrespectful and a violation of the Constitution.”
Konneh, who appeared before the Senate’s plenary on Tuesday but without a legal counsel, apologized for forwarding said communication to the Senate.
He pleaded that the contempt charges be drop and that the Senate should convene an Executive Session to further discuss the matter.
His request was rejected by the Senate predicated upon a motion by Maryland County Senator Dan Morias in which he said that Konneh’s action, according to Article 44 of the Liberian Constitution, has obstructed the functions of the Senate, and so he should be given a reasonable sanction of not more than 72 hours in detention.
After attempts by some Senators, including Varney Sherman and Thomas Grupee of Grand Cape Mount and Nimba counties to make amendment to Morias’ motion were rejected, members of the Liberian Senate cast a vote in which 18 were in favor while three went against and three abstained.
Although the Finance Minister was indicted by the Senate, but his hour of redemption came after Senator Gaye filed a motion of reconsideration, which was sustained by Senate Pro-Tempore Armah Jallah.
Gaye’s motion of reconsideration could not be tried by the Senate plenary on grounds that the motion which indicted Minister Konneh did not forbid a motion of reconsideration.
This means that Konneh will be required to reappear before the Senate after three sittings of the body for the hearing of the motion of reconsideration.