Supreme Court Denies Two Lawmakers’ Request To Release Bong County Officials Who Vandalized Magisterial Court

By Comfort M. Johnson

Temple Of Justice – Seat of Liberia Judiciary

The full Bench of the Supreme Court of Liberia has unanimously denied request by two Bong County lawmakers, Moima Briggs Mensah, and J Marvin Cole to pardon on behalf of seven local county officials who were recently held in criminal contempt, for vandalizing the magisterial Court in Salala, Bong Mines and Gbarlala Bong County who were placed behind bar for six months each.

In a separate communication addressed to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Her Honor Sie-a-Nyene G. Yuoh, dated December 15, 2023 and January 5, 2023 respectively both lawmakers have acknowledged the wrong meted out against the Court to “Temper Justice with Mercy’’ begged that their kinsmen be released as ‘’they are sure that these men have learnt their lessons’’.

However, the Supreme Court, in an official response to Rep Mensah dated January 20, 2023, and signed by Chief Justice Yuoh denied said request stating that granting such request will not only undermine the integrity of the Supreme Court, but will also destroys the independence and neutrality of the nation’s highest Court.

The Court articles 65 and 66 of the constitution of Liberia 1986, reminded the Honorable Representative that the Supreme Court is the Highest Court within the bailiwick of the republic of Liberia, that decision taken by the Supreme Court are conclusive in all respect, they are binding and enforceable against all parties brought under the jurisdiction of the Court irrespective of their social or political status, and it is also final and unreviewable.

Considering your request in the light of the above referenced constitutional provisions, we are unhesitant to state here that the granting of reprieve as requested, will not undermine the Supreme Court’s integrity but same will create an avalanche that will destroy the supreme Court’s independence and neutrality.

It can be recalled that the Supreme Court of Liberia, rendered an opinion in the case, In Re: Contempt proceeding against Daniel Tubman, Commissioner, Clinton Brown, Acting City Mayor of Totota city, Robert Sulu, Acting General Town Chief Totota City, Miller Bondo, Youth Leader of Salala District, Varney Sirleaf, Acting Poro Grove Operator in Salala District, Ernest White, Cultural Advisor, Joseph Kollie(CKA Choko) Acting Paramount Chief of Fuamah Chiefdom, all of Bong County, wherein the court held these defendants in criminal contempt for vandalizing the magisterial courts in Salala, Bong Mines.

In addition to the vandalizing, Magistrate William G. Capehart was stripped naked and along with certain Court staff of the Salala Magisterial Court were abducted and initiated into the traditional school, whilst the Bong Mines and Gbartala Magisterial Courts experienced disturbances and attempted abduction.

It was based upon these dreadful acts that the Supreme Court held these defendants in criminal contempt and sentenced them to six months imprisonment at the Monrovia central Prison as deterrence and as a means for the defendant to re-evaluate their action.

However, five of the contemnors, in persons of Daniel Tubman, Clinton Brown, Robert Sulu, Miller Bondo, and Varfee Sirleaf were committed to the Monrovia central prison, while Ernest White and Joseph Kollie (CKA Choko) are still at large.

The Supreme Court holding the strong belief that both Hon Mensah and Hon Cole bring champions of the rule of law and keeping law and order in society, will use their good office and legislative influences within Bong County to ensure that Ernest and Joseph are apprehended and brought to justice to join those serving their six months sentence.

Meanwhile the Supreme Court has requested the Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs to have Ernest and Joseph arrested with immediate effect and have them forwarded to the office of the Marshall of the supreme Court so that they commence serving the sentence as was imposed by the High Court in its judgment.

Source: LINA

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