Justice Nagbe Cites FrontPage Africa, OK FM over ‘Traffic Violation’ Article

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Press Union’s presence requested ‘to ensure transparency’

An article published online by the FrontPage Africa Newspaper linking Associate Justice Joseph N. Nagbe to a traffic violation offense did not go down well with the Associate Justice and he is therefore citing the paper’s Managing Editor, Rodney Sieh, for a conference this Thursday, May 21.

Justice Nagbe’s citation also named the Management of OK FM, a local radio station, for broadcasting similar traffic offense published by Frontpage Africa.

It is unclear as to whether Sieh and the Management of OK FM will avail themselves for the anticipated conference; if they failed to attend, the Associate Justice would hold them in contempt, which is sometimes punishable by days of incarceration.

To make Sieh and OK FM’s appearance transparent, Justice Nagbe has communicated with the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), the umbrella body of all journalists, to ensure that the union’s President, Charles Coffey attends the Thursday’s proceeding.

A communication dated May 19, 2020, under the signature of Supreme Court Attorney Sam Mamulu, which acopy is in the possession of the Daily Observer, mandated Frontpage Africa’s Sieh and the OK FM Management to appear at 11:00 AM. But, the communication did not ask any of the parties, Sieh and KO FM Radio Management, to be accompanied by their respective lawyers.

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Joseph Nagbe

The letter addressed to Mr. Sieh reads: “I have been directed by His Honor Joseph N. Nagbe, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, to cite you for a conference with His Honor on Thursday, May 21, 2020, at the hour of 11:00 AM, relative to the traffic incident involving you and the Justice which occurred on Monday, May 18, 2020, at about 9: AM around the Vai Town area while he was following police instructions.”

The OK FM Radio Station’s letter also reads: “I have been directed by His Honor Joseph N. Nagbe, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, to cite you for a conference with His Honor on Thursday, May 21, 2020, at the hour of 11:00AM, relative to an OK FM Radio broadcast involving a traffic incident/fracas between Mr. Rodney Sieh of the FrontPage Africa and His Honor Justice Joseph N. Nagbe, which occurred on Monday, May 18, 2020, at about 9:AM around the Vai Town area, while he (Justice Nagbe) was following police instructions.”

The communication addressed to Charles Cuffey also state:  “I have been directed by His Honor Joseph N. Nagbe, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, to cite you for a conference with His Honor on Thursday, May 21, 2020, at the hour of 11:00AM, relative to a matter involving the Justice and Mr. Rodney Sieh of the FrontPage Africa Newspaper surrounding a traffic incident/fracas, which occurred on Monday, May 18, 2020, at about 9:AM around the Vai Town area. Mr. Sieh has also been cited.”

It all started when Mr. Sieh wrote an editorial online titled “The Associate Justice’s Traffic Violation.”

The article drawing Mr. Sieh reads:  Fast-forward to Monday, May 19, 2020, I was driving on my way to interview someone for a story, near the Vai Town area when I noticed a black jeep with a license plate JUD 4, bulldozing its way toward me on heavy speed. I wasn’t sure whose vehicle it was at first- it was later I confirmed with a court staffer that it belonged to Associate Justice Nagbe.

The Vai Town road is one of the busiest traffic routes in Monrovia. It has become even more compounded now because of the ongoing renovation work due to the dilapidated condition of the road.

The Vai Town route was built as a four-lane road, two lanes going toward the Freeport of Monrovia and two opposite lanes, on the other side heading toward downtown Monrovia. More importantly, the road is divided by a center divide which is there to ensure that those on either side of the road stay in their respective lanes and do not cross over in the ongoing traffic in the other lane.

Following the incident, I placed a call to Chief Justice Francis Korkpor and Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue, informing them of what had happened. The Chief Justice promised me he would look into it, but I never heard from him again. IG Sudue also expressed frustration at how officials of government have been breaking the laws by driving in the wrong lane. I even heard him on the phone instructing the chief of traffic to assign officers on the Vai Town Road to keep all on their respective lanes.

This has been a regular routine for me. Often when I see officials breaking the law, I take their photos and send to the appropriate authorities or publish them to discourage others from doing the same.

Now, that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll say again, I was in the lane heading toward the Freeport, which is the right lane. Any vehicle approaching the lane toward me is in the wrong, that is the law.

For many of you who follow me on Facebook, I have been strongly advocating and most times photographing officials breaking the laws by moving on high speed in ongoing traffic to the detriment of other commuters.

Imagine waking up one morning and hearing that an official of government, bulldozing his way into incoming traffic and killing someone’s child – or a street-seller crossing the street? All it takes is one small slip up to start a riot or a protest. Imagine!!!

Today, a three-year-old little girl is fighting for her life after she was severely hit on March 1, 2020 by the Deputy Minister of Justice, Cllr. Nyenati Tuan, as a result of alleged reckless driving.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Another Prime Minister of Liberia within the Supreme Court of Liberia. And the beat of “Do You Who I Am” goes on politically unchallenged. The Prime Minister is about to show them who born dog the Liberian way. Wow ! What A Living Hell Of A Country ?

    • This boy needs to be taught a lesson! Rodney Sieh insanely believes he enjoys immunity from any violation, or offense, on his part; because according to his delusion a free press actually means immunity and impunity! This is why he has publicly displayed his contempt against the person and office of Associate Justice His Honor Justice Nagbe, and to a larger measure, the institution and office of the Supreme Court.

      • James Davis

        Justice Nagbe have a track record of leadership, integrity and good moral character. Get to know who the man is before you write crap about him. He is not one of the fly by night politician or lawyer.

        There is nothing wrong with Justice Nagbe extending an invitation to Sieh and also asked a third party to be present for transparency. This is what Justices do, they invite people for clarity.

        You write ” Do you know who I AM ” goes directly to Sieh’s actions after the accident. What was the purpose of him calling the Chief Justice Of Liberia, The IG of LNP ? To prove what ? The LNP have a depot nearby where the accident took place and have a traffic division, why he skip those chains of command ? I will give you time to answer before I share my thought.

        Justice Nagbe was not hire, nominated or confirmed by the Chief Justice, everyone have one vote on that bench, get that straight Amigo.

  2. This is not how the court system is supposed to be used. You cannot be judge, juror and executioner all in one. This is pathetic!

    • What is Pathetic here is calling the Chief Justice and the Inspector General of the Police after a car accident.
      What if every citizen sought remedy that way ?

      The Justices of the Supreme Court can invite a citizen for clarity. This is not new.

  3. “The wrong way of everything has become the the right way” in Liberia and it is up to our generation to turn things around or keep this nonsense going on. The movement of “CHANGE” has hatch in Liberia and laying eggs all over the world by Henry Costa. This is not about Henry Costa, this is about the changes that, we as Liberians want to better our country. Every revolution or change starts from within you and if you see need to change from bad governance, the time has come to hold our leadership for their wrongs. We the ordinary Liberians should not adjust our life style to poverty while the 10% of Liberians live in luxury.

    Look at the recent events involving Charles Sirleaf. How could 1 individual accumulate so much money in just one of his bank account? We don’t actually know the full amount but $850.000.000 U.S dollars (eight hundred and fifty thousand U.S dollars) in one account and additional $10.000.000.000 L.D (Ten million Liberian dollars) was withdrawn from another account in the same bank. Note* this was just a partial withdrawal, meaning, there are more. How can this be going on in our country when our people are suffering, basically feeding on $2 a day meal? How many of Charles Sirleaf like are there in Liberia that we don’t know?

  4. An Associate Justice convoy under police escort cannot be termed as violating traffic.
    Under traffic law, the direction of the police overrides all other rules!
    That means a convoy with police escort has superior lane right to any other Lane bound.
    Rodney Sieh doesn’t respect anybody any rules during this Weah adminstration!

    • Mr. Zota, is this a new information about police escorts being provided to the Associate Justice, and the CDC Police Chief has no idea to provide the public with that information ? So the question is, does the CDC Police Chief has any idea where are his vehicles and who they are assigned to ? Or that any government officials make their own deal to have police escort ? This new development provided by you, where is the independent source ? Or just making stuff up ? Oh well, it is your part of time to eat the Liberian people’s money, Mr. Zota. It is your time .

  5. Joseph M. Akoi

    The court freed Charles Sirleaf of all the charges which were levied against him. This means he has been found not guilty. So, what role did his private bank account played in the case? Did the state find any evidence that made Charles culpable of stealing money from the bank vault and transferring it into his account? No.

    Now, let’s look at this situation the other way. God forbid, I do not wish you any misfortune, Joseph. But how would you feel if you were charge for committing a crime and while the case has not been thoroughly adjudicated, the state goes into your private account behind you and take your money?

    So regardless of Charles’s socio-economic status, nobody should be treated that way especially when the state cannot find any evidence that your wealth or your personal earnings are related to the crime.

    What’s your thought on this?

  6. Rhyne Brigit! In nowhere in my post that I supported the way in which Mr. Charles Sirleaf funds were withdrawn from his account. My referred to Mr. Sirleaf was in relation to equal distribution of our wealth in our democracy. Yes, they stole from Mr. Sirleaf because, he did not authorized such transaction from his accounts. Despite the government had freeze on his account, that give them no right to withdraw a dime from his accounts.

    If GT bank did the transaction without the permission of Mr. Sirleaf, GT banks need to reimburse every cents to Mr. Sirleaf. If GT bank did the withdrawal in request from the government, GT bank should have request a court order before doing what they did. So please revisit my previous post in which Mr. Sirleaf was mentioned, it was about ” how could 1 individual accumulate such a funds in Liberia considering our cost of living”? And my question to you is, how many of Mr. Charles Sirleaf like, do we have in Liberia with such bank accounts that we don’t know about? in your rightful mind, do you think, Mr. Charles Sirleaf gainfully accumulated such amount from his salaries or wages? This is why we need transparency and accountability if Liberia will ever move forward.

  7. Joseph M. Akoi

    I hope you are not misconstruing me that I am pointing an accusatory finger at you for believing that Mr. Charles Sirleaf might have accumulated his wealth through fraud as I am above such level of thinking Mr. Akoi. If you revisit my post, you’ll discover that no where did I insinuate you did. And even if you did, you have every right to express your opinion as a Liberian just as I also have the same right.

    I was simply directing the crux of my comments at how the government handled the case. How in the world did this man go scot-free. And what was more shocking, the government could not find even an iota of a single evidence to prosecute him.

    And so my answer to your question Mr. Akoi is this: I cannot tell whether Mr. Sirleaf accumulated his earnings rightfully or wrongfully because the court has acquitted him of all charges and under the American system of jurisprudence, evidence must be established to consequentially relate an individual to the commission of a crime.

    Just for a friendly intellectual exchange, let me ask you this last question: Can you say that Counselor Cephus and the other state prosecutors actually did enough to establish a case against Mr. Sirleaf? In my opinion, I do not think that they did. What’s your take on this?

  8. Mr. Rhyne Brigit! Thanks so much for shearing and having some honest dialogue about our country, Liberia with me on such a public platform. Mr. Charles Sirleaf was never trialled in the court of law and therefore can not say he was acquitted by the court. Our government decided not to pursued the case but rather drop the charges against Mr. Sirleaf and few others which still need some explaination to the Liberian people.

    Counsellor Cephus has become a complete embarrassement to president Weah administration from day one to present. Mr. Charles Sirleaf trial is just few of the mess preformed by our solicitor general and how corruption is winning the war against Liberia. The evidence are there but the government again refused to prosecute. Mr. Sirleaf and others printed unauthorized $2.6 billions LD which is a crime that needed prosecuting. For some reasons best known to this administration, and we all know exactly whose behind Mr. Sirleaf going scotfree for doing what he did, speaks volume about selective justice. Yes there was enough evidence to prosecute on printing “unauthorized” excess of $2.6 billion LD.

    I will say this, and that is, the $16 billion that went missing, the proved of burden lies on the government and that, the government can not provide and therefore, I will give Mr. Sirleaf and others the benefit of the doubt, hence, too many missing links. Let me know what you think about them printing unauthorized additional LD. Was that legal under our law? Did their action constitute a crime in our country? For me, YES they broke the law and the evidence was there for prosecution. Take care of yourself and be safe. Joe

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