Liberia’s Supreme Court has warned politicians here that where a party in an electoral dispute elects to embark on means that are not within the contemplation of Article 83 (b) [of the Constitution], that party Can not cry foul and expects a listening ear from the Supreme Court.
In sounding an early caution over anticipated election cases during the opening of the March Term of the Supreme Court on Monday, 13 March, Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor, Sr. said the Court will not condone “any slothful indifference” to one’s own interest or to the law.
President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate Amah Jallah and members of the Senate as well as members of the diplomatic corp attended the Supreme Court’s opening.
“The Court will not do for the party what that party fails to do for himself or herself,” the Chief Justice said, having earlier remarked that the law requires all litigants to surround their cases with the necessary safeguards of the law as to secure them against any miscarriage of justice for their own interest.
He had earlier reaffirmed previous pledge that the Supreme Court had resolved and committed not to take vacation at the end of the March and October Terms this year in order to devote full attention to hearing and deciding election cases.
Chief Justice Korkpor said in accordance with the Constitution, the Supreme Court heard and decided all electoral matters growing out of the December 2014 special senatorial elections that were appealed to the Highest Court from the National Elections Commission or NEC.
He said one case that had exception was a case that had lingered due to the failure of the appealing party through its counsel to pursue the right path and the appropriate course of action.
Concerning judicial matters, he reported that out of 77 petitions heard for attorneys at law that applied to be admitted into the Supreme Court Bar, five were denied and 72 attorneys were submitted to two standing committees for examination.
He said seven of the 72 attorneys were granted dispensation from sitting the exams, concluding the 37 attorneys passed the exams out of 56 candidates. In separate responses, the Attorney General of Liberia, Justice Minister Cllr. Frederick D. Cherue extended warmest greetings and felicitations to Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court on behalf of President Sirleaf and the Executive Branch.
He wished the Supreme Court a successful term and hoped it would be rewarding for the country. Minister Cherue appealed to lawyers who will be representing politicians in electoral cases to avoid filling unnecessary complaints to stall the election process. He concluded that there was no political prisoner in Liberian cells, as Liberians enjoy freedom of speech.
Liberia National Bar Association or LNBA President Cllr. G. Moses Paegar endorsed the Supreme Court’s decision to suspend judges and a lawyer, saying it was within the confines of the law. He also commend the Court’s decision not to take a break until the elections are held and a new administration is installed.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah