The former associate justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia Kabina Mohamed Ja’neh on Thursday June 17, 2021 declares he and his lawyer will not rest until President Weah government complied fully with the ECOWAS Court’s ruling. Last November the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS) community court of justice ordered the Government of Liberia to reinstate Justice Ja’neh and paid him us$200,000 as reprobation for moral prejudice suffered in the violation of his rights.
He said the Liberian government appealed to the ruling but the court again this month rejected the appeal.
Speaking to the Voice of America early this week from Lagos, Nigeria Justice Ja’neh said, he has always taken the position that the Government of Liberia has no expression in the matter, noting that he has been given the right to excise whether to retire and get all benefits appertaining thereto or to be reinstated.
He vows that he and his lawyers will not rest until the Weah government complied fully with the ECOWAS Court’s ruling.
“For me it’s the matter to do with full compliance with the judgment of the court; I have no choice in this matter but to work along with my lawyers to ensure the George Weah government fully complies with the ruling of the court which means basically, that I be reinstated in my position as Associate Justice, as directed by the court, nothing less.”
According to him, the issue is not about the money, but ensuring that the government understands there is a country called Liberia, which is governed by laws and those laws must be in compliant, maintaining that not a dime will be taken until these orders by the court, including reinstatement are fully complied with.
Justice Ja’neh at the same time argues that if the Supreme Court of Liberia does not respect the ruling of the ECOWAS Court, he would be left with the unfortunate situation to seek further action and remedy before the regional court and invoke whatever is available in terms of legal application to ensure there are consequences for non-appliance with the judgment.
The former associate justice was impeached in March 2019 for granting a rate of prohibition petition brought by petroleum dealers in Liberia to stop the government from collecting 25 cents road tax.When asked for his view on the just held judiciary conference in Monrovia amid criticism of corruption and lack of independence in the Liberian judiciary, Justice Ja’neh notes the independence of the judiciary is at its lowest ebb, stressing the need for cleansing to restore faith in order to rekindle public confidence in the justice system.
He says the fact that at last week’s judicial conference there was an indication that retirement age for justices be moved from 70 years but was totally rejected, “symbolized in my view the ebb of low confidence in those who currently mend the system. “He underscores the need to restore trust so that people once again can say “yeah, we have a judiciary that we can go to for redress when we have difficult challenges.”
But Justice Ja’neh notes this is not what is obtaining right now, explaining the fact that judicial orders are issued at the highest level of the judiciary, which is the Supreme Court and they are not respected, clearly demonstrates the Supreme Court is merely an extension of both the executive and the legislative branches of the Liberian government and this erodes public confidence in the system.
By Kruah Thompson (Intern)–Editing by Jonathan Browne