The Supreme Court yesterday ordered a halt with immediate effect to the ongoing demolition exercise led by the Special Presidential Taskforce. The Taskforce was set up with a mandate to beautify the City of Monrovia, but the court ordered that it must stop until a judicial review of its scope of operation can be decided by the court.
Yesterday’s decision was taken by Justice Presiding in Chambers, Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh, following a petition for a Writ of Prohibition filed to the High Court by a group under the banner, “Aggrieved Destroyed Properties Owners of Central Monrovia, Bushrod Island, Sinkor, Gardnersville and the New Georgia Community.”
Cllr. Dempster Brown of the Center for the Promotion of Human Rights filed the complaint on behalf of the aggrieved residents.
The people are celebrating yesterday’s decision by Justice Ja’neh, who in a communication to Taskforce leader Madam Mary Broh, instructed her to stop further demolitions pending the outcome of a conference scheduled for December 7.
The Broh committee was in October, constituted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf with a clear mandate to clean up the City of Monrovia from November 15 to December 15, which operation has met legal and other challenges.
Further in their complaint, Cllr. Dempster Brown argued that the Presidential Committee does not have judicial power to close down businesses, institutions and demolish private homes because of any violation, ignoring city ordinances and zoning laws.
“If they have violated zoning laws and city ordinances, the Presidential Taskforce should have instituted legal proceedings against them, and or any citizen in Monrovia, who violated such law to the Monrovia City Court, “Cllr. Brown’s complaint to Justice Ja’neh stated.
Instead, he alleged, “the committee is using police power by brutalizing, intimidating and harassing peaceful citizens under the guise of carrying out their presidential mandate to clean Monrovia.”
Cllr. Brown begged the court to issue the writ of prohibition against the Presidential Task Force in order to restrain and prohibit what they consider to be the unlawful acts of destroying the private properties of peaceful citizens , police brutality, harassment and intimidation pending the outcome of the hearing.