The Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Bong County has begun hearing of cases since the court opened on May 10, 2016 for the May Term. The court has not been unable to adjudicate cases due to the absence of a presiding judge.
Judge Peter Gbenewelleh of the Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, who should have presided over cases in Bong, only attended the opening of the court and left for Monrovia the same day, thus keeping pre-trial detainees behind bars up to present.
According to court authorities, the term of the Civil Law Court ran into the term of the Circuit Court which forced Judge Gbenewelleh to remain as presiding until his tenure ended. With less than one month for the circuit court May term to be concluded, earlier cases that should have been adjudicated will now be rescheduled, while few cases will be heard.
The delay in the hearing of cases drew the attention of families, whose relatives are languishing behind bars, awaiting trials as they came to the press to highlight the situation. Some of them argued that Judge Peter Gbenewelleh was not to be assigned at the court since the Civil Law Court term was still in progress.
Editing by Jonathan Browne