…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)
Work on the office to house the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) at Onverwagt, West Coast Berbice in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) which began last year, has been completed.The NDIA office, which is situated alongside the Headquarters of the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary-Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA), will seek to upgrade the drainage system and make better provisions for drought in the Region.The soon-to-be commissioned Region Five office of the NDIAActing NDIA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dave Hicks said recently, “The NDIA knows that farmers anywhere, who have a 50 per cent fear of losing their crops or livestock to floods or drought, will not bother to farm. So the NDIA in Region Five, in particular, will work and support the agencies in doing whatever is necessary to boost farmers’ confidence in the D&I system and have them feel encouraged to cultivate and even expand their production of crops and livestock within the Region.”According to Hicks, all that is required to get the office up and running is the installation of connections for electricity to the building.The office will be manned by a senior engineer of the NDIA assisted by ancillary staff and he will support the MMA/ADA; the Regional Democratic Council and the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) in the Region to implement and monitor projects aimed at increasing the discharge capacity of rain-flood waters and the provision of irrigation for agricultural purposes during El Niño (drought) weather conditions.NDIA projects for 2018Among the projects the Region Five NDIA office will spearhead and support in 2018 are the upgrading of resuscitated sea sluices along the West Berbice Coast; the establishment of additional sluices and the provision of another electrical pump for drainage of West Berbice at Trafalgar. The NDIA will also look to increase the hydraulic efficiency of the tertiary and secondary drainage systems in Region Five with the provision of nine excavators. These machines will be at the disposal of the Regional Administration for routine remedial and emergency works along the Region Five coast.The NDIA’s office will also seek to boost the efficiency of drainage in the riverine areas. Projects to be undertaken in this area this year will include extending the polder behind Pine Ground to Gordon Table along the right bank of the Mahaicony River to protect cultivation plots from water coming in from the backlands; and installing a dual purpose pump at Mora Point, Mahaicony River, to provide either drainage or irrigation when necessary. The pump is to be acquired from India. Other projects include infrastructural upgrades for replenishment of the Abary Conservancy with water from the Berbice River and the drawing down of water from the upper reaches of the Mahaica River at Kuliserabo to supply the Perth/Biaboo Main Canal for the benefit of low-risk rice production aback Mahaicony.The NDIA will also fund the replacement of tail regulators for all the high-level irrigation canals within the MMA/ADA project area in West Berbice. This is to ensure better management of irrigation water supplies and less stress on the drainage system from free-flowing water into canals without tail gates.Hicks said the NDIA was assisting the MMA/ADA since that agency did not have the financial resources at the moment.