The Presiding Judge of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court in Kakata City, Margibi County, has charged Margibi County District#1 Representative Tibelrosa Summoh Tarponweh with contempt through the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives for allegedly obstructing the court’s order.
Judge Cieaneh Clinton-Johnson, who is presiding for the August Term of Court, ordered that a lady identified as Esther Banks be repossessed of her property located in Duazohn, District#1 in lower Margibi County, which is being occupied by one Mrs. Marie Johnson.
During the Tuesday afternoon hearing, Judge Clinton- Johnson advised Rep. Tarponweh of his right to legal representation, but he said he did not need one and that he would do so on his own behalf.
Accordingly, Judge Johnson on September 8 ordered a writ of repossession in favor of Mrs. Esther Banks for four lots of land currently being occupied by Mrs. Marie Johnson in Duazohn, lower Margibi County.
As the writ was being served, a caterpillar yellow machine was in readiness to demolish over six huge buildings already constructed on the land, with a troop of ERU Police officers standing by to quell any resistance that might ensue during the enforcement of the court’s order.
It was then that Rep. Tarponweh arrived on the scene after he received a telephone call from residents of the area that a court order was about to be executed and that several buildings would also be demolished by a yellow machine.
He contended that the court did not mention anything about demolition of buildings on the four lots (one acre) in the writ of repossession of real property and because of this he was summoned by the court.
“Being the people’s servant, I quickly proceeded to the area and met with the Sheriff of the Court and the ERU Police Commander who had come from Monrovia to execute the court’s order and introduced myself to them,” Tarponweh stated.
He said he told them to be civil and listen to him as executing the court’s order could result to chaos on grounds that the area is prone to violence owing to the fact that land disputes are always causing serious problems for many families there.
“So, I decided to intervene as their Representative and did not obstruct the court’s order as is being perceived by the court for which I am being charged with contempt,” the lawmaker explained.
He said as a lawmaker, he acted in his own wisdom to save the community from being plunged into chaos as occasioned by similar situations in the area before, and did not do so to disrespect the court’s order.
Judge Johnson, however, said the writ of ‘Repossession of Real Property’ will be reissued in favor of Esther Banks to reclaim her property from Madam Marie Johnson.
However, Banks wants at all cost to have all of the buildings demolished, while Marie Johnson, on the other hand, is insisting that this should not be done and that her lawyers are preparing to seek an appeal at the Supreme Court.
Judge Johnson asked that the lawmaker be purged by the court, but Rep. Tarponweh did not agree to the Judge’s stance.
Meanwhile, Judge Johnson has reserved ruling in the contempt charge against Representative Tarponweh until Tuesday, September 25.