COP Troubled Over Election Of Sen. Johnson
-As DIC Head Calls On Senate To Rescind Its Decision
By: Konah Rufus
The Council of Patriots (CoP) said it is deeply troubled by the latest election of Nimba Senator Prince Y. Johnson to head the Senate’s Defense and Intelligence Committee.
According to the COP, his election is particularly concerning in the wake of mounting calls for the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court (WECC) and especially considering his well-documented role in Liberia’s civil and political carnage.
In addition, the CoP is calling on members of the Liberian Senate to rescind its decision by removing Senator Johnson from the said committee as his continued occupancy undermines the very essence of the establishment of the WECC.
According to the COP through a release issued Monday, May 24, 2021, the public condemnation by the United States government of the process leading to the election of Senators Johnson and Varney Sherman to chair two very key committees (Defense and Intelligence and Judiciary, respectively) is sufficient reason to roll back this process in order to save what is left of the credibility of the Senate.
The release noted that Senator Johnson, like many others named in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) final report, is encouraged to work with all state and non-state actors to ensure that Liberia’s healing begins with the establishment of the WECC and should stop seeing this as targeting him.
The COP further urged Senator Johnson very strongly to desist from making inflammatory comments that undermine the establishment of this court or the COP would be constrained to order a citizens’ arrest for him and any other person with a known and documented history of participation during Liberia’s brutal war years.
In a related development, the COP takes seriously and accepts the label attributed to Chairman Henry Pedro Costa as a fugitive from justice.
According to the COP, the statement issued by the government of Liberia in the wake of the appearance of Dr. Alan White on the Costa show, broadcast by a few local radio stations is not only insensitive but clearly shows the lack of spine, courage, and direction of a government that has clearly lost sight of its purpose.
The fact that the government would attempt to silence voices from speaking to end the culture of impunity in Liberia is indicative of its complicity in many acts of judicial killings, public corruption, and large-scale looting of the state coffers.
The COP said it maintains that if the government has reason to believe that its Chairman is a fugitive from the law, there are clearly laid-out legal and diplomatic procedures to ensure he faces the law but to continuously label him a fugitive is preposterous, outlandish, and impugns on the reputation of the institution he represents.
Meanwhile, the Council of Patriots said it will be compelled to carry out a series of unspecified political actions to ensure the government desists from dragging the name of its Chairman in particular and the institution in general in the gutters.