As panelists call for concerted efforts in upholding rule of law
A center for intellectual discussion on national matters especially rule of law and good governance has been launched in memory of Counselor Charles Walker Brumskine, the deceased political leader of the Liberty Party.
At the launch of the center on April 27, 2021 on the campus of the University of Liberia, a group of speakers comprising of UN diplomats and legal practitioners suggested that in order to ensure good governance and rule of law, Liberians must begin to work collectively, both in public and private sectors.
The panelists included Madam Sara Beysolow-Nyanti, United Nation (UN) Resident Coordinator to Nepal, Lewis G. Brown, Liberia’s former ambassador to the UN, and Benedict F. Sannoh, former Justice Minister.
Speaking on the theme ‘Building a Nation on the Platform of Good Governance of the Rule of Law’, the panelists in separate remarks outlined that both the citizens and government have the responsibility to uphold the rule of law and make sure that good governance exists throughout the country.
For madam Nyanti, the rule of law has existed before creation. Adam and Eve went against the rule of the garden and disobeyed God. “When God made man; when he made the animals and gave a strict instruction: stay in the garden of Eden, don’t eat these fruits and eat these fruits. There were rules to govern how people live from the beginning of time and from the very beginning man broke the rule.”
The lecture series aims to continue the legacy of Cllr. Brumskine whom they believed was a man of rule of law and good governance, and that Liberians should continue to follow his principles. “Charles may be gone, but the principle and legacy must hold on”, Says Mr. Debar W. Allen, Founding member, Friends of Brumskine, USA.
As a lawyer and constestant in Liberia’s election since 2005, the late Counselor Charles Brumskine set a legal record in the 2017 presidential election by challenging the results in the first round in the Supreme Court. With a widely detected fraud in the election as affirmed by the court, Brumskine resolved to following the rule of law; something that put him in a high position of respect that many media institutions including the Daily Observer highlighted him as the Person of the Year 2017. He died last year after sometimes of illness in the United States.
He said to us “It’s okay to eat sardines and rice because it’s sweeter when you get it honestly, but when you are eating jollof rice that you didn’t get honestly, you will be hiding behind the table to see who coming check you up. Cllr. Charles believed in integrity that today we need to continue to look at in our country.”
According to madam Nyanti, Everyone must make a commitment to respect the law’s legal authorities. “Every single person in this country, you are accountable to the rule of law. Open access to justice. Every Liberian must have access to justice. If it is accessible to some and not to others, we don’t have the rule of law. It is not one person’s work to do. It’s not the President.”
She added that the rule of law is enabling citizens to have equal access to justice, services and resources, and the judiciary must be independent consistent with international human rights standard.
“Good governance are processes and institutions that meet the needs of society, while making the best use of the resources available for that society,” Madam Nyanti said.
Additionally, the esteem Liberian UN Diplomat asked: “Are there laws in relations to rape? yes, are all rapists arrested and do they all face justice? No. And all those who face justice, do they get fair trial?”
According to her, “The system must ensure that a child in the far east and south should get the same education as compared to the child in Monrovia. Boys and girls should be free and protected from rape and those that sexually assault them should be held accountable.”
For Mr. Brown, Cllr. Brumskine was always committed to the peace of Liberia as was demonstrated by his value for the rule of law. “He was a servant and solider for justice,” he added.
According to Brown, people are only aware of the fact that Cllr. Brumskine was a politician, but not much aware that he was committed to free and fair election.
“Citizens must show the readiness not just under the rule of law but guarantee the administration of the rule of law.”
Former Minister Benedict Sannoh said if Liberians must continue the work of Cllr. Brumskine, then, they must find a way to address the dynamics of government and those who are governed. “People always blame the President, but they don’t look at what is happening at the Legislature and the Judiciary. These institutions are they that create the problem we have.”
“If we go to the polls because somebody has given us a bag of rice or money in brown envelope, we mortgage the future of this country,” he added.
The launch and inauguration were in celebration of the late Cllr. Brumskine 70th birth anniversary and was attended by high profile personalities including former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Liberty Party Chairman Musa Bility, Atty. Charlyne Brumskine, Unity Party Chairman Amin Modad, and friends and sympathizers of the Liberty Party.
Atty Brumskine thanked the FOB for believing in her father’s legacy, and she pledged to continue the legacy in order to help Liberians and make the country a better nation.