SIMPLE LOGIC AND THE LAW: WILLIAMS’ “GLASS-CEILING” WAS A GEM IN THE MAKING

first_img…until, he decided to plunge headlong (head-first, somersault) into the Ja’neh impeachment suit in typical pro-poor style: ASKING NO QUESTIONS—JUST KICKING A**!By Attorney Keith N. Asumuyaya BestBut before throwing himself into the “hala hala” about impeaching Justice Ja’neh, Jones Nhinson Williams, presumably a young man, had written an article titled, “Liberia, Beneath (he had Behind) the Glass Ceiling: Are We in Trouble?” We couldn’t figure out how he came up with the above as a title, but the first half of the article struck us as nothing less than a gem (a costly, precious stone) for which he ought to be applauded (cheered).Reading the article was delightful from the start, with the author not caring that the man he was writing about might no longer be as popular as he had been prior to becoming president. We were not bothered by this either.Yes, that first part of Jones’ article was all about President George Oppong Weah! And it was refreshing to find out that Oppong had done far more than play the game as it was meant to be played.At the height of his career, we were informed, the soccer star had gone out of his way to help ensure that Liberian soccer aficionados (admirers, fans) receive some of the attention and support they had been deprived of for years. So, ‘kudos’ again to Mr. Williams for the enjoyable piece he brought us about Dr. Weah’s charitable (giving, kind) side.WILLIAMS’ FAUX PAS Unfortunately, praise for the article must end somewhere there in the middle of the article since, out of the clear, blue sky, the young man decided to leap into what is perhaps the most contentious (law related, debatable) political issue of the day—creating more disagreement, perhaps, than the so-called “currency crisis.”After writing as well as he did for the first part of his article, Williams should not have taken a false step, believing he had covered himself enough to harmlessly segue (transition, switch) as occurs like a movement from one piece of music to the other; or in literature, from one topic to the other, without setting it up correctly. When that happens, the change-over ends up neither smooth, true nor honest.But what the fine young writer is guilty of is no more than “jumping to the wrong conclusion”—like hitting a few non-musical, wrong notes in the fields of law and logic, and by implication grammar; all three. Let’s take a look.JUMPING TO WRONG CONCLUSIONS We pointed out earlier that Mr. Williams started off very well and kept the same tempo (rate, pace), giving the reader a number of exciting facts about the President they should enjoy and appreciate for almost one-half of Williams’ article. He reminded readers that Weah inherited a deeply corrupt and economically mismanaged nation.MEANS WELL As President of Liberia, today, “…Mr. Weah must take ownership of everything that must be done to fix what was broken by past Liberian administrations, going back in time in this order: Sirleaf’s, Bryant’s, Taylor’s and Sawyer’s,” Mr. Williams explained.“Fortunately,” Mr. Williams continued, “today’s President is sincere and honest about helping Liberians in a bid to improve the country for all. One reason why some of us like President Weah—and are willing to help him succeed—is rooted in his past humanitarian record, his humble beginnings and his sense of determination and persistence.”“There is no doubt,” Mr. Williams continued, “that President Weah means well. And, as most people know, he will be the first to admit that governing a nation is not easy. As such, we must give our national leaders credit for their time and effort in solving critical national problems; this we must do especially when—rather than remaining true, willing and rational partners—some lawmakers make nuisances of themselves by word and deed, instead of helping the President as ‘national partners’, ” the writer went on.ASSOCIATE JUSTICE JA’NEH “That is why every sound Liberian should be bothered by the actions and utterances of one Representative Ascarous Gray, who is said to represent Montserrado County,” Mr. Williams advised, sounding as though he had made a swing from one limb of a tree to another.“Honorable Gray is seeking the removal of a Liberian Supreme Court Justice from office in a process he calls ‘impeachment,’ even though there are no rational or compelling reasons provided other than that he just wants to impeach Justice Ja’neh,” Mr. Williams took it upon himself to proclaim.This unexpected development with the second part of his article, a veritable or true faux pas (blunder, misstep) left us disappointed for a number of reasons: imagine putting so much time and energy into the Weah segment of his article, only to let himself fall short by failing to discover (arrive at through search and study) a “rule-of-thumb” when dabbling in legal matters.What for example, might Associate Justice Ja’neh had been up to lately—or even earlier—that could serve as fodder (hay, food) or grounds for a lawsuit against the Justice, rather than anything to do with political or ethnic cleansing, as everyone or his brother seems to be volunteering or suggesting?BLIND FAITH But Williams saw no reason to be skeptical (disbelieving or doubtful) of anything related to Justice Ja’neh, just as we ourselves were sometime ago, following Ja’neh’s brilliant dissenting opinion opposing the other Justices in connection with the opposition’s protests against the shenanigans of the National Elections Commission; this took place during the final stages of last year’s presidential and legislative elections, following the vote of confidence the Judiciary publicly dashed the commissioner and his minions.“There is never anything wrong with disagreeing with what people do or what they try to say they are in the process of doing,” we have heard again and again. “That is exactly where we all want to be—in a position to wait and watch for things to develop. Then we can move forward, with the facts in our hands. Without this knowledge, we can do nothing under the law; any activity would be a waste of time without waiting to make certain that the relative and, therefore, needed facts, are true,” we learned some time ago.Instead of jumping ahead of himself, Williams might have waited for a few days to hear and benefit from the reasons outlined behind the action of members of the House involved in the impeachment effort.By the end of last week, Acarous Gray and cohorts had posted some of the counts that have surfaced in connection with the pending impeachment process said to be underway. They included misconduct, abuse of public office, wanton abuse of judicial discretion, fraud, misuse of power and corruption.Where does that leave Mr. Jones Williams? In a “pro poor mess,” that is hitting the fan faster than ubiquitous, mutilated (tear-tear) Liberian dollars. One day soon, he might come to understand that dealing with over-zealous (passionate, strong feeling) people—like the ones he decided to write about and that included Acarous Gray and his CDC partners, must first and foremost be allowed to clear the test of truth; whether they are in the right with what they are trying to do, or are in the wrong! This hurdle, at some point, will have to be allowed to be cleared by the impeachment people, no matter who likes it or not.Mrs. Annie Yancy Constance Under one of the counts of the impeachment bill, a local newspaper referenced Mrs. Annie Yancy Constance, a 90-year-old woman who wrote President George Oppong Weah as a victim of Associate Justice Ja’neh’s.Mrs. Constance explained that her property was “acquired” by the Justice, who claims ownership predicated on and “bought” from a mentally-ill son of hers, who could not have sold what he was neither able, willing nor ready to legally and responsibly dispossess her of.Consequently, Mrs. Constance pointed out, her house is still hers, even though Justice Ja’neh has had her evicted and is collecting rent from the premises.She is still hoping that President Weah will come to her aid, even though and up to this point the president seems to be staying far away from things that he finally might be learning are not a part of his job description. But there are many who think he could be wrong, and that one way or the other he could end up having something to do with this case in the long run as it is much bigger than most people think!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Region 6 accepts ‘old’ $15M bulldozer

first_img…investigation launchedRegional Executive Officer (REO) of Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) Kim Williams-Stephen says the used bulldozer, which was recently purchased is indeed the property of the regional administration.Her acceptance came days after she denied that the machinery was property of the regional administration at the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) meeting last Thursday.“It is not a part of our property; we have not signed as receiving it as yet,” she told the RDC and also denied that the Region had paid the supplier for the equipment. However, at a press conference on Monday, the REO told reporters that the bulldozer, which was purchased for $14.8 million, now belonged to the Region. It was at the RDC meeting that concerns were raised over the bulldozer.Councillor Zamal Hussain called on the administration to explain the purpose of buying an old machine versus a new one.The bulldozerWeighing in on the matter, Regional Chairman David Armogan said it appeared to be a D3 Caterpillar bulldozer that was painted over and a D4 sticker was placed on it. He told the RDC that from his observations a further $6 million would have to be expended based on the level of deterioration of the machine. However, the REO told reporters at her press conference that the money was approved by Cabinet for a D3 bulldozer, noting that the proper procurement procedure was followed.“On Friday last the supplier was called and he promised to come in on Tuesday (yesterday) and if there is any defects, he is going to correct,” she said. She added that the equipment, which is now the property of the Region, came with a one-year warranty.“The facts are that the Region is in receipt of the bulldozer. If there are any defects, then it will be communicated to the supplier, who would have given the administration the one-year warranty so that in the event that we have any faulty or malfunctioning of the equipment, it will be addressed.”At the RDC meeting, the REO had said that the administration did not pay for the equipment. However, records at the RDC showed that early last year the supplier was paid $8 million for mobilisation and a further $6.7 million was paid on December 28.The bulldozer was accepted even though no inspection certificate was signed, and Armogan is calling for an investigation. He said that they should invite engineers to view the equipment and evaluate its cost and also whether it was indeed a Caterpillar D4 bulldozer.last_img read more

Gory details of terror charges stun listeners in Canada court

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2An eight-page document prepared by the prosecution, summarizing the charges against all the suspects, was not read in open court or distributed to the media, making it difficult to assess how sophisticated the alleged plot was. But the allegations of a plot to take political leaders hostage and behead them, unless Muslim prisoners were freed and Canada pulled its 2,300 troops out of Afghanistan, added a chilling dimension to a case that has prompted U.S. authorities to toughen security along the border and has unsettled Canada’s large Muslim community. Other defense attorneys declined to discuss the detailed charges. Batasar told AP that other suspects were facing similar allegations. “It’s just generally speaking that the allegations are against my client as well as the other parties,” he said. “That’s what all the parties are facing.” “The only reason I’m coming out and saying this is that my client is innocent of the charges,” Batasar added. “He protests his innocence, and that’s not being heard.” BRAMPTON, Ontario – The same friendly looking young man who blew a kiss to family members in court stands accused of wanting to lop off the head of the Canadian prime minister. The suspect, Steven Vikash Chand, also allegedly plotted to take over media outlets, including Canadian Broadcasting Corp., his attorney revealed Tuesday after a brief hearing at the Ontario Court of Justice. Spectators and family members of some of the 17 male Muslims – 12 adults and five juveniles – accused of plotting terror attacks in Canada were stunned Tuesday when they heard allegations of plans to storm Parliament, take hostages and behead Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Specifics of the charges against the other suspects were not released, but Chand’s lawyer, Gary Batasar, asked that the allegations against his client be read in court. He told The Associated Press later that others face similar accusations, but he did not say who or how many. Police say they expect more arrests, and intelligence officers are probing whether the 17 arrested over the weekend had any ties to Islamic terror cells in the United States and five nations in Europe and Asia. Chand, a 25-year-old restaurant worker from Toronto, was one of 15 suspects who made brief court appearances Tuesday. They were brought in groups of four or five, chained together in ankle shackles and handcuffs, and then held behind a glass enclosure. Chand, with a beard and shoulder-length hair, blew a kiss to supporters as he was led away after formal bail hearings for him and 14 others were postponed – at least until Monday. “There’s an allegation apparently that my client personally indicated that he wanted to behead the prime minister of Canada,” said Batasar. “It’s a very serious allegation. My client has said nothing about that.” Speaking outside the courthouse, Batasar said the charges were based on fear-mongering by government officials. “It appears to me that whether you’re in Ottawa or Toronto or Crawford, Texas, or Washington, D.C., what is wanting to be instilled in the public is fear,” he said. In Ottawa, Harper appeared to take the alleged beheading threat in stride. “I can live with these threats as long as they’re not from my caucus,” he joked. The Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton, a small city just west of Toronto, had said earlier that the suspects faced charges including participating in a terrorist group, importing weapons and planning a bombing. The specific details were made public Tuesday. Lawyers and family members said they were being given too little information about the case, and they charged that the suspects’ rights were not being respected. Rocco Galati, a lawyer for suspect Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, 21, told the judge that his client’s constitutional rights had been violated because he was only able to interview him in the presence of an armed guard. “The right to private counsel was afforded even at Nuremberg,” Galati said. Outside the court, Donald McLeod, a lawyer for Jahmaal James, 23, also complained of restricted access to his client, including only being allowed to speak to James through Plexiglas and not being allowed to have private discussions. Arif Raza, who represents Saad Khalid, 19, said he had never been allowed to speak to his client or even slip him his business card so Khalid could attempt to call the lawyer from the Maplehurst Correctional Center outside of Toronto. U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins praised Canadian authorities. “We appreciate the swift and effective action taken by Canadian law enforcement officials,” Wilkins said in Montreal. “They stepped in decisively and, I think, helped defuse a very dangerous situation. No country is immune to terrorism, and we frankly applaud their swift, decisive, heroic efforts.” The U.S. Border Patrol, meanwhile, put agents on high alert along Canada’s 4,000-mile southern border and stepped up inspections of traffic from Canada. Some American commentators and politicians have accused Canada of having a lax immigration policy and suggested building a fence along that border. But Harper told Parliament on Tuesday that most Americans admire Canada for “our shared concern about the security of this continent.” The arrests stunned many Canadians, who have not experienced such a major anti-terrorism case since security measures were intensified after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. “It’s breathtaking that this is going on in Canada,” International Trade Minister David Emerson told the CBC. “To see the homegrown nature of it is shocking to me.” Police say there is no evidence the suspect group had ties to al-Qaida, but describe members as sympathetic to al-Qaida’s violent jihadist ideology. Officials are concerned that many of the 17 suspects are about 20 years old and became radicalized very quickly. Officials announced the arrests on Saturday, saying the sweep was ordered after the group acquired three tons of ammonium nitrate, which can be mixed with fuel oil to make a powerful explosive. One-third that amount was used in the deadly bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995. The 12 adult suspects are each charged with one count of participating in a terrorist group. Three of them – Fahim Ahmad, 21, Mohammed Dirie, 22, and Yasim Abdi Mohamed, 24 – also are charged with importing weapons and ammunition for the purpose of terrorist activity. Nine face charges of receiving training from a terrorist group, while four are charged with providing training. Six are charged with intending to cause an explosion that could cause serious bodily harm or death.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more