The Stipendiary Magistrate at the Cestos City Court in Rivercess County, Attorney Benjones D. Wheagbah, has decried the lack of city solicitors and defense lawyers in the county.
Magistrate Wheagbah made the statement in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer last Monday in Cestos City, the capital of Rivercess County.
Magistrate Wheagbah disclosed that the lack of lawyers in the county has and continues to hinder the effectiveness of the court’s operations.
He pointed out that he is a judge and cannot issue writs, but the prosecutor is the one who issues writs, assigns and prosecutes cases in the legal interests of the state and the plaintiffs, while the defense lawyer defends the legal interests of defendants in order for justice to prevail without discrimination.
He is therefore appealing to the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Court of Liberia to assign lawyers to the county to seek the legal interests and protect the citizens in the county.
He is also appealing to law firms in Monrovia and elsewhere to establish branches in the county to help the court dispose of cases for the citizens to be protected by laws.
Touching on the challenges of the court, Magistrate Wheagbah lamented that sometimes private prosecutors find it difficult to go to court due to long distances they have to travel.
He added that this is attributed to the absence of a prosecutor who is actually responsible to make assignments in criminal or civil cases and to know the whereabouts of plaintiffs and make sure that defendants are brought to court to face justice.
He further alleged that Rivercess County Attorney, Cllr. Abel Knight is in the constant habit of taking away un-disposed cases in his court and setting defendants free, something he said makes mockery of the court and the judicial system in the county.
When contacted, Attorney Knight denied the allegation and descried it as false, unfounded and intended to tarnish his reputation and discredit his effort to prosecute cases in the county.