BEFORE HIS HONOR: FRANCIS S. KORKPOR, SR…………………CHIEF JUSTICE
BEFORE HER HONOR: JAMESETTA HOWARD WOLOKOLIE……ASSOCIATE JUSTICE
BEFORE HER HONOR: SIE-A-NYENE G. YUOH……………………ASSOCIATE JUSTICE
BEFORE HIS HONOR: JOSEPH N. NAGBE………………………….ASSOCIATE JUSTICE
BEFORE HIS HONOR: YUSSIF D. KABA.………………………….ASSOCIATE JUSTICE
In Re: Judicial Inquiry Commission Investigative Report on Complaint filed
Mr. AmosP.K. Brosius vs. Chief Judge, Her Honor Eva Mappy Morgan
of the CommercialCourt of Liberia.
A review of the 1986 Constitution reveals that the Honorable Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia has duty and power to direct and manage the affairs of the judiciary and in so doing has the authority to exercise control over the conduct and behavior of judges of subordinate courts, officers of court and other staff and employees of the said branch of government. The authority to exercise control over the conduct and behavior of judges also includes the power and authority to establish rules and regulation for judges and other personnel of the Judiciary, as required by law. See, Article 75 of the July 6th, 1986 Constitution of Liberia.
It is a mandatory requirement that the full bench of the Honorable Supreme Court of Republic of Liberia, in every case of suspension or disbarment of judges and lawyers, sit to hear and determine the records from the Judicial Inquiry Commission’s Report and Grievance and Ethics Committee’s Report, either upon appeal or for the purpose of enforcing the Judicial Inquiry Commission’s Recommendations based on its observations and or findings. Thus, determination of the proceedings is made by regular opinion handed down by the full bench on or before the adjournment day of the Court, sine die.
The Judicial Inquiry Commission shall have exclusive power and authority to receive and investigate complaints against Judges of Courts of record and limited record in the Republic of Liberia for violation of any provision of the Judicial Canons. See, Judicial Canon Forty of the Republic of Liberia. The Supreme Court en banc must sit, hear and pass upon every case of suspension or recommendation of impeachment of a Judge, as required by law.
Under Rule 40 of the Code for the Moral and Ethical Conduct of Lawyers; provides that “the legal profession is a fraternity to which all lawyers are members; therefore a spirit of brotherhood should at all times characterize their treatment to, and consideration for each other.”
In view of the above, lawyers who are appointed by this Court en banc as amici curiae are not advocate of the cause; neither are they parties to the proceedings. They are appointed to assist the court by giving honest and professional advice to aid the Supreme Court en banc in reaching a decision and this Court en banc may or may not accept their advice. Ultimately, it is the decision of the Honorable Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia that prevails. It is important to note that lawyers appointed as amici curiae cannot refuse such appointment, absence the show of good cause.For reasons stated herein this Amicus Curiae brief, I hereby present these honest and candid information to aid this Honorable Supreme Court en banc as Amicus Curiae in keeping with law.
According to Article 73 of the July 6th, 1986 Constitution of Liberia, Judges are protected from being prosecuted, arrested, summoned, detained by administrative or judicial agency or at the instance of any person or judicial authority on account of judicial opinions rendered or expressed; judicial statements made and judicial acts done in the course of a trial in open court or in chambers except for treason, or other felonies, misdemeanor or breach of the peace. Thus, statements made and acts done by such judicial officials in the course of judicial proceedings shall be privileged and, subject to the above qualification, no such statements made or acts done shall be admissible into evidence against them at any trial or proceedings”. Emphasis added.
Meanwhile, Judges play a pivotal role in the governance of the Republic only when justice is dispensed or administered within the ambit of the rule of law. The sound judicial authority of Judges is an opportunity to serve the society and a privilege. These judicial privileges require Judges to serve the community without fear or favor, and that is a constitutional duty. Thus, access to justice is not realized by the works of Judges until the community is well served first and justice is done to all within the pale of the rule of law.
Furthermore, good governance and the rule of law depend solely on Judges’ independence, honesty and good faith decisions. Therefore, however, a sustained peace and security of a country is only assured when the people have profound confidence in the performance and integrity of the judiciary and the rule of law.
Accordingly, Judges ought to be knowledgeable of their judicial authority and the principles of laws in the discharge of their statutory and constitutional duty. It is maxim of law that “when the tyranny of reserved rulings palls up, the only permanent and sustained motivation of Judges is to strive onwards fiercely and considered, the fact that what Judges are called upon to do is critical to the society in which they (Judges) reside. Certainly, the standards required of public officials of the Legislative and Executive Branches of Government are same standards that the people will rightly apply to what Judges say and do considering their privilege; they are the identical required standards that Judges will apply to themselves. These required standards are scrupulously applied to matters of great or small importance, during judicial hearing. In some respect, the management of petty cash or the acquittal of expenditure can be a matter of great moment thereof.
In every particular case, a Judge’s conduct should always be above reproach. He should be conscientious, studious, thorough, courteous, patient, punctual, just, impartial, fearless of the public clamor regardless of public praise, and indifferent, to private, political or partisan influence, he should administer justice according to law, and deal with his appointment as a public trust; he should not allow another affairs or his private interest to interfere with the prompt and proper performance of his duties nor should he administer the office for the purpose of advancing his personal ambitions or increasing his popularity. See, Judicial Canon Thirty Eight.
B. Brief History of the Facts:
On July 18th, 2018, Mr. Amos P.K. Brosius filed a written complaint with the office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia against the Chief Judge of the Commercial Court of Liberia raising ethical and judicial misconduct. Mr. Brosius alleged that on July 23rd, 2013, the presiding Chief Judge Eva Mappy Morgan turned over the accounts of Ducor Petroleum, Inc.to MOTC based upon a communication of July 22, 2013, under the signature of Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner, in which communication Cllr. Warner prayed Her Honour Eva Mappy Morgan, Chief Judge of the Commercial Court to lift the injunction placed on the accounts of Ducor Petroleum and that on the 23rd day of July , A.D., 2013, the Respondent Judge Her Honour Eva Mappy Morgan without a hearing, lifted the Injunction placed on the accounts of Ducor Petroleum; and that consequently, MOTC opened similar company named and styled “Ducor Petroleum Inc., located at the Freeport of Monrovia in the building that also housed the LBDI Bushrod Island Branch.
Mr. Brosius further alleged that his Ducor Petroleum has operated since and up till the filing of his complaint with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia. Mr. Brosius also claimed that on January 28th, 2013, the PKF auditing firm submitted its audit report to the Commercial Court of Liberia but his lawyers objected to the audit’s findings and award, and subsequently filed a Motion to Vacate the Arbitration Award, as required by law. The MOTC filed its Resistance to his Objection to Vacate the Award.
The complainant asserted that nearly six months after the PKF submitted its audit report; the presiding Chief Judge has issued several Notices of Assignment, but took no steps to conduct hearing for unexplained reasons despite the fact that the three Judges of the Commercial Court of Liberia were available, seeing conducting other hearings in other court’s cases. The occurrences of these unexplained adjournments of court’s hearings were on March 27, 2018, April 9, 2018, June 25, 2018 and July 2, 2018 respectively.
Mr. Amos Brosius requested the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia to use his good office to intervene into the matter and ordered the Commercial Court of Liberia to perform its statutory and constitutional duty to render Final Judgment, which will prevent his rights being violated for the last five years.
On June 29, 2020, the Complainant Mr. Brosius amended his original Complaint and raised the issue of jurisdiction over the subject matter because the amount US$8Million (Eight Million United States Dollars) sued for exceeded the presiding Chief Judge’s trial jurisdiction, contrary to law. Mr. Brosius expounded in detail on the issue of the hostile takeover of his Ducor Petroleum Inc. as shown from the averments in the said amended complaint. Please take judicial notice of the averment as contained in the amended complaint in the records of the case file before your Honors.
On the other hand, the Respondent Chief Judge Eva Mappy Morgan filed her Returns in response to Mr. Brosius’ Complaint and contends that the Complainant did not particularly alleged any ethical breach by the Respondent Chief Judge but rather the Complainant main complaint is that his own lawyers signed the said Irrevocable Stipulation Agreement to freeze the LBDI and EcobankAccounts of Ducor Petroleum Inc.thereof.
The Respondent Chief Judge Mappy Morgan also claimed that Mr. Brosius only requested her to intervene in the petition for accounting and render final judgment in order to prevent any further violations against his rights and, therefore counterclaims amongst others as follows:
a. That a pretrial conference is statutorily required to narrow the issues and facilitate the speedy and fair resolution of a matter without necessarily going to trial;
b. That at all material times, the Complainant Mr. Amos P.K. Brosius was represented by outstanding and reputable lawyers of his choose [sic];
c. That she acknowledged the issuance of several notices of assignments for the hearing of the motion to vacate arbitration award and however several reasons such as conflict of schedules:
i. Conflict of schedules for the full panel to sit on the case and individual judge’s schedules;
ii. Excuse or absence of one of the Judges;
iii. The unreadiness of clerk to finalize and submit copies of the certified court minutes to the Judges prior to hearing;
iv. Request for continuance for good cause; and
v. Handling down of opinions of the Supreme Court may have caused the postponement of the hearing on motion to vacate arbitration award; and that the Complainant’s complaint assailed not only her hard earned reputation and threatened her life but also that of the Judiciary.
On July 17th, 2020, Respondent presiding Chief Judge addressing the entire Amended Complaint in several counts of her Returns, Respondent presiding Chief Judge reaffirmed her defense that at all material times, the Complainant Mr. Brosius was represented by seasoned lawyers of repute. Respondent presiding Chief Judge requested the Judicial Inquiry Commission totake judicial notice of the establishment of the Commercial Court of Liberia and averred that most of the transactions alleged to have taken place between MOTC and Complainant predated the existence of the court. The Respondent also reiterated concern over attacks against her person by Complainant Mr. Brosius. Also as to the entire amended complaint, Chief Judge Eva Mappy Morgan concluded that Complainant Mr. Brosius failed to indicate in his Amended Complaint that any professional ethics has been breached to warrant the exercise of the Judicial Inquiry Commission’s jurisdiction over this matter. Chief Judge Mappy Morgan argued that the complaint, being lacking in merit of any ethical transgression on her part, the Judicial Inquiry Commission should deny and dismiss matter.
That Mr. Amos Brosius complained to the Judicial Inquiry Commission that his house was exposed to public auction as a result of a debt action by the International Bank. Mr. Brosius appealed to the Court that his US$212,704.36 (Two Hundred twelve Thousand seven Hundred Four United States Dollars Thirty-Six Cents), that was ordered frozen by the court a portion of the said amount should be used to settle his indebted with the International Bank. However, said request or plead was denied and his house was ordered auction and his house was taken away.
- Can a presiding Chief Judge be answerable for judicial misconduct in the disposition of matters brought before herby applying strange rules and procedures under theLiberian jurisdiction?
- Whether or not said ex parte communication written by Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner, one of Counsel of MOTC single handedly addressed to the presiding Chief Judge on July 22, 2013, at the exclusion of the Complainant to unfreeze the jointly frozen LBDI and Ecobank Accounts, was proper under the Liberian laws, practices and procedures?
- Whether or not the presiding Chief Judge’s decisions and rulings in the disposition of this matter under review can be considered as privilege and, as such, are protected and excluded from judicial sanctions under Article 73 of the July 6, 1986 Constitution?
As to the first issue, Can a presiding Chief Judge be answerable for judicial misconduct in the disposition of matters brought before her by applying strange rules and procedures under the Liberian jurisdiction; the Amicus Curiae answers this question in the affirmative.
Judicial misconduct is defined as prejudicial or biased conduct such as falsification of the facts to render summary judgment; using the judge’s office to obtain special treatment for friends or relatives; accepting bribes, gifts, or other personal favors related to judicial authority or discretion to obtain special treatment for friends or relatives; having improper discussions with parties or counsel for one side in a case; treating litigants or lawyers in a demonstrably egregious and hostile manner; violating other specific, mandatory standards of judicial conduct, such as judicial rules of procedure or evidence, or those pertaining to restrictions on outside income and requirements for financial disclosure; and acting outside the jurisdiction of the court, or performance of official duties if the conduct might have a prejudicial effect on the administration of the business of the courts among reasonable people. In the year 1891, Mr. Henry Campbell Black defines misconduct as a dereliction of duty; unlawful and improper behavior. See, Black’s Law Dictionary-Eight Edition (1999).
A thorough examination of provisions of the Act creating the Commercial Court of Liberia reveals that Article V (2) of the Structure of the Commercial Court; provides that, “A case filed before the Commercial Court may be heard by one of the judges of the Commercial Court provided that where the amount of the claim is in excess of US$1,000,000.00 (One Million United States Dollars) or its Liberian Dollars equivalent, the case shall be heard by the full three judge panel. Emphasis added.
Amicus Curiae submits that the Supreme Court of Liberia has held in the Murdock’s case that a court has no authority to enter a judgment or decree against anyone over whom it has no jurisdiction either by service of process or by voluntary appearance and submission to the court’s jurisdiction. Hence, the presiding Chief Judge Mappy Morgan’s exercise of jurisdiction over the amount United States Dollars Eight Millions (US$8,000,000.00), is found wanting, a dereliction of duty, unlawful and improper behavior, and also contrary to Judicial Canon Thirty Eight.
Similarly, a review of the July 6, 1986 Constitution of Liberia as oppose to the presiding Chief Judge Eva Mappy Morgan’s inability to perform the functions of her office, which is a gross breach of duty as clearly shown in her Returns, Amicus Curiae is of the conviction that the presiding Chief Judge’s decisions and rulings in this premises is a wanton misconduct because of her failure to act when there was a duty to do so, in reckless disregard of another’s rights, coupled with the knowledge that injury will probably result. The presiding Chief Judge Mappy Morgan decisions do not comply with or meet the minimum requirements of the said provision of the 2011 Act of the Commercial Court of Liberia and the July 6th, 1986 Constitution of Liberia. The law extant under our jurisdiction is that Judges of records and limited records shall endeavor or ought to determine his or her authority to assume subject matter jurisdiction, as required by law.
Similarly, it is worthy to note that Article V (3) of the 2011 Act of Commercial Court of Liberia from which the presiding Chief Judge Mappy Morgan is vehemently seeking to gain benefits from and strength, was put in place by the National Legislature against the interest of the single judge presiding over the subject exceeding the threshold of US$1,000,000.00. The said provision of the Act states that, “where one or more of the judges cannot sit on a case requiring a hearing by the full panel, the Chief Judge shall direct the Clerk of theCourt to notify the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, who shall make ad hoc appointment (s) to complete the panel from among judges of circuit and specialized courts. Emphasis added. Hence, presiding Chief Judge Mappy Morgan intentionally and purposely failed, refused and neglected to have applied the law extant, if at all she claims that her colleagues were otherwise engaged and could not have sat on the panel with her to handle this US$8millions matter. The presiding Chief Judge Mappy Morgan knowingly committed gross breach of duty.
It is a maxim of law that jurisdiction of courts is vested in them by statute creating them and anything outside of the jurisdiction is void ab initio. Hence, the jurisdiction of the Commercial Court of Liberia is conferred by law and not by the consent of the parties. See, Roger v. Universal Insurance Company, 40 LLR 609 (2001). Therefore, the presiding Chief Judge Mappy Morgan improperly exercised jurisdiction over the MOTC’s ex parte communication to unfreeze Ducor Petroleum’s LBDI and EcoBank Accounts, because the statute creating the Commercial Court of Liberia does not give it jurisdiction over such subject matter to a single presiding judge.
Finally, the presiding Chief JudgeMappy Morgan cannot render a valid and enforceable judgment because she has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of US$8,000,000.00 (United States Dollars Eight Million), in the first place. In theScanship’s case, this Court en banc held that “whenever the issue of a court’s jurisdiction is raised, every other thing in the case becomes subordinated until the court has determined its jurisdiction to hear and dispose of the particular matter. This is true because if the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain a matter, whatever decision or judgment is rendered by it is a legal nullity.”Therefore, the argument consistent with Article 73 of the July 6, 1986 Constitution with specific reference to immunity for judicial acts, decisions and rulings are not applicable to the instant case for the mere fact that her action is of legal nullity and does not enjoy a scintilla of judicial privilege.
As to the second issue, whether or not said ex parte communication written by Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner, one of Counsel of MOTC single handedly addressed to the presiding chief judge on July 22, 2013, at the exclusion of the complainant to unfreeze the jointly frozen LBDI and Ecobank Accounts, was proper under the Liberian laws, practices and procedures, Amicus Curiae submits that this question must be answered in the negative.
In the first place, this is not an ex parte case, in that; it has two different sets of parties who are on records in the Commercial Court of Liberia tussling over US$8,000,000.00 (Eight Million United States Dollars), a petition for proper accounting. The law extant states that all pleadings or papers must be served on the opposing party. Furthermore, Amicus submits that for argument sake, all papers filed before a Court are considered application for relief and, as such, said papers are of two kinds, namely; one purely of law and the other purely of facts or of mixed laws and facts. When the paper is one of which that raises purely law issues, no affidavit is required to be attached to it. However, when the papers filed raises factual or mixed laws and factual issues, an affidavit must be attached to same. In the instant case, the letter written by Cllr. Warner to Chief Judge Morgan could have been considered an application and, as such, could have been filed with Court and copy served on Mr. Brosius with an assignment attached assigning the matter for hearing, before Judge Morgan proceeded to unilaterally act upon said application in the absence Mr. Amos Brosius knowledge and participation.Such a letter was written in bad faith, contrary to the legal maxim that, “laws are written in good faith, a law without good faith is no law.”
Under Section 8(1) of the Civil Procedure Law of Liberia, it provides that “every order required to be served, every pleading, every written motion other than one which may be heard ex parte and every written notice, appearance, demand, offer of judgment, and similar paper shall be served upon each of the parties affected thereby; but no service needs to be made on parties in default for failure to appear except as provided in section 9.2(2). Emphasis added.
More besides, the entire proceeding on lifting the freeze on the LBDI and Ecobank Accounts was usurpation of judicial functions and the perpetration of willful misconduct of Judge Morgan and, as such, employment of an application of strange rules and procedures unknown to this jurisdiction. The failure and refusal of Chief Judge MappyMorgan to proceed the way she proceeded in unfreezing the said accounts base on one party’s request demonstrate her unfairness and prejudice toward Mr. Amos Brosius even in violation of his equal protection rights as guaranteed under Article 11(d) as well as due process rights guaranteed under Article 20(A) respectively, of the July 6, 1986 Constitution of Liberia. In the absence of any notice serve on a party to appear and to be given an opportunity to be heard, to be represented by himself or Counsel, any Judgment against such person Justice would not have been served and, as such, any Judgment against such person or party is void and no Court of democracy and Justice will enforce such void Judgment. See,Wolo vs.Wolo, 5LLR423 (1937).
Finally, since the ex parte letter under review was one that raised both issues of law and facts to unfreeze the LBDI and Ecobank Accounts that were jointly requested frozen by the parties, Cllr. Warner should have attached thereto an affidavit and serve same on the opposing party’s Counsel notifying them of his application for their proper attention and action.
Under Judicial Canon Twenty-Three, a judge should discourage ex parte hearing of applications for injunction and receiverships where the Order may work detriment to absent parties; he should act upon such ex parte applications only where the necessity for quick action is clearly shown, if this be demonstrated, then he should endeavor to counteract the effect of the absence of opposing counsel by a scrupulous cross-examination as to the facts and the principles of law on which the application is based, granting relief only when satisfied that the laws permit it and the emergency demands it. He should remember that an injunction is a limitation upon the freedom of action of the defendant and should not be granted lightly or unadvisedly. One applying for such relief must sustain the burden of showing clearly its necessity and this burden is increased in the absence of the party whose freedom of action is sought to be restrained even though only temporarily. Also, the expressed wording of this provision of the Judicial Canon is very clear and unambiguous. Hence, the presiding Chief Judge Eva Mappy Morgan must be subject to Judicial Canon Twenty Five for her wanton misconduct, contrary to law.
As to the third issue, whether or not the presiding Chief Judge’s decisions and rulings in the disposition of this matter under review can be considered as privilege and, as such, are protected and excluded from judicial sanctions under Article 73 of the July 6, 1986 Constitution, Amicus Curiae submits that this question must be answered in the negative. The law is so clear and unambiguous. A look at Article 73 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia; states that, no judicial official shall be summoned, arrested, detained, prosecuted or tried civilly or criminally by or at the instance of any person or authority on account of judicial opinions rendered or expressed, judicial statements made and judicial acts done in the course of trial in open court or in chambers, except for treason or other felonies, misdemeanor or breach of the peace. Statements made and acts done by such officials in the course of a judicial proceeding shall be privileged, and, subject to the above qualification, no such statements made or acts done shall be admissible into evidence against them at any trial or proceeding.
May It Please Your Honors, Amicus Curiae also draw your attention to Judicial Canon Nine, which require and imposes duties and obligations upon judges in handling and disposition of cases and parties brought before them, should fearlessly observe and apply fundamental rights and guarantees. Amicus Curiae submits that Liberia is more than 200 years old, yet still we are backward in our developmental agenda within the sub-region simply because our body of laws, statutes and Constitution have been abuse and violated in many instances, as in the instant case at bar. Chief Judge MappyMorgan failure to guarantee fundamental rights of the Complainant is miscarriage of justice and repugnant to the 2011 Act of the Commercial Court of Liberia, Statutes, and Constitution of Liberia. ALL MEN ARE EQUAL BEFORE THE LAW, THAT’S JUSTICE AND JUSTICE MUST BE DONE TO ALL MEN WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR.
In closing, my little advice as Amicus Curiae to this Honorable Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia, having selected me as one of the lawyers amongst many and more efficient lawyers than I am to serve in this position today, I vividly recalled a statement made by the Chief Judge, Her Honor Eva Mappy Morgan, who is before us today for prove misconduct, at the observance of the Commercial Court of Liberia Second Anniversary at its Opening Term November 2013 at this very Temple of Justice, which I beg to quote verbatim; “As the Judiciary is the pillar on which our solidity and progress rest, we wish to make a sincere request to court users, development partners, investors (foreign or local), and the public that they hold us accountable, and insist that we continue to grow a judiciary that is just and efficient so that future generations can look forward to such a Judiciary, and a society that operation on the rule of law.” Amicus Curiaesubmits that hisrecommendation is in harmony with the Chief Judge, Her Honor Eva Mappy Morgan expressed Opening Address at the Second Anniversary of the November Term 2013.
Amicus Curiae says that the expressed wordings of Article 71 of the 1986Constitution of Liberia, which language is so clear and border upon gross and egregious inability of a sitting Judge to perform her duty and obligations of such high office as an arbiter of justice, the rule of law and fair play in the administration of law and order, Amicus Curiae submits that he’s compelled to recount the pedigree of Chief Judge, Her Honor Eva Mappy Morgan of Commercial Court of Liberia as follow, to wit: Madam Chief Judge, Eva Mappy Morgan, Commercial Court, Liberia was called to the Bench in June 2010 and has been a member of the Honorable supreme Court’s Bar since September 1992. She holds a Masters of Law (LL.M) degree with emphasis in Transnational Business from Harvard Law School, Cambridge MA, USA, a Bachelor of law (LL.B) degree from the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law; and Bachelors of Arts (B.A.), Political Science from the University of Liberia. As Senior Chevening Fellow of York University, UK she studied Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development with concentration in the Justice and Security Sectors; and is also a graduate of the West African Insurance Institute, Liberia. Judge Mappy Morgan is Assistant Professor of Law at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of law, University of Liberia where she teaches Torts Washington and Lee University, Virginia USA lecturing on Access to Justice and Anti-Corruption.
She is former Judge of the Tax Court for Montserrado County, Liberia, former Deputy Minister of Justice for Administration and Public Safety, Liberia, and has served in various legal capacities both in the private and public sectors. Judge Mappy Morgan is a Registered Yoga Teacher, a student of Martial Arts and enjoys listening to a genre of music. Chief Judge Eva Mappy Morgan is currently serving in the post of President of the Trial Judges of Liberia. Hence, Res ipsa loquitur, meaning, the thing speaks for itself. It is no doubt presiding Chief Judge, Her Honor Eva Mappy Morgan is knowledgeable and industrious to perform her own statutory and Constitutional duty but she willingly and intentionally failed to do so.
Similarly situated to also face stringent punishments or judicial sanctions for their professional misconducts and ethical transgressions in the prosecution of this matter for their respective clients as culled from the records to include the following Counselors-At-Law of the Supreme Court’s Bar are Cllr. ViamahBlamah and Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner must also be recommended to the Grievance and Ethics Committee of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) or the Supreme Court of Liberia Grievance and Ethics Committee for a thorough investigation and appropriate judicial sanctions as will be recommended for their unprofessional behavior in handling the interest of their clients interests to include Complainant, for whichparticularly Cllr. Blamah who is also one of Counsel of Mr. Brosius, was contracted to protect and defend at all cost. Amicus Curiae submits that the apparent professional misconduct as shown from the said ex parte communication written by Cllr. T. Nagbalee Warner was improperly acted upon when he and Cllr.Blamah executed an irrevocable stipulation agreement to unfreeze the LBDI and Ecobank Accounts all to the detriment and injury of Mr. Amos P.K. Brosius as shown below:
July 22, 2013
Her Honor Eva Mappy Morgan
Chief Judge, Commercial Court of Liberia
Temple of Justice Building
Monrovia, Montserrado County
Republic of Liberia
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HONOR:
Ref: MOTC VS AMOS BROSIUS
We are in receipt of your letter dated July 15, 2013 requesting the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) to receive and deposit into Ducor Petroleum, Inc. account No. 0221215153401 seven (7) pieces of checks value at US$212,704.36 (Two Hundred twelve Thousand seven Hundred Four United States Dollars Thirty-Six Cents), and also ordering that any and all transactions pertaining to the above-referenced Account (i.e., deposits, withdrawal, checks, etc.) be stayed, except deposits and/or withdrawal approved by you and therefore accompanied by a letter signed by Your Honor.
For and on behalf of our client, we wish to inform your Honor that the stay order contained in the July 15, 2013 letter is adversely affecting ongoing operations of Ducor as a going concern because the subject account at LBDI is the principal account of Ducor established by all shareholders and is therefore not a subject of any dispute. Since the suspension of Mr. Amos Brosius as General Manager and the appointment of the new management Team headed by Mr. Charles Carton, the subject LBDI account has therefore being used by the said new management team to continue the business and normal operations of Ducor openly and transparently including funding the supply of petroleum products to customers and receiving checks in payment of products supplied on an on-going basis.
The continued operations of Ducor by the new management team appointed by the Board and shareholders of Ducor is critical to ensure that a substantial number, if not all, of the customers or the company are served and retained. Our client therefore conducts significant financial transaction in the LBDI Ducor Account to manage the day-to-day operations of the corporation. Unfortunately, the imposition and continuation of the stay order cannot permit any of the transaction required to continue the operations of Ducor because it effectively prevents deposit checks and withdrawal of money deposited into the account prior to the July 15, 2013 letter deposit and which is not the subject of any dispute.
In view thereof, our client hereby requests that Your Honor kindly modify the July 15, 2013 communication to leave its provisions apply only to the extent of the value of the seven checks deposited (US$212,704.36) or, in the alternative, the bank be ordered to open an escrow account and transfer from the Ducor Account to the escrow account the value of the seven checks pending your further instruction.
We will highly appreciate were you to give due consideration to this request in order to return the operation of the account at least to its status quo immediately prior to the July 15 letter.
T. Negbalee Warner (Cllr.)
Finally, Amicus Curiae’s inclusion of his brief brings to the attention of the Honorable Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia that the Chief Justice and four Associates Justices always-usually sit as a panel in the disposition of all cases brought before the Supreme Court en banc, on regular appeal. The Chief Justice of the Honorable Supreme Court does not sit single handedly to dispose of cases brought before the Supreme Court en banc on regular appeal, to the exclusion of his colleagues when the law is clear and unambiguous.
The Supreme Court en banc’s analogy is similar to that of the Commercial Court’s panel of three judges, that is, Chief Judge, Her Honor Eva Mappy Morgan cannot exceed her trial jurisdiction to sit single handedly and dispose of matter beyond the threshold ofUS$1,000,000.00 (One Million United States Dollars) or its Liberian Dollars equivalent as she did in a matter US$8,000,000.00 (Eight Million United States Dollars). Amicus Curiae submits that no amount of excuses or justifications can protect the Chief Judge, Her HonorMappy Morgan from judicial punishment and subsequently recommended for impeachment to the Liberian National Legislatures, for her willful inability to perform the functions of the office of the Chief Judge of the Commercial Court of Liberia by failing to know her own jurisdiction limitation as a Harvard Trained Jurist and, as such, she is not qualify to continue to hold unto such noble profession and portfolio. Hence, Amicus Curiae recommendation for impeachment of the Chief Judge of the Commercial Court is similar to what the Supreme Court of Liberia was about to do in the case of the former Associates Justice Richard K. Klah, Sr., a former colleague of Chief Judge Eva Mappy Morgan herein.
Amicus Curiae submits that even though the callous and reckless deposition of Mr. Amos P.K. Brosius’ house was part of the petition for accounting, the said house was mortgaged to secure a loan of US$100,000.00 (United States Dollars One hundred Thousand) from the International Bank for the purpose reinvesting same into Ducor Petroleum Inc. As a result, of the prolonged injunction placed on Mr. Brosius by the Commercial Court which is still enforced, made impossible for him to settle his financial obligation to the bank and, as such, the bank instituted debt action against him. Amicus Curiae submits that he is fully in agreement of count nine of the Judicial Inquiry Commission’s findings, which is found on page ten, count nine of the JIC’s report.
Well, Amicus Curiae submits that our learned presiding Chief Judge of the Commercial Court of Liberia correctly recognizes the cardinal pillar of this land to be the Judiciary and the handling and disposition of matters, cases and disputes brought before it for any democracy to be sustained in our country, but yet still she proceeded in ways and manner in the disposition of the MOTC Vs. Amos Brosius’s matter, which affronts the sensibility of all civilized norms of court judicial officers in such a callous disregard for the rights, dignity and honor of the Judiciary and parties appearing before her to disburse, utilize and misapply US$3,300,000.00 (Three Million Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) of Ducor Petroleum, Inc., must require the stringent measure to serve as a deterrent and punishment for such unprofessional and unethical behavior.
Therefore, Amicus Curiae recommends the followings to sustain and protect the integrity, respect, dignity, honor and a maintenance of our peace and security in the administration of justice, that Chief Judge Eva Mappy Morgan be punished consistent with the Judicial Inquiry Commission’s recommendations or alternatively be made to resign as the Chief Judge of the Commercial Court of Liberia to save the integrity and dignity of the Judiciary and the Nation State.May Please Your Honors! That is the law extant.
Also, Amicus Curiae says, however, that since the amount of US$3,300,000.00 (Three Million Three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars), which is one of the subject of disputes between the parties currently before the Commercial Court, Amicus Curiae recommends that the said amount be ordered returned into LBDI Account Number 0222121515340, and that the Chief Justice of the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia should appoint another ad hoc three panel judges, as required by law.
Furthermore, Amicus Curiae submits that the Court en banc should instruct the ad hoc three panel judges to conclude this matter in a definite time limits in keeping with law.
For those other lawyers who are wanting in professional misconduct in handling or prosecuting the MOTC vs. Amos Brosius’ case be also investigated by the required institution and severely punish for their professional misconduct, namely: Cllr. T. Nagbalee Warner and Cllr. ViamahBlamah herein.
Jonathan T. Massaquoi (Cllr.)
Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia