Says Chief Justice Francis Korkpor
Chief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor last Saturday reminded Liberians that there were no protests from Kenyan Legislatures over the opinion (judgment) of that country’s Supreme Court that nullified the results of the country’s August 8 presidential elections. The Kenyan Supreme Court’s decision was based on irregularities, and the judges ordered a new vote within 60 days.
Speaking during the dedicatory ceremony of the 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, Justice Korkpor said, “President Uhuru Kenyatta, while disagreeing with the decision of the Supreme Court, publicly declared that he respects the court’s action.”
Korkpor maintained that “there was no talk of the removal of any of the judges of the Kenyan Supreme Court, because of disagreement with their judicial decision.”
Korkpor’s assertion comes weeks after an intense protest from some lawmakers resulted to calls to impeach three of his (Korkpor) colleagues for their opinion (judgment) that reversed the National Elections Commission’s (NEC) disqualification of two vice presidential candidates — Ambassador Jeremiah Sulunteh of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) and Mr. Harrison Karnwea of the Liberty Party (LP). The lawmakers have since abandoned their impeachment proceedings against Associate Justices Philips A. Z. Banks, III, Kabineh Ja’neh, and Jamesetta Howard Wolokollie, following days of intervention by stakeholders.
Chief Justice Korkpor, meanwhile, described the action by his Kenyan colleagues as “a bold and courageous decision,” which he believes could not have been taken without clear evidence.
“The opposition, who was skeptical in filing the protest with the court in the first place, is today hailing its (court) judgment,” the Chief Justice stated, “their decision is also being hailed around the world as a hallmark of the separation of the powers and the independence of the Judiciary in that country.” He continued: “This is unprecedented, particularly in the history of Africa.”
According to Korkpor, Liberia’s Judiciary will remain fair and transparent in deciding all cases based on evidence and applicable laws. “We urge all aggrieved parties to take their cases to court and they will be fairly treated. We, however, ask that the Judiciary is left alone so that its rhythm will not be disturbed especially during this critical time of our elections,” Justice Korkpor said.
About the Judicial Circuit Complex, the Chief Justice asked judges that will be assigned there to administer fair and transparent justice. “Judges have to truly ensure that they do justice to those that will come before them,” Korkpor added. According to him, the judges are not at the complex to celebrate the beauty of the building, and called on them to cherish “the presence of the rule of law.”
“Let us make sure that the rule of law take root and flourish in this judicial complex,” he said.