By Tina S. Mehnpaine – Monrovia, Liberia, Wednesday, December 4, 2019.
The government of Liberia through its Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has accused The Council of Patriots (COP) of wanting to overthrow the government, saying they are getting support from people out of Liberia and some of whom are not even citizens.
Justice Minister, Frank Musah Dean in a letter to the Council of Patriots acting Chairman Mo Ali on Monday, December 2, 2019, stated the way in which the Council of Patriots is gathering people, disseminating information and getting their resources to make this Weah step-down campaign is not in accordance with the Constitution of Liberia.
The letter also indicates there’s a sense of treason, adding it’s against the security of the State. The Ministry went on to say that President Weah was elected overwhelmingly by the Liberian people for a six-year term, he can only be removed from office by impeachment as provided under Article 62.
Article 62 says the President and Vice President can only be removed from office by impeachment for treason, bribery and other felony violations of the Constitution or gross misconduct. This planned protest is second after a June 7 protest, when thousands of Liberians took to the streets of Monrovia to Petition the Government on several national issues.
The Minister’s statement came about when the Council of Patriots demanded that the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice grant them permit and state security protection for a December 30 protest. The Council of Patriots is using article 1 of the Constitution of Liberia to carry on their protest, a member has told National Telegraph.
Article 1 of the Constitution says; “All Power is inherent in the people. All free governments are instituted by their authority and for their benefit and they have the right to alter and reform the same when their safety and happiness so require in order to ensure democratic government which the people shall have the right at such periods and in such manner as provided for under this Constitution to cause their public servants to leave office and to fill in vacancies by regular elections and appointments.”
The government, however, has stated that there is no part in the Constitution of Liberia that guarantees the Weah step-down campaign. The Minister warned the COP against taking the streets or to demand the removal of President Weah.
He also said that any individual comprising the leadership of the COP will be held responsible, and liable under the laws for any actions, the Justice Minister said in his letter.
Henry Pedro Costa, a former friend to the president who is the brain behind the protest to unseat him responded to the Justice Minister’s letter as an “empty bluff” “Musah Dean says we will be committing treason when we gather on December 30th to demand Weah’s resignation, Costa went on to say you better get ready to arrest tens of thousands of people, suffering masses will turn out. We do not fear you! Empty bluff
But the government has also planned to arrest Henry P. Costa when he arrives in Liberia on December 19, 2019. The announcement was made by Eugene Fahngon, Deputy Information Minister, who said that there was a writ of arrest awaiting Henry P. Costa, just as there was a writ from the court to close down his radio station. The Justice Minister, however, says there is no writ of arrest from the court to arrest Henry Costa.
Thousands of Liberians are frustrated over the bad leadership of President George Weah and his officials. within two years, the entire country has gone broke; no money to pay civil servants, no money to pay officials and the prices of commodities are increasing on a daily basis and families can not afford a meal a day.