Stipendiary Magistrate Who Denied Gov’t Lawyers Request To Reject Roots FM Motion Has Been Replaced

L/R: President Weah and Magistrate Bana (Photo credit: Daily Observer)

The Stipendiary Magistrate Ernest Bana who early this week denied lawyers representing the Liberian Government request to reject Roots FM recent motion filed by its Station’s Manager, Fidel Saydee with the parent name, Roots Holdings Incorporated in which he petitioned the court to return property and suppress evidence alluding to the search and seizure and arrest warrant has reportedly been replaced by the Liberian leader, President George Manneh Weah with Cllr. Jumah S. Jallah Jr. as Stipendiary Magistrate of the Monrovia City Court.

During the hearing of the case prior to his replacement by the Liberian leader, Magistrate Bana said the application by the Liberian Government to deny the motion of Roots Holdings, Incorporated for lack of standing and capacity is denied and the case rule to trial on the motion return property and suppress evidence.

Magistrate Bana at the time said after studying and analyzing the case said Roots Holdings was correct to sue on behalf of Roots FM as a parent entity because of its remedial rights affecting the whole of the proceeding.

He further noted that the court observed that Roots FM Manager wrote a communication to the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) requesting the reassignment of frequency 102.7 to Roots FM which was previously operated by the Voice FM. A subsidiary of Sancos Media Group incorporated that which the ministry accepted.

Bana on Monday, November 4, 2019, ruled that Roots Holdings Incorporated is the parent company of Roots FM 102.7, adding that the issues of said. frequency number 102.7 was never challenged by either of the parties.

His ruling quoted Chief Justice Francis Korkpor in one of his speeches speaking on behalf of the Supreme Court of Liberia, said “Standing to sue means that a party has sufficient stake in an otherwise justifiable controversy to obtain judicial resolution of the controversy. “The requirement of ‘Standing’ is satisfied if it can be said that the plaintiff has a legally protectable and tangible interest at stake in the litigation.”

Bana further that “The doctrine of standing ensures that the court will have the benefit of real adverse parties in cases. Thus the question whether a party has standing to participate in judicial proceedings is not simply a procedural technically but, rather involves the remedial rights affecting the whole of the proceedings.”

He also emphasized on a communication that was addressed to Madam Agatha Thompson, Director of the National Communication Bureau of the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism by Roots FM Station Manager, on the letter head of Roots Holdings Incorporated informed said authorized divison of the ministry of Information of the change of name from Voice 102..7 FM  to Roots 102.7 FM FM was explicitly clear without ambiguity.

Judge Bana also furthered that Roots Holdings Incorporated filed a motion to return property and suppress evidence on grounds that their properties were illegally gathered without probable cause. “The Republic of Liberia has petitioned this court to have this motion deny on the basis that the movant lacks the legal capacity to sue due to the facts it did not attach to its application before this court a notary board resolution mandating and empowering it to sue, further that the movant Roots Holding, Inc. is a separate and distinct entity and therefore does not qualify in its capacity to sue on behalf of Roots FM 102.7 FM,” the court added.

In addition, Judge Bana said the entity was sued by the Republic of Liberia for the alleged violation of its communication rights and regulations, a further stated that the rule of application of notary board resolution cannot be applicable in the same intensity.

A date after  Magistrate Bana’s ruling, the Executive Mansion in a press release posted on its website, announced that the Liberian leader has made several changes affecting  the Judiciary Branch of Government with the appointment of  Cllr. Nelson B. Chineh as Reliving Judge and Cllr. Jumah S. Jallah Jr., Stipendiary Magistrate of the Monrovia City Court.

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