Banks Denies Tipoteh’s Lawsuit against Korkoya

Associate Justice Rescues NEC Chairman; Frustrates Tipoteh

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Center: Frustrated Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh and his lawyer Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe left after the short judgment.

By Abednego Davis

Yesterday was an emotional day for Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh, a presidential hopeful in the upcoming elections and a veteran politician, when his request for the Supreme Court to prevent National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairman Jerome G. Korkoya from serving that post for allegedly holding an American passport was denied.

Tipoteh, during the hearing that lasted for little over two (2) minutes, shook his heads repeatedly as Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks delivered what several lawyers described as “Justice Banks’ shortest judgment,” yesterday.

Justice Banks, since his ascendancy to the Supreme Court, is believed to be one of the justices with the longest judgment (opinion).

That was demonstrated recently when he delivered a 64-page opinion on the Sable Mining bribery case that involved Senator Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County, of which he reversed Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay’s judgment against the prosecution.

At his extremely brief judgment, Justice Banks advised Tipoteh, and his lawyer, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe that the court cannot issue the writ to prevent Korkoya from being chairman of the NEC, “because there is no evidence for me to determine as to whether or not Korkoya holds dual citizenship and the Supreme Court also cannot take evidence.

“You can file your case to the Civil Law Court, there it will take evidence before the Supreme Court can decide it,” Banks’ short judgment stated.

Immediately after Banks’ decision, Cllr. Gongloe in an interview with journalists said they are considering yesterday’s ruling whether to go to the Civil Law Court or not.

Banks’ decision comes three days after he heard arguments on the matter to prohibit Korkoya from further conducting activities of the NEC as chairman.

Initially, Korkoya had argued that the lawsuit against him was “a dangerous game and a clever attempt by politicians to take away his Liberian citizenship and to make me stateless.”

Korkoya also contended that Dr. Tipoteh lacked the legal capacity to determine whether or not he is a citizen because that decision is under the purview of the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice.

Tipoteh’s lawsuit sought the intervention of the Supreme Court to prohibit Korkoya as NEC chairman from conducting the October elections because he is a citizen of the United States by his alleged possession of that country’s passport and for voting in US elections.

Tipoteh also argued that in order for the results of the national elections to be considered credible, the legal capacity of persons conducting the elections, especially its chairman, who speaks for the Board of Commissioners and presides over its meetings, must not in any respect be in doubt.

“The NEC requires that all candidates and voters participating in the 2017 Presidential and Representative elections comply with the Election Laws of Liberia and for the Commission to have the moral authority to rigorously enforce all provisions of said law, the Commission and its members must obey, abide by and comply with every provision of the Election Laws of Liberia,” Dr. Tipoteh said.

Yesterday’s ruling, which expected to be hotly debated by people on all sides of the dual citizenship issue, is nonetheless seen as a victory for those who campaigning for Liberia to make changes in its constitution to allow Liberians who are holding other nationalities to maintain their Liberian citizenship.

Though the case is far from over, many Liberians commented that the maintenance of peace demands that there should be no more distractions as the country gradually moves on to decide the next leaders for the country.

Authors

64 COMMENTS

  1. Gongloe should give this up and stop allowing himself to be used by that failed politician. Gongloe has worked hard to build a reputation for himself and he should seriously consider that before allowing himself to be used to push propaganda. Thank you Observer for your objective reporting here.

    • You need to learn basic legal constructs to appreciate the rule of law. In our legal system, only the government can enforce nationality laws, not a private citizen. For example, in America, if I suspect someone to be an illegal immigrant, I can report said person to the US Immigration Service but I can’t sue the person because the law doesn’t give me the authority to do so.

      • P.G; Thanks! You are very right. Sometimes I wonder, what’s the meaning of a PhD? They may learn a lot; but it seems their field of KNOWLEDGE is very narrow. One would imagine Dr.TNT knew what he was doing. It seems he doesn’t understand. I’m glad you’ve taught this PhD, “TIPOTEH” a simple lesson.

  2. Look, Jerome Korkoyah aka AB, Even Banks knew he had to decide that case in accordance with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s wish-a kangaroo judgement. But mind you – the worst is on the way for you, since of course the victory of evil or falsehood is only TEMPORAL!

    • You need to learn basic legal constructs to appreciate the rule of law. In our legal system, only the government can enforce nationality laws, not a private citizen. For example, in America, if I suspect someone to be an illegal immigrant, I can report said person to the US Immigration Service but I can’t sue the person because the law doesn’t give me the authority to do so. Nowhere in the law does it say a private citizen can enforce immigration laws. This is exactly what Tioteh and his cohorts are trying to do. The courts cannot confer legal authority to a private citizen that they’re entitled to by law. I hope my explanation helps you to understand this issue better.

    • P.G; Judge Banks’ decision is based on “Legal Principles”. Liberia have a Justice Dept. and an Immigration Agency. They should be one handling Immigration Matters with the court. Please choose your words carefully.It seems you are making a threat…

  3. The denial by Philip Banks was obvious for Banks is ELLEN’S STOOGE AND LOYALIST. IT was just like Alex Tyler taking his case to Edwin Snowe’s wife Associate Justice Yuoh when the case in reality was Tyler vs Snowe. So this was Tipoteh vs Banks in reality.

    • You don’t seem to understand the rule of law. Can you imagine every Liberian being able to sue other Liberians challenging their citizenship? Is that the country you want? I would hope not. If you read my arguments on FPA, no private citizen has the legal authority to sue another citizen to challenge his/her nationality. It’s the purview of the government of Liberia to do so, not some Tom, Dick, and Harry off the street. This case is not going anywhere because there is no precedence for it even in the great democratic United States.

      • You made a salient and cogent argument that only the government of Liberia reserves the right to enforce immigration and citizenship laws of the country. While I am appalled by the exclusion of Liberians with dual citizenship from participating in the politics of their native land, it is the law for now and must be respected. I believed that the government can still play a role by using its investigatory agencies to establish the citizenship status of the election committee chairman. Criticizing Dr. Tipoteh without mentioning this point suggests a bias and a surreptitious motive. Your reference to the US cements the point I am espousing. In the US, concerned agencies of government would pursue the truth to uphold the law.

  4. Kandajaba, I’m very sure you don’t know the personality of Associate Justice Philip Banks; unfortunately, you’ve ignorantly insulated him by insinuating that his judgement in this case is bias, as it was decided in accordance with President Sirleaf’s wish. I wish you never said that.

  5. Saah, you very STUPIDLY jump to conclusions! This is exactly what you displayed when you said we did not know Boakai, whereas we knew him as far back at UPMS in Bomi when he was in elementary school. Only you do not know Banks who notoriously lacks integrity! Banks’ robbery of a Nigerian business is a substantiation.

  6. I knew this case was another joke because the issue of Liberian holding American citizenship is crosscutting among branches of government.

  7. Yep it’s so sad that how educated Liberian man is,he’s still not independent to make sound decisions for the common good of his country. This verdict is very concerning troubles are coming. Um another justice denied it’s unbelievable

    • Obviously you’re poorly informed of the rule of law. Justice Banks’ opinion is the right decision given the merits of the case. While he didn’t get into the nitty-gritty of his legal opinion, this case should have bee thrown out of court because the plaintiffs don’t have legal standing to bring this case forward. Only the government of Liberia can prosecute a person for violating the nationality laws of the country. So your assertion that Justice Banks acted with malice is total idiocy on your part because you don’t seem to understand basic legal constructs.

  8. Yep it’s so sad that how educated the Liberian man is,he’s still not independent to make sound decisions for the common good of his country. This verdict is very concerning troubles are coming. Um another justice denied it’s unbelievable

  9. Mr. Montgomery Saah Sr., anyone who participates in contemporary Liberian public affairs knows about Banks’ REPREHENSIBLE CONDUCT, NATURE, AND CHARACTER. As we said here and elsewhere, it is only other reprehensible characters as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who could appoint a personality as philip Banks as justice minister or associate justice. This is why ECOWAS REJECTED PHILIP BANKS NOMINATION AS AN ECOWAS JUDGE.

  10. Tipoteh, the man on the ground Versus Kokoya, the man from the air. What a sad chapter in the history of our nation when some people are refusing to accept the opinion of the Supreme Court. When will we learn to stop paying blind eyes to realities, just because of hate and petit kind of jealousies.
    No matter what one might think of another the law must take its rightful place in governing all in that country called Liberia. Not because Tipoteh did not get his way means the Associate justice is unfit and corrupt. Banks, as an Interpreter and Executor of the law, gave a sound judgment in the matter.
    Now some Liberians failed to understand that trying to ostracize your fellow Liberians from being a citizen because of some other citizenship, is a dangerous precedent and needs to be stopped.
    Think of the genesis of the most important cause of many Liberians seeking citizenship in other countries. Some of the same people that are masquerading the corridors of power or in the opposition are the same people that made their fellow citizens to run away for their lives , in order to seek refuge in other countries. These Individuals brought war on the country and its people, paramountly for their selfish interests. What did you expect for a Liberian living in exile to be illegal in another country? No, that could not have been. Some Liberians were beaten up and some died due to the fact of not being a good resident of the country you found yourself in. I am a living witness.
    When a government or certain failed politicians and the unfailing decide to deprive a native of the soil his God given rights, guess what is created? Violence, coup de tat and hatred which make the poor people to suffer.
    Talking about transparency, Tipoteh for over thirty years has and continued to be the chairman of MOJA. What a terrible way of being in leadership.
    While people will continued to talk and have some reservations of this Dual citizenship, it is very expedient to know that a man whose father Or mother that gave birth to their child will always be embraced and accepted in his family, community and people as one of their own. I mean never ever will that person be seen or rejected. It is due to that love and acceptance that all meaningful Liberians abroad will always be there to help their families in Liberia. This is their native land and this is where they know. Never will you as a citizen deny the birth right of any of your fellow citizens because of your selfish motives.
    God bless Liberia!

    • Thank you Mr. Mannah. Tipoteh is just a self-rigtheous individual that loves to seek self-glory at the detriment of the Liberian political process. This man has never won 1% of the votes in any election cycles but each election year, we see him in the papers for all the wrong reasons. Like you rightly put it, this clown has been in Liberian politic well over 30 years now and nothing to show for it. He is so accustomed to breaking the laws of Liberia that he sees nothing wrong for Liberians to travel to the diapora and break the nationality laws of their host nations. He claimed to hate people from America yet all his children, grand and great grand children are all American citizens. I wonder what will be his position if one of them were to go home someday and attempt to accept a job in the Liberian government?

  11. Because it is so difficult for some leaders n some people in Liberia to call wrong n corruption by their right name (s),those two evils are already or becoming part of our tradition(s).Lord have mercy on us for country is headed in the way that seemeth right,but to death.

  12. Mannah, that you would believe Banks’ made such an opinion on the basis of why Korkoyah violated the Constitution via his commissions of the constitutional crimes of perjury and treason compels us to ask you: ARE YOU THE SAME JOHN MANNAH BORN ON HARMON HILL BOMI COUNTY WHO BECAME PRINCIPAL OF RC LAWSON MISSION IN BASSA, PRINCIPAL OF CH DEWEY AND LATER SUPERI NTENDENT OF BOMI COUNTY?

  13. Phil George, your man, Cllr Korkoya has informed the public to report and object, by filling in a complaint form…isn’t this the same as an individual complaining against another person to the NEC? Its sure is. So if the çomplaint is a challenge of the nationality of a registered voter, to perfect this complaint, the process must begin at the Ministry of Justice and they at the MoJ will proceed to investigate, along with the NEC! But then, how will such a complaint be processed when the leadership of NEC is the defending party?

  14. The Natives today in Liberia have become the worst Criminals in the history of Liberia than ever. We were fooled by the same Natives that the Americo-Liberians were criminals and corrupt minded people.
    Today in Liberia, we the Natives are tearing ourselves apart and carrying in rampant corruption at the highest in the nation’s history. What a sad time we find ourselves in today.
    Nepotism, rampant corruption and Bigshotism as well as cronyism continue unabated. Rampant corruption has spread in our society that today in every parts of Government, workers are stealing.
    99% of the legislative body of Liberia comprises of Natives. These guys are paying themselves the highest amount of salaries that has been paid to any Legislators in our country’s history.
    Liberians from abroad especially anyone was embraced and received happily with no animosities and jealousies. Today, our fellow Natives are even making laws just to ostracize their brothers and sisters in the Diaspora. What a sad situation.No one is better than their fellow humans talkless if someone that was born and from a family of roots on this land.We have to stop our ugly acts and amend our ways.

    I am a Liberian and work and live in New York. I am a Department manager for one of the Home Depot’s metro New York stores.

  15. Phil George, the legal doctrine of CITIZEN SUIT allows a private person to sue anyone who is a violator of the law. This is WHY the basis or ratio decendendi denial or refusal to impose an injunction against Korkoyah is on EVIDENCE and not legal standing. Banks simply rely on such flimsy justification because he is a stooge of Ellen.

    • Mr. Zoebohn Zoedjallah, you are wrong as usual. Yes, a citizen suit allows a private citizen to sue another private citizen who has violated the law, but it does not extend to matters alleging a criminal act (i.e., perjury, violation of immigration laws). So once again, under no circumstances can a private citizen bring a criminal charge against another private citizen.

      • And thats exactly why criminal charges against individuals are tittled state of XYZ vs John Peters and not Anthony Edwards vs John Peters.

  16. AB, if “citizen suit does not extend to matters alleging a criminal act” WHY WOULD THE SUPREME COURT RECOMMEND THE MATTER FOR DECLARATORY JUDGEMENT AT THE CIVIL LAW COURT?

    Read the very story on FRONTPAGEAFRICAONLINE and you will see that you are wrong and we are right. By the way ask yourself as to why Banks’ denial or refusal is not on the basis of legal standing but rather on the basis of evidence????

    Now you should be convinced we have been right all along and even now.

    Look AB, I am PRIMARILY parficipating in these exchanges to educate and inform people like you or Phil George who I am convinced are ignorant of law, the Liberian criminal justice system, our judicial process, and the jurisprudence of the Liberian Supreme Court.

    Again, Banks only sought sanctuary in such laughable and very flimsy ratio decedendi because he must please or deceive Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the actual one culpable of this national disgrace emanating from a criminal violator and foreigner heading the NEC in delibetate infidelity to the Liberian Constitution.

    Bur like we hinted earlier on: SOONER OR LATER THE TRUTH SHALL REAR ITS HEAD, FOR THE VICTORY OF EVIL OR FALSEHOOD IS TEMPORAL!

  17. Its is too bad that most people are making this a personality issue and insulting and attacking each other on a personal level. We should research the how the Liberian immigration laws would apply in this situation and the necessary steps require. So lets all take a deep breath, educate ourselves and them come back to engage in this dialogue especially if we want to make a difference.

  18. Where is the chief justice of Liberia in this case? why did associate justice Banks decided the case? whose in charge at the supreme court?

  19. Unless a given case requires an associate justice or the chief justice recusing himself or herself, there is no case which can be adjudicated by an associate justice that cannot be adjudicated by the chief justice despite his bring first amongst equals and assigns cases.

    The blunt fact of the matter is that there may be cases which certain associate justices may not want to handle(as a matter of their conscience, integrity, or philosophy) when they know the president has a PERSONAL STAKE in a given case as was the Varney Sherman vs Foday Kromah case, or as this Korkoyah’s case, and indeed the GW alleged bribery case trumped up against Those Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has perceived as her political enemies.

    But of course, as in general human life, there may be some justices (whether chief justice or associate justice) who believe their obedience to the Constitution or their conscience is secondary while their loyalty and obedience to the personal desire or wish of the one(the president) who appoints them.THUS, you see Philip AZ Banks ANXIOUSLY taking or is given all such cases in which Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has a PERSONAL AND SELFISH STAKE OR INTEREST. Banks’ actual intent in this case was to judge in favor of Korkoyah the violator of the statute, but he found it impossible, and so chose the lesser of two evils – disregard the court’s precedence of accepting evidence of such attachment litigations, cases, or controversies. And this is why former solicitor Gongloe was shocked.

  20. As expected, are we being told in a rule of law democratic country that the best Solomonic judgment from the unique brain of the Oracle of our Supreme Court Justice Banks, is this: President Sirleaf and her appointee, Counselor Korkoya, can flout the laws of Liberia?

    What a shame! Ooops, my bad, I forgot, she also wants portions of the Code of Conduct scrubbed on the altar of expediency.

    Then we wonder why 170 years of rain washed over our fertile land without leaving a grain of wheat for the poor people to eat, so to speak. Seemingly, the country has been run forever by rascals and crooks whose idea of nation – building is enriching themselves, children, relatives, friends, and their praise – singers at the expense of the vast majority downtrodden.

    Not to mention that under the despotism of EJS the vast majority poor are reliving the expriences of their forefathers: Exploitation, manipulation, and intimidation. It is no surprise that the Congua – Country divide has been resurrected: Ellen is a disaster waiting to happen again!

  21. And this is why former Solicitor General of the Republic of Liberia Gongloe was shocked should have been that written supra.

    In fact, contrary to what most people seemed to have believed; IT WAS JUSTICE IN CHAMBERS PHILIP A.Z. Banks who was ACTUALLY FRUSTRATED , and this is why his judgements usually lasting very lengthily, WAS SO STRANGELY VERY SHORT OUT OF FRUSTRATION HIS AND ELLEN’S INTENTS FOR A KANGAROO JUDGEMENT WAS ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE!

    Another frustration on the part of Banks was that when the case reaches the appealate juncture with the full sitting of the Bench, he would be exposed, for of course, the full Bench would “throw Ellen’s wish for a kangaroo judgement under the bus”!

  22. The bigger question is, Where Do We Go From Here?

    IFF (if and only if) the current chairman of NEC is a non-Liberian citizen, that will be a gross violation of the Liberian constitution.

    @PhilGeorge has correctly pointed out that individual Liberian citizens do not have legal authority to take legal action against the Chairman of NEC but; the best action individuals can take is to REPORT or ALERT the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Liberia. In my opinion, Dr. Tipoteh et al have alerted the Ministry of Justice. So, what is the Justice ministry doing about this Alert ?

    Don’t get me wrong; Dr. Tipoteh’s approach was wrong or misguided — but, his action implicitly perpetuated the necessary action by alerting the government of Liberia of a potential wrong-doing by the Chairman of NEC.

    1) Cllr. Philip Banks did the right thing by throwing out the case
    2) Cllr. Philip Banks needs to do the second, most important, thing by investigating the Alert brought forth — to the attention of the Ministry of Justice.

    !!…Beware…!
    Korkoya said, the judge does not want to open “Pandora’s Box” — what exactly does that mean?
    — Do we have other officials of the Liberian government who are non-Liberian citizens?
    — Is justice Phillip Banks himself one of those people who are non-Liberians but serving in government?

    I believe in dual-citizenship for Liberians but, I also believe that until WE THE PEOPLE amend our constitution to accommodate such a provision; the Liberian constitution must be respected to the letter and no one should ever be allowed to trample the constitution — not even the president, because no one is above the constitution (the law of the land).

    People of other nations respect their constitutions so foreigners quickly learn to respect those laws.

    “If you and I walk into your house and you walk on your clean, white carpet with your dirty shoes; I will gladly walk right after you with my dirty, muddy shoes”

  23. Bill Cooper, you and Phil George know nothing about law. You both should just shut up!

    The fact that Banks’ refusal or denial was based NOT ON STANDING TO SUE proves you and Phil George are simply ranting as a result of your pretense and ignorance!

    • Banks did not need to address standing. Even if the accusers had standing, Banks still could not hear the case because the Supreme Court does not take evidence. This is why Banks told them, if they feel they have a case, to go to the civil court and then after that final judgment, the Supreme Court will hear it on appeal. This is why he didn’t address standing. Because standing or no standing, he could not hear their case as an initial matter.

      But ironically, the same lawyer also has the exact same case in the civil court on behalf of the decertified NDC and Miattta Fahnbulleh. That case should and most likely will be dismissed because of the standing issue. They have no standing. Can you imagine how many cases will be filed before the court if private citizens could sue other private citizens challenging their citizenship status? That is why it is reserved for the government.

    • @Kandajaba_Zoebohn_Zoedjallah,
      Let me start by schooling you about me; I’m not a lawyer but I know a thing or two about the Liberian constitution because I learnt my Liberian civics lessons well and I have a copy of the Liberian constitution which I have read — multiple times. Second, I have no cause to pretend or ignore anything within my purview.
      Having said that, I will stop short of saying what I think of you because I don’t know you like that. So, respect yourself and don’t call me a rant.
      If you are used to telling your wife and children to SHUT UP, you should learn to keep your rudeness in your house. They may have no choice but to live with your poor level of communication — I don’t.
      Now, go back and answer the questions I posed in my comment earlier — to make things a bit easy on you; I have pasted the piece below:

      *********** Think before you respond ***********************
      *******************************************************
      The bigger question is, Where Do We Go From Here?

      IFF (if and only if) the current chairman of NEC is a non-Liberian citizen, that will be a gross violation of the Liberian constitution.

      @PhilGeorge has correctly pointed out that individual Liberian citizens do not have legal authority to take legal action against the Chairman of NEC but; the best action individuals can take is to REPORT or ALERT the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Liberia. In my opinion, Dr. Tipoteh et al have alerted the Ministry of Justice. So, what is the Justice ministry doing about this Alert ?

      Don’t get me wrong; Dr. Tipoteh’s approach was wrong or misguided — but, his action implicitly perpetuated the necessary action by alerting the government of Liberia of a potential wrong-doing by the Chairman of NEC.

      1) Cllr. Philip Banks did the right thing by throwing out the case
      2) Cllr. Philip Banks needs to do the second, most important, thing by investigating the Alert brought forth — to the attention of the Ministry of Justice.

      !!…Beware…!
      Korkoya said, the judge does not want to open “Pandora’s Box” — what exactly does that mean?
      — Do we have other officials of the Liberian government who are non-Liberian citizens?
      — Is justice Phillip Banks himself one of those people who are non-Liberians but serving in government?

      I believe in dual-citizenship for Liberians but, I also believe that until WE THE PEOPLE amend our constitution to accommodate such a provision; the Liberian constitution must be respected to the letter and no one should ever be allowed to trample the constitution — not even the president, because no one is above the constitution (the law of the land).

      People of other nations respect their constitutions so foreigners quickly learn to respect those laws.

      “If you and I walk into your house and you walk on your clean, white carpet with your dirty shoes; I will gladly walk right after you with my dirty, muddy shoes”

  24. The Elections of 2017 cannot bring change to Liberia because the platforms, agendas and options politicians are presenting amounts to one thing: “Forget The Rest! Just Put Me In Charge”! In charge of what? Liberia’s broken and corrupt system of governance? Liberia’s problem is systemic therfore Liberia needs a systemic solution, not the status quo. “…Corruption in Liberia is systemic…” Said Liberian President Sirleaf. If the problem is systemic corruption, the solution is not “business us usual” or the status quo” aka, excessive salaries and benefits of politicians that breeds ritualistic killings and theft of resources. Clr Gongloe is free to pick his battles. I would rather cast my support and energy for a systemic solution that begins with citizens designing a new system of governance to replace the old broken and corrupt system created in 1847 that has lasted 170 years. Unless the VOICE of citizens for change is heeded, the Elections of 2017 will amount to a refueling of the old broken system. Thanks to God citizens are organizing for the citizens’ agenda and calling for an end to the current system of governance in Liberia. https://mahnkrua.tumblr.com/ Citizens are designing a new system of governance. No more continuation with “business as usual”. Hear their voices and add your voice to the growing demand for change and a government of the people by the people and for the people: Check it out for yourself!
    https://mahnkrua.tumblr.com/
    There is a new voice on the stage: The voice of ordinary citizens calling for the Zero Option and creating a new system that advances the greater common good of society, justice and equal opportunities. The current system designed by politicians to enrich politicians will only take Liberia down the path of destruction. We need to stop and start from scratch y designing a new system. If freed slaves designed a system in 1847 that has not served us well in 170 years, why continue with a broken system when we can create a new system?

  25. Wait a minute! Was this case being voted upon by the nine justices of the Supreme Court? If yes how justices agreed on the legality of the case and how many disagreed. Or is Dr.TNT case of “Dual Nationality” being single handlly decided by justice Bank along ? I think the issue of Dual Nationality is a constitutional case, but not a political case. We need to go back to the Constitution to evaluate the intention of the founding fathers that wrote the Dual Nationality clause into the Constitution and then ask ourselves if the clause is still valid in our modern global world today. The nation state of Liberia has dramatically changed since the civil war.It use to a common slogan that “I born here , i die here”. Before the civil war, Liberians were not noted for navigating around the world. But that is not the case today. Liberians are found all around the world today. Situations made them to takes the nationality the country they find theirselve in. Does that disqualified them of being a citizen of Liberia ? Logically “NO”. Therefore, in order to solve this issue, we need to call for a constitutional conference to decide wether to Amend, rectify or change the Dual Nationality clause in the Constitution. Because constitutional issue can only be solve constitutionally. Otherwise, if we don’t, this issue will still reverberates itself in the future in different ways, forms or context. But as it stands, Dr. T.N. T has a valid constitutional case to argue on. So folks, let us not shy away from calling for a constitutional conference to resolve our differences.

  26. Now, you little dog calling yourself Bill Cooper, it is your very dirty mother whose very rude behind you should tell about her husband and children. Your very rude and ignorant ass filth admits you are not a lawyer but you do not want to be told to shut up your silly and dull mouth when you have become a nuisance in a foolish display of your rants. From now on you better learn that discussions on constitutional issues are neither the toys of your children nor the filthy breasts of your wife or mother, and shut-up your rants!

  27. AB, the Supreme Court of Liberia is constitutionally empowered to exercise jurisdiction in the trial as well as the appellate area – termed original and apoealate by Article 66 of the Liberian Constitution.

    If Banks weren’t the disgrace and stooge he is of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, he would have exercised the court’s trial or original jurisdiction! And then if the case necessitated an appealate phase, the parties or litigants would face the full sitting of the court’s Bench!

    Thirdly, it is exactly as you say how hectic it would be for courts “if private citizens would challenge the citizenship status of other orivate citizens or public officials” that government has a duty to take legal actions against such culprits or those such alkegations are brought against. BUT because a nation may be faced with a situation in which the very government may be the culprit OR AN ACCOMPLICE OF THE CULPRIT AS THIS KORKOYA’S PERJURY CASE APPEARS!

    Hence, THE CITIZEN SUIT STATUTE is made available to compel the government to prosecute the violator – the fraud Jerome Korkoya who is doomed to be thrown out of the NEC before October.

    • Great! We are getting somewhere. You write that “if Banks weren’t the disgrace and stooge of Ellen he is, he would have exercised the court’s trial or original jurisdiction.” Mr. Zoebohn, what you are failing to realize is that a justice cannot unilaterally decide which cases to exercise the court’s original jurisdiction. The Constitution specifically identifies the cases in which the Supreme Court may exercise original jurisdiction. Those include: constitutional questions, cases in which the country is a party, and cases where ministers or ambassadors are involved. None of these is at issue here.

      The accusers claim does not raise a constitutional question; rather, it is based on the 1973 alien and nationality law. The country is also not a party here, as there as two private citizens, and there are no ministers or ambassadors involved. The Supreme Court, therefore, cannot exercise original jurisdiction here.

      You also write that “the citizen suit statute is made available to compel the government to prosecute the violator.” But did the citizens in this case file their suit against the government to compel it to prosecute the violator, or did they file their suit directed against the alleged violator himself? This is the point myself and others are making to you — Tipoteh has no standing to directly sue Korkoya for alleged violation of immigration laws.

  28. I do kindly admonish all participants in this forum to keep this discussion as a civil discourse. Let us respect one another point of view. We can disagree with one another but let try to keep it intellectual and academical. People are reading our comments around the world. In fact, iam speaking to you right now from a far away place.

  29. Kafumba, according to Liberia’s statutory and constitutional laws, a Liberian citizen who acquires another citizenship AUTOMATICALLY LOOSES his or her Liberian citizenship!!!

    This case is not necessarily about dual nationality; it is about prohibiting the current NEC Chairman Jerome George Korkoya from
    continuing as NEC Chairman because he does not have the legal capacity (Liberian citizenship) to serve as commissioner or chairman of the NEC.

    After the injunction prohibiting him from serving at the NEC, he will serve his term in prison, and then finally deported to his country – the U.S.A. This is why he cried that the suit against him “is a dangerous game” in spite of the fact he seems to be enjoying the game, as evidenced by his shout of “No need to alarm”.

    He refuses to heed to the lessons from the stubborn fly or stubborn grasshopper adages or the one which says “small boy can run but he can”t hide.

  30. AB, the filing of the citizen suit is within THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW-PETITIONING THE GOVERNMENT TO ENFORCE THE LAW WHICH PROHIBITS SUCH A PERSON WITHOUT THE LEGAL CAPACITY FROM SERVING AS NEC CHAIRMAN!

    The constitutional issue is should the constitution be violated with the incumbent government been an accomplice to and of the violation, by virtue of the government condoning such gross violatio of the very constitition the president or the Ministry of jJustice vowed to uphold, protect, and defend? This is the key constitutional issue. Jerome is simply allowing himself to be a pawn in this “dangerous game”!

  31. Please reread Article 66 again and try to Digest this clause objectively: In all such cases, the Supreme Court shall exercise original jurisdiction! Make no mistake about that: BOTH The Supreme Court of Liberia and the Supreme Court of the USA have original and appealate jurisdictions!!!!!

    This is why Dr. Foday Kromah was able to take his ELECTION CASE STRAIGHT TO THE SUPREME COURT!!!

    Also, read the ELECTIONS LAWS OF LIBERIA! It requires and authorizes complainants to take their case straight to the Supreme Court! And this is why Banks again was able to dispense as justice in chambers in that case, to be followed By the full Bench!!!

    Another VERY SERIOUS ERROR on your part is this assertion of yours: “The accusers claim does not raise a constitutional question; rather, it is based on the 1973 alien and nationality law.” WHAT????

    AB! What about THE CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS OF CRIMINAL LAW as regards the crimes of perjury, and to some extent treason, committed By the NEC Chairman Jerome Korkoya???? Now you can why you are wrong and we are right!!!

    Don´t you know this boy is in A BIG MESS??? W e are as we write mobilizing PRESSURE GROUPS, INTERESTS GROUPS, MOVEMENTS, AND OPPOSITION COALITIONS TO COMPEL THESE PEOPLE TO RESPECT THE LIBERIAN STATUTORY LAWS AND THE LIBERIAN CONSTITUTION!!

    Look! you are dealing with an expert on THE CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS OF CRIMINAL LAW!!!

  32. Mr Zoedjallaj , you made a valid argument that the Supreme Court has an original jurisdiction on this case. But what is kind of weird to me , is the unilateral verdict being pronounced by Justice Bank along. Was his verdict based on the consent of other Supreme Court justices? Did any voting took place on the case ? If you can please elaborate on that aspect for me.

  33. Mr. Swaray,

    Just as anyone has THE RIGHTS TO HIS OR HER PERSONAL, so too, a justice in chambers (as Banks was/is) has THE RIGHTS TO HIS PERSONAL VIEWS; since in fact, he was simplynot necessarily exercising the Supreme Court´s ORIGINAL JURISDICTION (trial jurisdiction) but rather a conference, as evidenced by such 2 minutes view recommending the case to and for TRIAL PROPER!

    This is why Banks said this: “We (I Banks) will not issue writ at this time. It is the view of the justice (my view) that the issuance of the writ will entertain evidence, and the Supreme Court is not supposed to entertain evidence on any matters.”

    Take note of the last two words (“THIS TIME”) of the initial and first sentence of Banks´ pronouncement quoted above. Also, take note of the word “VIEW”. And also, take note of whose view. You will see that Banks says: “It is the view of the justice.”

    Meaning, what he has pronounced IS NOT necessarily even his (Banks´) judgement NOR SUCH VIEW A DETERMINATION, RULING, JUDGEMENT, OR VERDICT OF THE SUPREME COURT!

    BUT RATHER, SIMPLY A VIEW OF THE JUSTICE IN CHAMBERS.

    Again, you see why he Banks initially made clear from the onset of his pronouncement or view that: “We (I) will not issue writ at this time”. The pronoun “we” used here simply means in professional legal and diplomatic jargon “I PHILIP A.Z. BANKS”and NOT THE SUPREME COURT.

    So you see contrary to what some may believe or a lay person may believe, Banks NEVER MADE ANY VERDICT! NOT TO EVEN MENTION A VERDICT “based on the consent of other Supreme Court justices”!

    For he Banks as justice in chambers was simply performing as a trial judge within the sphere of the Supreme Court´s original jurisdiction –pending the case´s appealate juncture, AND WAS ONLY GIVING A HEARING THAT NEEDED NO VERDICT, RULING, DETERMINATION, NOR DECISION, “AT THIS TIME”!

    So, no deliberation nor voting took place, since no one´s view nor a judge´s view needs to be facilitated or preceded by voting of anyone…whether fellow judges or otherwise.

    AGAIN, take note of Banks´ pronouncement..especially this: “We (I Judge/Justice Philip Banks) will not issue writ at this time.” It is the view of the justice (NOT THE SUPREME COURT´S BENCH) that the issuance of the writ will entertain evidence, and the Supreme Court is not supposed to entertain evidence on any matters.”

    In short, Banks´ pronouncement was simply his Banks´ personal view within his capacity as a justice in chambers (trial judge) viz that case. What he concluded were not a verdict from himself nor even a verdict from the Supreme Court, but SIMPLY his Banks´ view.

    Accordingly, being simply a view IS NEITHER A VERDICT FROM HIM NOR FROM THE SUPREME COURT. AND THIS IS FUNDAMENTALLY WHY BANKS´ VIEW WAS SO SHORT (2 MINUTES), AND RECOMMENDED THE CASE FOR TRIAL PROPER.

  34. Mr. Swaray,

    Just as anyone has THE RIGHTS TO HIS OR HER PERSONAL VIEWS, so too, a justice in chambers (as Banks was/is) has THE RIGHTS TO HIS PERSONAL VIEWS; since in fact, he was not necessarily exercising the Supreme Court´s ORIGINAL JURISDICTION (trial jurisdiction) but rather a conference, as evidenced by such 2 minutes view recommending the case to and for TRIAL PROPER!

    This is why Banks said this: “We (I Banks) will not issue writ at this time. It is the view of the justice (my view) that the issuance of the writ will entertain evidence, and the Supreme Court is not supposed to entertain evidence on any matters.”

    Take note of the last two words (“THIS TIME”) of the initial and first sentence of Banks´ pronouncement quoted above. Also, take note of the word “VIEW”. And also, take note of whose view. You will see that Banks says: “It is the view of the justice.”

    Meaning, what he has pronounced IS NOT necessarily even his (Banks´) judgement NOR SUCH VIEW A DETERMINATION, RULING, JUDGEMENT, OR VERDICT OF THE SUPREME COURT!

    BUT RATHER, SIMPLY A VIEW OF THE JUSTICE IN CHAMBERS.

    Again, you see why he Banks initially made clear from the onset of his pronouncement or view that: “We (I) will not issue writ at this time”. The pronoun “we” used here simply means in professional legal and diplomatic jargon “I PHILIP A.Z. BANKS”and NOT THE SUPREME COURT.

    So you see contrary to what some may believe or a lay person may believe, Banks NEVER MADE ANY VERDICT! NOT TO EVEN MENTION A VERDICT “based on the consent of other Supreme Court justices”!

    For he Banks as justice in chambers was simply performing as a trial judge within the sphere of the Supreme Court´s original jurisdiction –pending the case´s appealate juncture, AND WAS ONLY GIVING A HEARING THAT NEEDED NO VERDICT, RULING, DETERMINATION, NOR DECISION, “AT THIS TIME”!

    So, no deliberation nor voting took place, since no one´s view nor a judge´s view needs to be facilitated or preceded by voting of anyone…whether fellow judges or otherwise.

    AGAIN, take note of Banks´ pronouncement..especially this: “We (I Judge/Justice Philip Banks) will not issue writ at this time.” It is the view of the justice (NOT THE SUPREME COURT´S BENCH) that the issuance of the writ will entertain evidence, and the Supreme Court is not supposed to entertain evidence on any matters.”

    In short, Banks´ pronouncement was simply his Banks´ personal view within his capacity as a justice in chambers (trial judge) viz that case. What he concluded were not a verdict from himself nor even a verdict from the Supreme Court, but SIMPLY his Banks´ view.

    Accordingly, being simply a view IS NEITHER A VERDICT FROM HIM NOR FROM THE SUPREME COURT. AND THIS IS FUNDAMENTALLY WHY BANKS´ VIEW WAS SO SHORT (2 MINUTES), AND RECOMMENDED THE CASE FOR TRIAL PROPER.

  35. By Bettie K. Johnson Mbayo

    Monrovia — Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks on Thursday gave smiles to lawyers representing National Elections Commission chairperson, Jerome Korkoya.

    Justice Banks denied a writ of prohibition requested by Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh to stop Korkoya from presiding as chair of the NEC in the upcoming elections.

    At the Supreme Court conference, Banks said the writ cannot be issued because the high court cannot accept evidence.

    “We will not issue writ at this time. It is the view of the justice that the issuance of the writ will entertain evidence, and the Supreme Court is not supposed to entertain evidence on any matters.”

    He added that matters at the court are not to be testified to by any parties in a case.

    Banks recommended that the petitioner takes advantage of the statute by filing a petition for declaratory judgment at the Civil Law Court.

    “The legal process is still available which can be done expeditiously and this refusal of issuing the writ is not based on prejudice.”

    But the ruling of the chamber’s justice is not a deterrent to lawyers representing Tipoteh as Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe said a petition of declaratory judgment will be filed today before the Civil Law Court.

    Gongloe said he is surprised by the ruling because several times the Supreme Court has heard cases with attachment.

    “It is not over, and we will file the petition today.”

    “The full evidence will be reviewed and they (Supreme Court) can look at it on appeal.”

    “We are not giving up and another Justice in chambers would have another discretion.”

    “Today the respondent (Korkoya) is not going to be responding to the writ but the war is still on.

    “All is not lost and the Justice said the petition we filed is important but the court cannot take evidence and he recommended that the lower court takes jurisdiction or the Ministry of Justice but we will go by the way of declaratory judgment.

    Cllr. Gongloe confirmed that the evidence is from America specifically from the U.S. electoral authority.

    At the same time, Dr. Tipoteh said his request was to set the records straight so as to keep violence from the upcoming elections.

  36. Thank you Mr. Zoedjallah, for your comment. As you stated that Justice Bank statement was his personal view Which does not represent the views of other justices in the Supreme Court. However, when you go back to the article of Johnson Mbayo ,paragraph 8, you will see that Justice Bank statement in being considered by the plantiff lawyer Cllr Congloe as a ruling representing the opinion of the Supreme Court justices. Again let put it this way, even if it is the personal opinion of Justices Bank , other Justices may still have their own personal consenting or dissenting opinions as well. And if that be the case who opinion should we consider ? Nevertheless don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to favor one side against the other but rather iam trying to understand if the legal process is going in the right direction to set a good precedent for the future.

  37. Mr. Swaray,

    The plaintiff’s lawyer may have considered Banks’ statement as a ruling of the Supreme Court because the Justice in Chambers is of the Supreme Court. But actually and technically it is not; since in fact that gathering was not even of a status of pre-hearing conference; not to talk about a hearing, but a mere conference. And this is why Banks chose his dictions or language very skillfully and carefully.

    As to whose opinion we should consider considering the majority opinion and the dissenting opinions, of course we should consider the opinions calling for the prohibition of Korkoya as NEC Chairman, even if the majority opinion says otherwise.

    For of course, courts are often wrong in their reasoning! They commit errors in inference and implication, make category mistakes and adopt faulty premises! This is why the dissenting opinion today usually turns out to be the majority opinion tomorrow! This is also why THE OVERRULING OF PRECEDENTS AND DECISIONS OF SUPREME COURTS IS A COMMON PHENOMENON, hence also the striking down of laws! Nevertheless, neither the incompetency, irrationality, prejudice, or stupidity of the courts, nor their lack of scientific expertise affects their authority or necessarily the obedience paid to their decisions or precedents! We may accept but vehemently disagree!

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