Chief Justice Sie-A-Nyene Youh Constitutionally Supports President Weah’s Nomination Of Justice Minister At The Supreme Court COURT, But….
Amid the argument amongst Liberians about the untimeliness by the outgoing Liberians Presidency for the nomination of the current Minister of Justice, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean to the n the Supreme Court bench as Associate Justice, Chief Justice Sie-A-Nyene Youh, has now elevated the argument declaring it as ‘lawful and in consistent with the constitution of Liberia’.
In a response communication dated December 30,2023, a copy in the possession of this out, addressed to President George Manneh Weah following an earlier communication from the Liberia leader seeking clarity on his recent appointment of Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean, as Associate Justice, Chief Justice Sie-A-Nyene Youh, proffered that former Justice Nagbe’s request for retirement for reasons of ill health is within the pale of the law, which grants an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court the right to honorably retire to private life, finds precedent in the case of the Late Chief Justice, Johnnie N. Lewis, who for reason of poor health, was retired before the age of seventy (70).
“The retirement of Justice Nagbe automatically creates a vacancy on the Supreme Court, and Judicial Canon Two provides that in the event of any seat of honor on the Supreme Court becoming vacant, same shall remain vacant until the vacancy is filled by appointment and such appointee is commissioned and ceremoniously seated.”
“Moreover, Article 68 of the Constitution (1986) provides that “the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court shall, with the consent of the Senate, be appointed and commissioned by the President.”
“In view of the above, and in order to maintain the Constitution of the full membership of the Bench in accordance with the Constitution, I advise that the request of Justice Nagbe be granted, and Article 68 of the Constitution be invoked.” Chief Justice Sie-A-Nyene Youh clarification noted.
However, in an apparent swift reaction, the Unity Party through its National Chairman, Rev. Luther Tarpeh, Secretary General, and other Party officials have filed before the full bench a writ of prohibition seeking to the notification of confirmation of Justice Minister Musa Dean.
According to a writ of petition filed in the titled case involving the petitioner (Unity Party), versus the Liberian Senate by and through its President of the Senate, President Pro Tempore’ and the entire leadership of the Senate, versus Frank Musa Dean as Attorney General and nominee subsequently, the Clerk of the Honorable Supreme Court, commanded the Marshall of the Supreme Court to notify the respondents namely Liberian Senate by and through its President , Jewel Horward Taylor, and the President Pro Tempore, Albert T. Chie, and the entire leadership of the Liberia Senate, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean as Attorney General and nominee for the office of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia, to appear and file their RETURNS and Briefs before the full bench of the Honorable Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia on Monday, January 8, 2024, to show cause why the petitioner’s petition as prayed for should not be granted.
The citation also commanded the Marshall to instruct the respondents to file the official returns to the writ of prohibition before Monday, January 8, 2024, and to read to them the original and leave a copy of the writ with the respondents.
Last week, outgoing President George Manneh Weah nominated current Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, sparking controversies in several quarters especially with less than one month for his administration to expire.
In a letter dated 26 December 2023, President Weah informed Senate President Pro-Tempore Albert Chie about the appointment.
Once confirmed, Cllr. Dean will replace Cllr. Joseph N. Nagbe who resigned due to medical reasons.
Cllr. Nagbe was appointed to the Supreme Court bench by President Weah while he served as Senator of Sinoe County.