CPP Youth Criticize Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe

Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe

CPP Youth Criticize Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe

Says his decision to bar the the certification of Samukai is a miscarriage of justice

The Youth Wing of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) has criticized Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe’s decision to halt the certification of Lofa County Senate-elect J. Brownie Samukai.

Just last week, Justice Nagbe granted the government a petition for the Writ of Prohibition to disallow the National Elections Commission (NEC)  not to certificate Samuka despite ruling from the full branch of the Court in support of the latter (certification).

In his ruling, Justice Nagbe, who serves as the Justice-in-Chamber, ordered the Court clerk to issue the peremptory writ of prohibition prayed for by the government on ground that Samukai’s certification needs to be halted until his disability imposed on him by his conviction is removed. 

The writ, which Justice Nagbe granted, was requested by the Ministry of Justice on behalf of the government of March 29, 2021  to prevent Samukai from being certificated.

But criticizing Justice Nagbe’s decision, the CPP Youth Wing said they have endured the situation and are now out of patience to see the people of Lofa County fully represented at the Senate.

The Youth therefore called on the full bench of the Supreme Court to take possession of the matter and conclude with it in the best interest of the people of Lofa and democracy that Liberia is still nurturing and cherishing.

“We are here in solidarity with the people of Lofa and we are here clearly saying that Article 45 of the 1986 Constitution has been abused and it is undemocratic. The people of Lofa County, like any other segment of the entire country’s population, deserve full and equal representation at the Legislature,” the Youth Wing said.

Samukai’s Situation

Samukai, who contested on the CPP ticket during the  December 8, 2020 Special Senatorial election, won the poll with 20,431 with his closest rival, Cllr. Joseph Jallah, securing 13,968 votes.

On February 24, 2021, the Supreme Court of Liberia ruled in Samukai’s favor in the electoral dispute case filed by three of his rivals, claiming irregularities and fraud in Lofa County District No. 4.

Since then, Samukai’s legal woes have deepened.  The government challenged the Court’s decision and filed a writ against Samukai’s certification on grounds that he is a felon and yet unrelieved under the law.

He ordered the clerk of the court to issue the   peremptory writ of prohibition, send a mandate to the first respondent, NEC, not to certificate J. Brownie Samukai, Jr., until his disability imposed on him by his conviction is removed according to law. 

On March 24, 2020, the Criminal Court “C’’ found Samukai, Joseph F. Johnson and former Deputy Minister for Administration and J. Nyumah Dorkor, former Comptroller of the Ministry of Defense, guilty of misappropriating US$1.3 million from the pension fund for the Armed Forces of Liberia.

The Supreme Court, after hearing Samukai’s appeal, upheld the lower court’s conviction under the condition that the sentence will be suspended “if the defendants shall restitute the full amount of US$1,147,456.35 or 50% thereof within the period of six months and plan with the court to pay the remaining portion in one year.”

“Failure to pay will result in the defendants’ incarceration in the common jail and until the full amount is paid or liquidated,” the Supreme Court ruled.

Meanwhile, the CPP Youth Wing has said it has taken longer than the required time to put to rest Samukai’s case. As such, the delay is not just an affront to the patience and resilience of the people of Lofa County but miscarriage of justice. 

The opposition group added that it is time for the Supreme Court to prove that it is not an auxiliary body of the Executive Branch of Government.

“We are here and history is alive to the facts that Justice Kabineh Ja’neh was illegally impeached and that process was presided upon by Chief Justice Francis Korkpor who is expected to have known that it was against the justice system of our country. The action of Justice Nagbe validates furthermore that judges are influenced by people who have money and strong political ties, mainly with the President,” the CPP Youth Wing said.

They further say that all the youth wings of the CPP will join hands with the executives of the CPP and pursue due diligence in accordance with the rule of law.

“Unlike before, we will no longer rest. If we don’t do our best now to see that justice is truly served, they will rig the 2023 general and presidential elections and nothing will be done. Enough is enough and we are prepared to stand up with our leaders to see to it that this matter is put to rest and that the people of Lofa are represented fully,” their statement concluded.