By Socrates S. Saywon – Matthew Nyanplu says the Supreme Court of Liberia did not give the meaning to its ruling of December 2019 (concerning the Alien and Nationality Law), that which is being given to it by the Government of Liberia.
He said it is understandable that in the aftermath of the failure to impose a dual citizenship regime on the Liberian people by the failed referendum of 2020, the Weah-led administration, according to him is all out to find a way to do so, even if it means violating the laws which they swore oath to defend. “The law is always sacred in a democracy, except what we have now under George Weah and Musa Dean is a kleptocracy.
Mathew in his Facebook post on Thursday, 14, added that in the letter below, the Minister of Justice instructs the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue Liberian passports to those Liberians who took on the nationalities of other nations against the prohibition of the 1973 Alien and Nationality Law, nothing that the effect of such violation, taking on a foreign nationality, enlisting in a foreign army, etc, is the automatic forfeiture of Liberian citizenship.
“It is the automaticity of such a forfeiture that the Supreme Court decries as unconstitutional, not the extent that those people chose to violate the law, by whatever necessity they claim.”
“When the 1973 Law was passed, we did not have the 1986 Constitution which is now operative in Liberia. This constitution states in Article 20a in part that: “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, security of the person, property, privilege or any other right except as the outcome of a hearing judgment consistent with the provisions laid down in this Constitution and in accordance with due process of law…” “This is the due process doctrine mentioned in the Court’s ruling that towers our jurisprudence in Liberia,” the Liberian media practitioner stressed.
He said the Court’s ruling cited by the Minister of Justice requires that any person who must be stripped off their Liberian citizenship pursuant to any violation mentioned in the ANL of 1973, must be accorded due process.
The Court’s ruling which the Minister of Justice cites, as the basis to issue violators of Liberian citizenship laws, passports, does not take away but gives the Government and in fact the Minister of Justice the additional duty to bring charges against those who violate the Alien and Nationality Law of 1973 before a court of competent jurisdiction to effect such disqualification, Matthew noted.
He continued: “By this letter, the Minister just says, he will not do his job. He will not enforce the Alien and Nationality Law and this should not be celebrated. The Minister who is the chief law enforcement officer of Liberia, as he has done on several occasions, is abdicating his responsibility to enforce Liberian laws because it is politically expedient. Recalling that the decision that they hype today has been there almost two years ago.”
“Musa Dean should resign or be fired if he does not bring charges against those people who are in violation of the laws and I advise the Foreign Minister not to acquiesce in such violation because they will give an account someday.”
He indicated that there is one remedy to a law that has outlived its purpose, repeal it! Change it! Do not be guilty of violating the law because it serves your purpose today.
“No one should take solace in Musa Dean’s letter even if by operation of this letter they receive a Liberian passport while still holding citizenship in other countries under the circumstances prohibited by the Alien and Nationality Law.”
“Musa Dean and George Weah may elect not to enforce the law by bringing charges against those who violate it, another Justice Minister will not do as Musa is doing.
“Therefore, if we do not want the constraints on citizenship currently in place, urge the Legislature to repeal and replace the law with the regime we want.”
“I am on the side of the law, I will not acquiesce in violating it as Musa is doing and I urge you not to follow him,” Matthew concluded.
Main photo: Liberia’s Justice Minister, Frank Musa Dean