The Daily Observer on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, obtained credible information confirming that the relieving Judge, Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay, is likely a favorite among several other names submitted to replace former Civil Law Court Judge (now Associate Justice) Yussif Kaba.
Judge Kaba, who served as the resident circuit court judge of the 6th Judicial Circuit Court, the Civil Law Court of Montserrado County replaced the impeached former Associate Justice, Kabineh Ja’neh.
Judge Gbeisay currently serves as the judge of the Civil Law Court ‘A’ at the Temple of Justice.
President George Weah is expected to go with a pick favored by Chief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor, who remains Weah’s favorite.
The decision is in line with Article 69 of the 1986 Constitution which, among other things, states: “The judges of subordinate courts of record shall, with the consent of the Senate, be appointed and commissioned by the President, provided that any person so appointed shall be: (a) a citizen of Liberia and of good moral character; and (b) an Attorney-at-Law who has practiced for at least three years, or a counselor of the Supreme Court Bar.”
The choice, which Weah is also expected to reveal shortly, may signal the direction by which he hopes to regain public interest and maintain its independence, a judicial source informed this newspaper.
“But in the end, President Weah, as he has long done, will likely make a decision based on his instinct as well as an inscrutable set of criteria that is not necessarily tied to ideological compatibility,” according to the source.
Prior to his nomination as relieving judge in 2015, Chief Justice Korkpor, at the opening of the Supreme Court, told a gathering of lawyers that, “based on our recommendation, the President of Liberia nominated Counselor Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay to the Senate to serve as Relieving Judge.”
At the time Justice Korkpor said that Gbeisay was confirmed by the Senate, appointed by the President and subsequently commissioned by Korkpor on behalf of the President.
“Counselor Gbeisay comes to the post with a wealth of experience, having practiced for many years before the lower courts and the Supreme Court,” Korkpor said.
Gbeisay, when serving as judge of the 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, ordered the imprisonment of a public defender, Robertson P. Mahn, and fined him US$100 for disrespecting the court.
Besides, Gbeisay, as part of ensuring credibility of the court, recently issued a writ of arrest for Deputy Foreign Minister Henry Fahnbulleh.
Judge Gbeisay’s order was based on Fahnbulleh’s alleged refusal to appear before the court, to answer to “damages for wrong” regarding a lawsuit that was instituted against him.
Since being commissioned as relieving judge, Gbeisay has taken up assignment throughout the country, to include the Probate Court at the Temple of Justice, the 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Nimba County and Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice.
Other areas of assignment are the 13th Judicial Circuit Court in Margibi County, the 12th Judicial Circuit Court in Grand Kru County and the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court, Grand Bassa County.