Liberia: S/Court Declines to Hear Case on Weah’s Nominee


The Supreme Court on Tuesday, January 9 declined to decide for now whether Chief Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh should recuse herself from participating in the determination of the petition for prohibition filed against President George Weah’s nominee for the Supreme Court Bench, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean. Weah recently nominated Dean, who is currently Liberia’s Justice Minister, to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court Bench.

The court deferred the determination of whether Justice Yuoh should recuse herself, which is seen as a practical victory for the Unity Party (UP). The UP’s lawyers have been attempting to delay the Senate’s confirmation hearing for Dean, who is slated to replace retired Justice Joseph N. Nagbe.

The timing of Dean’s confirmation remains uncertain due to the court’s order, which may lead to a postponement. President Weah’s special session for the Legislature, including Senators, also ended on Tuesday, January 9.

The case has been referred back to the lawyers of the Senate and Cllr. Dean, who are the respondents in the petition. The recusal motion filed by the UP on January 8 takes precedence over the petition, causing the hearing to be indefinitely postponed.

Both lawyers of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Cllr. Dean expressed concern that they were not provided copies of the UP’s motion, which made it difficult for them to prepare. The panel of judges, three of whom were nominated by President Weah, also questioned why the UP failed to serve their advisory with the motion.

This suspension could potentially impact the materialization of President Weah’s Supreme Court nominee. During the arguments, the opposing lawyers denied receiving copies of the motion and refuted claims that Justice Yuoh was protecting the President.

The UP requested Justice Yuoh’s recusal based on a letter she sent to President Weah on December 27, 2023, informing him of Justice Nagbe’s early retirement request due to ill health.