President George Manneh Weah has commissioned his first appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court bench, Cllr. Joseph Nyenetue Nagbe, saying the appointment is not based on family line.
“Again the confidence reposed in you is not because we are family, but you are my good former colleague. I worked with you, I know how serious you are when it comes to the law,” President Weah said Monday, 27 August at the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The newly commissioned Justice Nagbe replaces retired Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks, III, who vacated the bench on 7 August at age 70 based on constitutional age limit set for retirement of the Chief Justice, Associate Justices and judges here.
Mr. Weah said he deems it an honor to administer the oath of office to Justice Nagbe to enable him join his colleagues on the Supreme Court bench to administer justice.
The commissioning ceremony was graced by Vice President Jewel Howard – Taylor, House Speaker Bhofal Chambers and members of the Legislature, Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor, Sr. and Associate Justice Sie – A – Nyeneh Yuoh, cabinet officials, Dr. Amos Sawyer, Dr. Tokpa Nah Tipoteh, family members and other invitees.
The president thanks Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor, Sr. for the acceptance of “one of our sons” on the bench.
He says he has known Justice Nagbe for a long time, and he is confident that the newly commissioned justice can do the work.
Minutes after being sworn into office, Associate Justice Joseph Nyenetue Nagbe vows “to interpret the law within context,” especially so when public safety of this Republic is at stake.
“I will therefore join my colleagues, the Justices on the bench to work and serve this country, especially so when public safety of this Republic is at stake. I will be on record. I will be very bold and loud indeed to interpret the law within context so that Liberia can be safe,” he says.
Justice Nagbe has solemnly sworn “to support, uphold, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Liberia.”
He has also sworn to “bear true faith and allegiance to the Republic, and will faithfully, conscientiously and impartially discharge the duties and functions of the office of Associate Justice” to the best of his ability.
Justice Nagbe vows to do his best on the Supreme Court bench, indicating that Liberia is on a path to recovery, development and peace, having emerged from the ashes of war.
“Unless we are cognizant of the fact that the foundation for the development and progress of this country is based on peace, we must now commit ourselves to respecting the laws and the Constitution of this Republic,” Justice Nagbe says.
Justice Nagbe extends gratitude to President Weah for the confidence reposed in him to serve Liberia, and also expresses gratitude to the Liberian Senate because it played no small role in what he is today.
But he also urges that the three branches of government here work together based on constitutional mandates for the common good of society.
Associate Justice Nagbe accepted President Weah’s offer this month to replace retired Justice Banks, thereby resigning as Sinoe County Senator about five years left to complete his nine years term at the Liberian Senate.
His appointment and subsequent confirmation by the Senate to serve on the Supreme Court bench create a vacant senatorial seat that must be contested in Sinoe County.
It means government must find money to fund the conduct of two more by – elections, this time in Sinoe and Montserrado Counties, following the election in July of Montserrado Representative Saah Joseph to the Senate.
Two senatorial by – elections were conducted on 31 July in Montserrado and Bong Counties to fill vacant seats left following the victory of President Weah and his Vice President Jewel Howard – Taylor in December last year.
But government failed to meet constitutional time frame to conduct the first two by – elections in May due to financial issues.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah