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.