Cllr. Gongloe Stands Against Justice Korkpor

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Cllr. Gongloe (left): "If Korkpor (right) appears, he would be a co-conspirator to a decision that resulted from a product of violation and disrespect to the Supreme Court's order..."

– Says he should not be co-conspirator of constitutional violators

The president-elect of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, says that if Chief Justice Francis Korkpor were to agree and preside over the impeachment trial of Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh, he would be seen as one conspiring with majority members of the House of Representatives, who have shown disrespect to the Supreme Court and the Constitution of Liberia.

Justice Korkpor is expected shortly to preside over the impeachment trial of Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh by the Senate after a 3-2 vote to deny Ja’neh’s request to prevent the House of Representatives from impeaching him.

At the Temple of Justice on Wednesday, November 13, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe told reporters that the fact of the matter is that majority members of the House of Representatives would abuse the power and authority of the highest court by refusing to obey the stay order imposed by Chamber Justice Sie-A- Nyene Yuoh on the preparation of the bill of impeachment against Ja’neh.

This, Gongloe said, was a clear indication for Korkpor not to attend any hearing at the Senate.

“It is about time for Korkpor to use his own wisdom over the matter, but if he were to preside on Ja’neh’s impeachment trial in the midst of flagrant violation and disrespect to the Supreme Court, history would harshly judge the Chief Justice for that decision,” Cllr. Gongloe, a human rights activist, said in an interview with judicial reporters.

He added, “If Korkpor appears, he would be a co-conspirator to a decision that resulted from a product of violation and disrespect to the Supreme Court’s order, and the Constitution that empowers the court to interpret the law, and as a keeper of our peace and security by upholding the rule of law.”

“Look, when the writ was issued, the House of Representatives turned it into a mere paper, and the court should desist from handling the case or the Court would face their wrath. This was an insult and disrespect to the Highest Court of our land and for our Chief Justice to sit and preside over the trial, he would be a co-conspirator to the disrespect and violation of the Constitution that calls for the separation of powers between the three branches of government,” Gongloe said.

Cllr. Gongloe however made it clear that his statement should not be seen as a statement by the Liberia National Bar Association, which he serves as president-elect.

“Though I am a president of LNBA, I am not speaking as the president but only expressing my displeasure over the lawmakers’ disregard for the Constitution and the Supreme Court that is responsible to uphold our democracy and the rule of law,” Gongloe clarified.

According to him, the failure of the justice system to uphold the rule of law was responsible for the country’s 14 years of civil unrest that led to the death of over 250,000 innocent people.

“I will not sit here to allow people, who claim to be untouchable, to derail the peace we are enjoying and plunge our country into disarray by not respecting the court system and the Constitution,” the LNBA president said.

Recently, Justice Yuoh imposed a stay order on the House of Representatives barring them from proceeding with the preparation of the Bill of Impeachment against Ja’neh until there is an outcome of hearings into a Writ of Prohibition filed by Ja’neh.

Yuoh‘s order was resisted by the lawmakers, who threatened to deal with her if she did not withdraw what they considered as “a mere paper.”

8 COMMENTS

  1. This human rights lawyer who now becomes an association elected cannot sit or stand and tell the Liberian people that the Chief Justice of Liberia’s jurisprudence should refuse his Judiciary function to preside in assonance rhyme constitutional order, because a Justice on the Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia interfered with the duty of the House of Representative when she stepped over line of demarcation with a non legislative prohibited writ, while an impeachment proceeding was in process. Some might have wanted to impeach her too for this interruption. This act was not legislative and the Legislature could have mistakenly considered it a legislation worth in the making in action. But the House was smart enough not to litigate. A judicial product should not leave the chambers of the Temple of justice either. With both branches in equal powers and separate functions, it is the responsibility of the lawmakers to make the Liberian law and not interpret as she had wanted to have it by presenting a writ of prohibition to the Speaker of the House in preferential equity, the nation’s one of the three. How many 85% uneducated, 15% literate, or of illiterate parents will understand the motive? More than that, she was attempting, in opinion, an addendum to the law without precedence. Unacceptable to the constitutional duty of the Legislative branch of Government. This would have also reduced the Power prestige of the Chief Justice as an Executive giving Judiciary exchange to the President of Liberia. The President executes the law and apparently this one may not want to be a judge between the country’s branches. Conversely, The Justices do not execute the law. These are some of the things that use to happen in our past branch governments against the founders intent that nurtured the war. We will not permit them again. So this newly elected bar should wait until it fully gets in to get a full associated drink. Maybe the point will be inaugurated. It is at the discretion of the Chief Justice to preside himself or not, but history will also see the fault of both branches of government (Judiciary & Legislative) if jurisdiction or jurisprudence is not in line with the provisions of constitutional impeachment provided by the people of Liberia. This is a Liberian feeling. Do not answer me. Tell the people how you feel too.
    Meditating on the will of God in silence. Merry X-mas. New year is coming soon.

    • I strongly disagree with Cllr. Gongloe’s argument. He’s asking the Chief Justice to boycott his constitutional duty when Justice Korkpor himself disagree with the writ and voted to overturn it. Justice Sie-A- Nyene Yuoh order was a clear violation of the constitution in Article 43. She blatantly ignored Article 43 for political reasons and she should be ashamed of herself for exhibiting extreme bias in her judicial ruling for political reasons.

      Cllr. Gongloe on the other hand has made some very weird arguments, for example by attempting to apply ex-post facto legal doctrine to rule-making in the House and Senate. He should have known that ex-post facto legal theory only applies to statutory laws, not legislative rules that don’t apply to the public. How could he be so wrong in interpreting the constitution when he claims to be a constitutional lawyer?

  2. Counselor Tiawon Gongloe is a smart, endearing, and caring lawyer, nonetheless, like in his shrilly one-sided point of view on establishment of a war crime court, he has blurred the lines here between advocacy for the “little guy” (just cause) and partisanship. According to some astute observers, that’s the problem with advocacy per se in our country. The fact that more often than not, they’re self-interest fronts or unapologetically politically-motivated. Which justifies the question, why would he accuse Chief Justice Korkpor of being “a co-conspirator of constitutional violators” when Chapter V11, Article 66 of the revised 1986 Constitution says that the “Supreme Court shall be final arbiter of constitutional cases…? Furthermore, how could a seasoned lawyer imply that legislators are “constitutional violators” for abiding by the very constitution – Chapter V11, Article 71 – which holds that the “Chief Justice and Associate Supreme Court Justices shall hold office during good behavior” and “They may be removed upon impeachment and conviction by the Legislature based on proven misconduct, gross breach of duty …”?

    One would think that were Counselor Gongloe interested in assisting with Associate Supreme Justice Janeh’s defense, he should’ve proceeded by doing exactly that, but not by dragging the LBA into his political sideshows. Let him help disprove that evidence provided in the case didn’t rise to the legal standard of bad “behavior” or lack elements of an impeachable offense. Of course, the various efforts, be they ethnic, religious, partisan and so on to elevate this case to political heights, hence crisis level, demonstrate a penchant for pursuing exuses to widen polarization. No wonder, then, the entrenched divisions for every real and imagined slight. And yet we always spew some silliness about inability to fight corruption; for heaven’s sake, how does anyone enforce the laws in significant illegal activities without being accused of malicious intentions? The Agenda for Transportation in our country should include responsibility to family values, community cohesion, and national tranquility, not only the hope that every Liberian has equal opportunity to financially grow, otherwise we could end up like few rich countries without moral compass, thus doomed to implode one day.

  3. Well, apparently, ”Daily Observer” doesn’t like comments to be corrected, but for clarity – an essence of communication – “Transportation” in the last paragraph is a typo for ‘Transformation’.

  4. Sylvester Gbayahforh Moses,

    You stated that “The Agenda for Transportation in our country should include responsibility to family values, community cohesion, and national tranquility, not only the hope that every Liberian has equal opportunity to financially grow, otherwise we could end up like few rich countries without moral compass, thus doomed to implode one day.”

    Chief, is this vision a part of the reason why President Weah changed the findings of the Audit Report and replaced the findings with the Conclusion from the African Peer Review Mechanism?

    The audit findings concluded that former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf awarded 66 fraudulent concessionary agreements to private investors during her administration. But on page # 14 of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, President Weah Administration stated that the awarding of all concessionary agreements met internationally best practices and the business activities brought benefits.

    Why did President Weah Administration change the audit findings?

    President Weah is indicating that his administration will not audit former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her advisers for awarding 66 fraudulent concessionary agreements.

  5. Justice Yuoh did not overstep her power as many are misleadingly expressing here. It would have made complete sense to say Justice Yuoh overstepped her power or duty if no case was filed before court to halt the initiation of the impeachment process against associate Justice Ja’neh. Yuoh’s actions in this case was to ensure that the due process of the
    law requirements were not violated.
    As it stands, associate Justice Ja’neh has not been accorded the due process of the law in carrying out an impeachment proceedings against him. Under the constitution, the associate Justice Ja’neh must be guilty of a misconduct in order to initiate an impeachment proceedings. Has associate Justice Ja’neh been found guilty of a crime as outline under constitution for impeachment process to be initiated against him?
    While this political action by house has been sent to the Senate, the Senate went ahead to establish new rules to be use for purpose of impeaching associate Justice Ja’neh….this is another violation of the constitution and the due process of the law requirements because it is unconstitutional to make a new law and used it prosecute offenses that were long committed before they became illegal.
    Another violation of the constitution and the due process of the law is that, the lawmakers cannot make the laws and be the interpreters of the law which is prohibited by the constitution.
    Having said that, everyone should remember that town traps are not for rats alone and that government changes hands!!!

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