By Jerromie S. Walters

If any official of the current government is to exhibit regards for the House of Representative of the 54th National Legislature, Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel D. Tweah, will be excluded, as he’s notorious for his repeated disrespect to the lawmaking body. This can be acknowledged by the known fact that Mr. Tweah has on countless occasions deliberately trashed citations extended to him by the House of Representative of the 54th National Legislature of the Republic of Liberia.

In another attempt, the House of Representatives- HOR has again cited the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. Tweah, to appear before it on Thursday, to provide reason why he should not be held in contempt for repeated unexcused absences before the august body.

Plenary took the decision Tuesday, 5 December 2023, after Finance Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah, failed to honor another citation of the body to appear along with his principal deputies in continuation of deliberation of national issues of concern.

“Honorable Speaker, Co-presiding and colleagues. I moved if I could obtain a second that a communication be sent to the Finance Minister, from the office of our Chief Clerk, that he appeared here on Thursday, at 10AM with his lawyer to show reason why he should not be held in contempt”, he sought a second to his motion.

A fellow lawmaker immediately seconded Representative Gray’s motion, setting the stage for the appearance of Finance Minister, Samuel D. Tweh, on Thursday, December 7, 2023.

“Contempt of the Legislature shall consist of actions which obstruct the Legislative function or which obstruct or impede members or officers of the Legislature in the discharge of their Legislative duties. It is punishable by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) and/or imprisonment in a common jail for not more than one month or the duration of the current session of the House after a hearing consistent with due process of law. Decisions rendered from contempt charges are not appealable”, rule four states.

Prior to the latest decision by the House of Representatives, it previously invited Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel D. Tweah, to appear before the esteemed legislative body on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at 10:00 AM.

Minister Tweah was cited in order to address pressing matters related to budgetary implications.

Despite repeated citations, the Finance Minister has failed to appear before the August Body, raising concerns about transparency and accountability in financial matters. 

The House views this repeated absence as a matter of Contempt and demands that the Minister show cause for such persistent non-compliance with legislative citations, but this time, he is to come along with his lawyer.