Justice Minister Gets 72 Hours to Designate Venue for June 7 Protest

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Justice Nagbe says June 7 protest backed by the constitution

Amid mounting tension for members of the Council of Patriots (CoP), organizers of the June 7 planned protest, the Justice-in-Chamber of the Supreme Court on Monday, June 3, 2019 issued an ultimatum to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) that by Wednesday, June 5, to designate a specific venue where the government representative and protesters would meet to receive the protesters’ petition.

Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe also gave green light for the June 7 protest, which he said was backed by Article 17 of the 1986 Constitution.

That article provides that “All persons, at all times, in an orderly and peaceable manner, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good to instruct their representatives to petition the government or other functionaries for the redress of grievances, and to associate fully with others or refuse to associate in political parties, trade unions and other organizations.”

Justice Nagbe took the decision after hours of closed door meetings with the CoP, the MOJ, the  Citizens United to Sustain Peace and Democracy, and the Center for the Protection of Human Rights. The meeting was held in Nagbe’s Chamber at the Temple of Justice. It grew out of a writ for mandamus prayed for by the Citizens United to Sustain Peace and Democracy by and through the Center for the Protection of Human Rights against the MoJ and Chairman of the Joint Security, as well as the CoP.

Mandamus is a judicial writ issued as a command to an inferior court or ordering a person to perform a public or statutory duty.

Minutes after the meeting, a member of the CoP, Henry Costa informed journalists that the parties agreed to decide on the specific venue for the protest. “The meeting went very well and we are going to work in line with Justice Nagbe’s mandate,” Costa declared.

Costa added, “We have an immediate plan that if President George Weah could just declare his assets and sack his Finance Minister Samuel Tweh, and Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Executive Governor Nathaniel Patray.”

Another member of the CoP, District#10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah, said that the meeting was successful because it met the CoP’s expectation, noting, “The only thing I can say, is that the conference went well.”

In his intervention, Patrick Weah, chairman of the Citizens United to Sustain Peace and Democracy revealed that Justice Nagbe issued a three-day ultimatum to Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean to provide them with the specific venue of the protest.

“We are waiting for the minister and the members of the CoP to provide us with the specific venue,” Weah said, adding, “Article 13 of the Constitution also gives us that right.”

“Let them tell us where they would be meeting to present their petition, preferably Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex located in Paynesville or the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) located on the UN Drive,” Weah said.

Article 13(a) states: “Every person lawfully in the Republic shall have the right to move freely throughout the country to reside in any part thereof, and to leave therefrom subject however to the safeguarding of public security, public order, public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others.  (b) “Every Liberian citizen shall have the right to leave and to enter Liberia at any time. Liberian citizens and non-Liberian residents may be extradited to foreign country for prosecution of a criminal offense in accordance with the provisions of an extradition treaty or other reciprocal international agreements in force. Non-Liberian residents may be expelled from the country for cause.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. It seems everybody in Liberia nowadays likes the political limelight or is seeking some relevance every chance they get. Supreme Court justices as final arbiters of justice in the land, supposed to keep themselves far removed from all these political wranglings, as they may find themselves sitting in judgment of any of these political interplays at some point.

    What will happen, for example, if the Justice Ministry fails to do as this so-called justice dictated and something unsavory erupts from the course of the planned demonstration and the matter makes it to the SC, what will be the disposition of this overarching justice? Or his fellow justices for that matter? Will they be fair and not prejudiced by their colleague’s action in the matter?

    Supreme Court justices are supposed to be reserved, non-partisan, non-tribal, fair minded, unbiased, etc., as minimum requirement or expectation in rendering unadulterated decision/final judgment, some of which could be life and death determinations. This justice’s action is tantamount to judicial overreach, in my layman view.

  2. Everyone should just respect the constitution and stay within the limits of their rights and power.
    Eventually everything will go democratically fine.

  3. All this just for a protest. CDC scare. When they were marching Ellen showed them that she is man. Ellen is stronger than this wimp cry baby Weah who is afraid of any protest not appreciating him/

    • No! They are not. It is about complying with the constitution and all that comes with it. Within the bounds of the law and our common public good. Venue, is important for security reasons and a must in very country. We have tested the constitution many a times and must abide and fulfill it.

  4. Hmm, it is a clever way to take the steam off the planned protest by having the pro-Weah Justice minister, Musa Dean, to select an avenue that will confine the protesters and make them less visible. It will also spare George Weah the embarrassing spectacle of watching live the protesters, and possibly prevent him from personally meeting and receiving the protesters’ petition.

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