The Plenary of the House of Representatives has demanded the appearance under the doctrine of contempt, Transport Minister Samuel Wlue and staff Oliver Dillon for what it terms as the allege arrest, gross disrespect, humiliation and delaying of one of their colleagues while on his way to session on Tuesday.
The Plenary is the highest decision making body of the House of Representatives.
It can be recalled that Transport Minister Samuel Wlue and team of Lawyers including transport inspector Oliver Dillon were summoned to appear before the plenary on Thursday under Contempt charge to explain reasons why River Gee County district #3 Representative Francis Depoe official vehicle was allegedly packed for half an hour and disrespected by transport inspector Dillon on Tuesday.
In his written complain to plenary, Representative Dopoe stated that while on his way to attend Tuesday’s session, his assigned vehicle with plate number “REP 72” was allegedly stopped by Dillon who said he was acting under the instruction of Transport Minister Samuel Wlue and Inspector General of Police Patrick Sudue to inspect all vehicles plying the streets.
Underscoring the phrase “ALL” as stated above, Representative Dopoe wonders whether the inspection applies to the Presidency, Speaker, Pro-Temp, Chief Justice and other high profiled Government officers.
The River Gee Lawmaker furthered that the Transport employee who could not allegedly listen to either of his colleagues including an officer, demanded that he (Francis Dopoe) disembark the vehicle at the Vai Town entry of the Gabriel Johnson Tucker Bridge for inspection.
The alleged action which has been labeled “contemptuous” by the Houses’ Plenary according to Representative Dopoe, is a “creeping disruptive plan of the Ministry of Transport and the Liberia National Police to hinder the workings of the Liberian people under its 2018 joint vehicle inspection exercise”.
The plenary also stated that inspector Dillon action clearly violates article 42 of the Liberian Constitution.
Article 42 of the Liberian Constitution states “no member of the Senate or House of Representatives shall be arrested, detained, prosecuted or tried as a result of opinions expressed or votes cast in the exercise of the functions of his office. Members shall be privileged from arrest while attending, going to or returning from sessions of the Legislature, except for treason, felony or breach of the peace. All official acts done or performed and all statement made in the chambers of the Legislature shall be privileged and no Legislator shall be held accountable or punished therefor.”
During Tuesday’s hearing, Minister Wlue passionately apologized on behalf of his staff and promised specified managerial actions to be taken against him to avoid recurrence.
But majority members of the House demanded the appearance of the Transport inspector (Oliver Dillon) to speak in his own behalf on Tuesday.
The motion raised by Montserrado County district #16 Lawmaker Dixon Seeboe received an overwhelming “yea” to summon under contempt charge Transport Minister and his Lawyers as well as Oliver Dillon.
For his part Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue who also appeared before members of the House on Thursday, said the LNP stands and remains a key partner to the Transport Ministry team for smooth operation during the entire exercise.
To ease the early morning traffic, Col. Sudue promised to station a motorcycle and a vehicle at the ELWA Junction to provide escort and protection services for Lawmakers coming to work during the morning hours.
But the Police boss craved the indulgence of the House to step-up the budget of the LNP to maintain the process as well as carry on other professional services for the people of Liberia.