LIBERIA – Justice in Chambers Jamesetta Wolokollie of the Supreme Court of Liberia has ordered the House of Representatives to pay all salaries and benefits owed Montserrado County District 10 Representative, Yekeh Kolubah.
The Supreme Court ruling was on today, August 11, 2022, under the signature of Associate Justice Jamesetta Wolokolie.
Justice Jamesetta Wolokolie in the ruling says: “This Action By The Respondent Being In Violation Of The Court’s Mandate, A Bill Of Information Will Lie. We Therefore Order That The House Of Representatives Not Having Proceeded To Have A Hearing But To Proceed To Arbitrarily Withhold The Informant’s Salary And Benefits For The Month Of June 2021, It Is Herewith Ordered To Pay To The Informant His Salary And All Benefits That Accrued To Him For The Month Of June 2021, And It Is Hereby So Ordered.”
It can be recalled, Representative Yekeh Kolubah filed a Bill of Information to the Supreme Court informing the Court that the House of Representatives has refused to pay his salary arear and other benefits, despite a mandate from the Court ordering the restoration of his full benefits and rights as a lawmaker.
According to the Bill of Information, the House of Representatives agreed to pay Representative Kolubah salary and benefits for the month of June and ensure other rights are accorded him.
Rep. Kolubah informed the Supreme Court that the action on the part of the Lower House runs contrary to an agreement by the House of Representatives before Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe who was at the time the Justice in Chambers.
In July of 2021, Representative Kolubah, filed a petition for the prohibition against the House of Representatives, requesting the court to prohibit what he called, the ‘illegal’ withholding of his salary.
He described the Lower House’s action as a violation of the laws of Liberia and disrespectful to the Court.
“Wherefore and in view of the foregoing facts and circumstances, the informant must respectfully pray your Honor and this Honorable Court to cause Respondent to pay informant salary and benefit for June 2021, further, the informant says that Your Honor will all that seems legal, just and equitable,” he stated in the Bill of Information.
This latest decision by Representative Kolubah brings to three, the number of times Representative Kolubah and the House of Representatives have been in a legal battle over alleged constitutional violation, two of which cases he won.
It can be recalled that in July of last year, Representative Kolubah filed a writ of prohibition against the Lower House, which was followed by a writ of summons by Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe.
The action was the second time Representative Kolubah had taken the House of Representatives to court for denying him the opportunity to attend the House’s Special Sessions. Based on his complaint before the Justice in Chambers, the body was summoned on Monday, 12 July 2021 to appear for a conference.
The Plenary of the House of Representatives in early May suspended Kolubah for 16 meeting days (two months) without salary, allowances, and benefits.
Representative Kolubah’s suspension followed a communication from Montserrado County District #5 Rep. Thomas Fallah, asking the august body to take action against their colleague for his unruly behavior.
At first Representative Kolubah was suspended by the House for 30 meeting days (about four months) by Plenary, which is the highest decision-making body of the House of Representatives on Thursday, 25 March 2021 without salary, allowances, and benefits.
His suspension was based on the accusation that he was constantly in the habit of raining insults at President George Manneh Weah, the Speaker, and some of his colleagues within the confines of the Legislature.
However, Representative Kolubah, through his lawyers, filed a writ of prohibition before the Supreme Court, saying the House’s decision was illegal.
According to Representative Kolubah, he is not excluded from attending special plenary’s sessions by their rules.
He said his colleagues were reading their rules upside down and not comprehensively analyzing the issues.