Liberia’s Chief Justice Korkpor Politicizes the Supreme Court of Liberia

The Supreme Court comes third in rank when naming the three branches of government under a democratic form of governance in Liberia. These include the Executive branch headed by a duly elected president, the Senate and House of Representatives branch headed by a duly elected Speaker and a President Pro tempore that is overseen by a duly elected executive vice president. The Supreme Court is headed by a Chief Justice and flanked by other associate justices appointed by a democratically elected president.

The Supreme Court of Liberia from all intents and purposes is not a Polo society, nor is it a tribal or traditional institution that holds exclusive earnestness unto itself—meaning, when one associate justice is grabbed, then the rest of the associate justices are stirred. This accession by the Liberian Supreme Court is politically charged and pathetically uneasy. The Court will need to characterize it functions with rule of law with the Honorable Supreme Court Chief Justice Francis Korkpor waking-up from his lawful slumber and adhering precisely to the rule of law for which he and other associate justices are placed on Liberian taxpayer dollars after being appointed by the President, confirmed by the House of the Senate for a lifetime job.

The House of Representatives has a lawful jurisdiction to its disposal to remove even the Chief Justice including any associate justice for a probable cause within the framework of the Liberian constitution without fear or favor. The Supreme Court Chief Justice Korkpor and associate Jamesetta Howard Wolokollie direct interfering with the constitutional duties and responsibilities of the House of Representatives linked to the sudden impeachment procedures of Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh can be interpreted as an unlawful circumvention of the direct rule of law by Chief Justice Korkpor and Associate Justice Wolokollie. The two law-Stewarts need to emphatically face impeachment benchmark for exercising undue constitutional lawlessness as the third branch of government in the Ja’neh’s case against the jurisdiction of the House of Representative’s quest backed by the constitution.

On the other hand, the Liberian Supreme Court Chief Justice and Associate Justices are not above the Liberian constitution, they are employees of the Liberian constitution. They are not above the rule of law and due process in Liberia. They can be removed on the basis of probable cause or causes by the second branch of government under the constitution. Associate Justice Ja’neh’s gross inaptness to willfully assembled a team of lawyers to fight his impeachment proclamation further questioned his earned legal credentials. This act on the part of Associate Justice Ja’neh’s undermines his legal status which could easily make him a legal non-entity. Ja’neh can only do this when he has a case with outside entity which seeks to remove him from office as Associate Justice, but not when another lawful branch of government especially the House of Representatives wants to have him impeached from power because of a cause within their legal jurisdictions.

Associate Ja’neh’s act of encouraging his tribal groups, ex-rebel fighters, supporters and paid contractor demonstrators whom he had assembled to fight for him had simply added insults to injuries. This is not a democracy. This is authoritarianism that could lead to a severe political anarchy and political vandalism. The Chief Justice Korkporact of inviting the Justice Ministry in this fray exposes the weaknesses of Chief Korkpor who either doesn’t know what he is doing or is simply disconnected from the functions/duties of his office as Supreme Court Chief Justice. This is not the role and the place of the Ministry of Justice.

The problem with the Supreme Court Justice Korkpor and his Justices is that none of them has ever been tried and tested before they were employed to work at the Supreme Court of Liberia, as a result, they have become a square peg in a round hole not knowing exactly what to do. The Supreme Court is to interpret the laws, why is the Supreme Court blatantly refusing to interpret the laws of impeachment procedures which is invested sole under the House of Representatives. But the Liberian Supreme Court has circumvented the laws that empowered the House of Representatives by blatantly politicizing the role of the Supreme Court—this is a sad and undue legal episode.

A very strong and knowledgeable Supreme Court will thoroughly examine the House of Representatives’ impeachment cause(s) by directly investigating the accused associate justice without fear or favor. Second, the Supreme Court should play a neutral role whenever one of their kids misbehaved. Third, the court should allow a due process to play out legitimately. Fourth, it should not summon the House of Representatives for any hearing. Fifth, the court shouldn’t get the Justice Ministry involved and the accused should desist from commenting on the matter in the media, nor should he gather a team of lawyers to fight back or encouraged paid supporters and other tribal affiliates to demonstrate for and on his behalf.

Such an act can easily exacerbate the matter that could further aggravate the House of the Legislatures’ good intention. Seventh, the Supreme court justices should desist pre-judging the impeachment matter in a court of public opinion. The only auction that would be left to the disposal of the Supreme Court had it chosen this approach. The court should have lobbied behind the scheme and let the case be defeated in the Senate. This is what a mature Supreme Court with sober legal minds would embark on.

The action taking by Chief Justice Korkpor and Associate Wolokollie and the accused himself are definitively indicative that associate justice Ja’neh is already guilty of what the House is Representatives accused him about. The House of Representatives understands the law and due process that is one reason why they refused to appear before the Supreme Court, because the Supreme Court, failed miserably to interpret the laws for which they were employed by the Liberian taxpayers. The court will need to stop bullying the House of Representatives which is simply following the constitution of the Republic of Liberia.

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