A proposal to construct a monument in memory of the late former Chief Justice Johnnie N. Lewis has been made here, as officials commenced signing book of condolence at the Judiciary for the fallen veteran lawyer on Monday, 2 February 2015.
Montserrado County Bar Association President, Cllr. Sam Y. Copper, suggested during chat with reporters that a monument could mean establishing an academic or professional institution in honor of the fallen former chief justice for his brilliance and legacy.
On Monday senior officials from the Executive, Legislature, Judiciary and members of the diplomatic corps, as well as judges and members of the Bar Association here signed the book of condolence.
After signing, Cllr. Copper urged that Justice Lewis’ legacy should not be “brushed aside,” but they should be built upon.
“If we should build monument it should be academic, something memorial; like the Johnnie N. Lewis Memorial Judicial Institute should be built. We should think on that … where our children can come and attend,” he said.
He said the late former Chief Justice Lewis is remembered for handing down very brilliant opinions, while at the same time describing him as a developmental leader.
Liberia’s current Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor, Sr. asked the family to hold together after signing the book of condolence of his predecessor, saying, he remembers the late Justice Lewis most as an academician from the law school which he brought to the job.
Chief Justice Korkpor said his predecessor handed quite insightful opinions and was a good chief justice. As member of the Supreme Court Bench during the late former chief justice’s reign, current Chief Justice Korkpor recalls so many programs initiated.
He cited renovation works done on the grounds of the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, including the completion of some projects that began under the term of former Chief Justice Henry Reeves Cooper.
He finally named the building of court houses at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, Sinoe and Gbarpolu Counties as well as many magisterial courts, among others.
Meanwhile, the Government of Liberia has released the official protocol for the funeral arrangements for His Honour, Cllr. Johnnie N. Lewis, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia. Cllr. Lewis died on January 21, 2015 at the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital in Monrovia at the hour of five O’clock post meridian.
According to a Foreign Ministry’s release, the Book of Condolence for former Chief Justice Lewis opened at the Temple of Justice from Monday, February 2 to Tuesday, February, 3, 2015, beginning at Nine O’ClocK ante meridian to Five O’Clock post meridian daily.
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on Monday led the cabinet to the Temple of Justice to sign the Book of Condolence followed by Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, and members of the Senate; the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives; and the current Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, among other officials.
The release said tomorrow, Wednesday, February 4, 2015, the remains of the former Chief Justice will be removed from the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Home at Three O’Clock post meridian and taken to the Temple of Justice for one (1) hour of viewing and later taken to the St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Camp Johnson Road, Monrovia for one night of wake keeping, commencing Six O’Clock to Nine O’Clock post meridian.
On Thursday, February 5, 2015, beginning at Ten O’Clock ante meridian, funeral rites will be said at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion, Broad Street followed by repast at the Monrovia City Hall. Thereafter, the body will be returned to the Samuel A. Stryker Funeral Home.
The remains of former Chief Justice Lewis will be conveyed to Greenville, Sinoe County, Republic of Liberia, on Friday, February 6, 2015, for another night of wake keeping.
And then on Saturday, February 6, 2015, at Ten O’Clock ante meridian, commendation of the body will take place at the St. Paul Episcopal Church followed by interment at the Lewis Cemetery, Red Hill, Greenville, Sinoe County, Republic of Liberia.
By Winston W. Parley