‘Nagbe Will Not Step-Down in Ja’neh’s Prohibition Case’

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Chief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor

Insists Chief Justice Korkpor

Chief Justice Francis Korkpor on yesterday denied impeachment-threatened Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh‘s contention that Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe, when he served as Senator for Sinoe County, participated in discussions by the majority members of the lower house to impeach Ja’neh, for which Nabge should recuse himself.

Korkpor said, however, denying Ja’neh’s request for Nagbe recusal lacked any factual evidence to establish that Nagbe had any interaction with the Lawmakers.

“Nagbe will not step down because Ja’neh has not produced any tangible document to have Nagbe recused from the writ of prohibition hearing,” Korkpor insisted.

Justifying his decision, the Chief Justice maintained that for a justice or judge to be recused from the hearing and determination of a case, the accuser should have tangible evidence. “For example, the justice must have earlier heard the matter and when the case is brought, then that person should recuse themselves from hearing it, or if there were to be a relationship with any of the party.”

In this instance, Korkpor noted, “The court says that in the application of Ja’neh there was no document showing that Nagbe made any statement that shows his biases if he was to hear and determined the matter.

“But, to say that Nagbe should recuse himself without an established a fact will set a bad precedent, wherein any anyone would call for a justice’s recusal and we were to accept it, ”Korkpor.

Again, Korkpor emphasized ,” to suggest that one was a member of the house of Senate before, there is intent that he had discussed the matter and took part into the discussion, is not correct.”

Initially, Ja’neh argued that before the appointment and subsequent confirmation of Nagbe he had held formal or informal interaction with members of the House of Representatives; therefore, according to Ja’neh, Nagbe was not qualified to sit on his case as associate justice.

His argument was contained in a request he filed before the Supreme Court, where he was asking the court to impose a stay order on his impeachment by the House of Representatives.

Prior to Ja’neh’s accusation, Nagbe had denied any interaction with members of the House of Representatives about Ja’neh’s impeachment and so he had not violated any law to warrant his recusal.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Were the proceedings of the Senate officially recorded (as they should be) one could check them for comments made by Nagbe or for votes cast by him during the Senate’s hearing of the Ja’neh impeachment case. By my layman’s understanding or interpretation of the ruling handed down by the Chief Justice, that would be the right and proper way of determining whether or not Nagbe should recuse himself.

  2. Justice Ja’neh should just step down. He cannot be an effective Justice anymore. His relationship with other justices on the court is deteriorating and he still wants to be a Supreme Court Justice? How in hell is he going to do this if he has strained relationship with his colleagues? Really Justice Ja’neh?

  3. Is that what you called a strained relationship? Even if so, is that a reason for Janeh to step down? Are you friends with all the people at your work or on your team? Do you have a great relationship with everyone you work with? Have this in any way affected your competence or your performance at your job? It is Janeh’s lawyers that are pursuing all legal methods and tactics to defeat this case and they have the right to. Senators and legislators in our Capitol are not all lovey-dovey, but have anyone ask any of them to step down because they will not be able to perform their duties well. The Finance Minister just recently blasted the Justice and Information Ministers on air, straining their relationships. Did you ask one of them to step down because they will not work well in the President’s cabinet together? If you want Janeh to step down, find another reason and not this flimsy one.

  4. Phil’s thought on the significance of relationship amongst the Justices is to the point. Justices on the Supreme Court, to use the U.S as a model, are very keen on protecting the institution of the Court, regardless of each of their political leaning or the political battle that brought them to the court. Once a Justice is confirmed by the Senate to the Supreme Court, the other Justices make every effort to accommodate that Justice in an incredible display of camaraderie. The late Antonio Scalia, the most conservative Justice during his time on the bench and the most liberal Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg we’re known for frequenting social events that interest them together, though they both shared diverse views on key issues of the Constitution.
    The personal relationship amongst the Justices is key in how they sometimes make decisions in the national interest. For example, it was the conservative Chief Justice, John Roberts, that saved Obamacare when he sided with the liberal justices. At other times, almost as a payback, Ruth Bader Ginsburg sided with the conservative justices in a ruling that angered liberal voters. But by doing this the court is trying to demonstrate that they can rise above politics and rule in what is the best interest of the country as required by the Constitution. To do that requires them to have a genuine likeness for each other.
    And this is why Phil’s point is and should be well noted. I observe this every time I’m in court before panel of judges, who come from diverse political viewpoints. This relationship is unlike that of an ordinary work relationship. These Judges are the custodian of the institution of the Judiciary.

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