-Supreme Court judgment
Former Vice President of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice Cllr. Micah Wilkins Wright will now practice law, after the Supreme Court last Thursday lifted his one-year suspension, restored his eligibility and reinstated his license as a fully-fledged practicing lawyer within Liberia and with all rights, entitlement, and privileges in absentia.
The court’s decision came after Justice Wright presented documentary evidence against the Government of Liberia (GoL) that points to the fact that he had withdrawn his lawsuit filed on March 30, 2017, to the Judicial Council of ECOWAS and the ECOWAS Commission for what he then referred to as the wanton, arbitrary and callous violation of his right to a fair hearing consistent with international human rights law
The withdrawal documents were one of the key elements on which the court had refused to lift Wright’s suspension, in spite of his consistent argument that he did withdraw it.
Though the case lasted for weeks, the former Solicitor General did not appear at any of the hearing; he was only represented by his legal team that included Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe.
Based upon Justice Wright’s suspension, former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was compelled to write ECOWAS to recall him, and he was subsequently replaced with Judge Yussif Kaba. The punishment also made Liberia to lose the vice president post.
By then he had repeatedly argued that he had complied with the conditions laid down in the high court judgment by refraining from the practice of law directly or indirectly.
The Supreme Court contended that Cllr. Wright was found liable of an ethical breach because, while pleading on behalf of the Liberian government as Solicitor General in 2009, he allegedly concealed his relationship with his former client, FIDC/Sochor, when he conceded to a US$15.9 million fraud judgment against the Government of Liberia.
The court then maintained that Wright breached Rules 8 & 9 (the Moral and Ethical Conduct of Lawyers) by obscuring his lawyer-client relationship with a former client while representing the government against the client in his capacity as Solicitor General of Liberia.
Justice Wright in his complaint stated that the Supreme Court of Liberia rendered such judgment without informing him of any pending litigation against him.
The complaint noted that immediately after imposing such “harsh punishment” on Wright, the Supreme Court expeditiously issued a press release on the same day which was published in several local dailies and on the Internet.
The publications, which Wright believes was sponsored by the Government of Liberia, according to him, was intended to assassinate his character and reputation, which is in violation of his right to dignity as recognized and guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.
He added that the “viral state-sponsored” publication of the judgment in the print and electronic media has eroded public trust and confidence in his person; as he is also being castigated by parties before the Court of Justice of ECOWAS and organs of the Community have already persecuted him as a result of the judgment of the Supreme Court of Liberia.