Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor Sr. has warned judges to live above reproach and stop using the court as a place to get rich or for money making.
Justice Korkpor made the statement in Ganta, Nimba County where Magistrate Nyan Ben was turning over to S. Yarlor Saywon as new Stipendiary Magistrate of the Ganta Magisterial Court.
“People rush to us for redress for situations they are faced with. They come to the court frustrated and need a result for their problems, but if a judge begins to demand money, you increase their frustration and make them to lost hope,” he said. “Don’t take bond fees from anyone and use your 13.5 to help the party litigant, not for intimidating or exploiting the people.”
The Chief Justice, who was very frank in his deliberation at the turning over ceremony, urged judges to use the resources at their disposal to discharge their duties, and should not take money from people who are seeking for justice.
Although he did not mention any punishment for any judge found in such judicial malpractice, he admonished them to be strong and do things according to the law by helping the people get their just justice.
“If you do the right thing and the people thank God for your sake, that alone will make you live long and be respected in the community,” he said.
The Chief Justice statement was really applauded by those in attendance, with many of them expressing satisfaction because he spoke on the ill of the judicial system.
Ganta Magisterial Court is one of the leading courts in Nimba County that faces several challenges, including limited manpower and inadequate space, said the outgoing Stipendiary Magistrate Nyan M. Ben. The Chief Justice said it will be taking care of.
Stipendiary Magistrate Nyan M. Ben served Ganta for the period of four years, something the Chief Justice said it was too much for a judge to stay in one community.
The incoming Stipendiary Magistrate Yarlor Saywon, II meanwhile assured the public of a good working relationship and called for cooperation from the citizens and all party litigants.
Magistrate Saywon served as principal for both Yini High School in Ganta and later at Tappeh Memorial High School in Tappita. He also served as a teacher at the John Wesley Pearson High School in Ganta and again as Superintendent of Nimba from 1999 to 2001.
Chief Justice Korkpor explained that his reason for endorsing the turning over ceremony is because Ganta is one of the cities in Liberia with people of diverse backgrounds.
“In so doing”, he said, “I am here to sound some warning against some of the judicial malpractices in the court.”
The Supreme Court justice also warned the citizens to respect the law of the country and give the judiciary chance of discharging their duties.
“Don’t law into your own hands , by beating accused or carrying on mob action,” he said.
“Don’t try the people in a mob court, seek court’s remedy and respect the view of the court, but, if you are displeased with a court’s decision appeal to the higher court for redress,” he said.