President George Weah on Monday, August 27, commissioned the newly appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Cllr. Joseph N. Nagbe. The ceremony, which was held in the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium at the President’s Foreign Affairs office, finally qualifies Cllr. Nagbe to now replace Cllr. Philip A.Z. Banks, who retired recently after reaching the constitutional age limit of 70.
In a statement, the President said he believes in the ability of choice, who is his kinsman from the Kru ethnic group, “but it was challenging to live up the confidence repose in him.”
Prior to his nomination at the Supreme Court, Cllr. Nagbe served as Senator for Sinoe County in the 54th Legislature. By his nomination, President Weah also expressed hope in his ability to justify the confidence reposed in him, describing the President as a great man.
“I have the privilege and honor to be here for this program in honor of a father, and brother, who has been given the opportunity to serve our country,” Pres. Weah said.
“I want to thank Chief Justice, Francis Korkpor for accepting our son to join the Supreme Court Bench. Honorable Nagbe, I know you can do the job,” the President said.
President Weah then prayed that Nagbe performs to interpret the country’s laws in the best interests of the people.
He explained how Justice Nagbe has always been a serious minded legal person, and a lawmaker, who was then in the vanguard of upholding rule of law.
“I hope this will continue while at the Supreme Court,” the President said.
President Weah denied Cllr. Nagbe’s appointment being on the basis of friendship, but in keeping with Nagbe’s hard work, and understanding of the law.
Nagbe’s appointment came in less than 24-hour when the then Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks retired. Nagbe is believed to be not just a partisan of the Congress for Democratic Change, but a loyalist to fill the vacancy at the bench.
Banks retired on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, after reaching the constitutional retirement age of 70.
In 2005, Nagbe was first elected as a senator on the Alliance for Peace and Democracy ticket. He was reelected in 2011 on the same ticket. The Alliance for Peace and Democracy was a coalition of two Liberian political parties that included the Liberian People’s Party, and the United People’s Party.
In response, Cllr. Nagbe lauded the President for preferring him to serve his people at another level of government.
“With God’s help, I will not fail you,” he said.
Magbe pledged to do his best to interpret the laws into context, but promised to join his colleagues to work in the supreme interest of the state and its people.
“I will be bold, loud indeed to interpret the laws within its legal context to ensure that Liberians live in peace,” Cllr, Nagbe said.
He used the occasion to call on the leadership of the three branches of government to work together as far as the mandate of the constitution is concerned to coordinate the country’s devekopment’s interest.
“It is an appropriate time for me to serve my people at the Supreme Court, and I therefore promised to do my best, Cllr. Nagbe assured President Weah.
He said working together with other branches of government, especially the legislature is very key.
“We will call on you to seek your counsel on critical national issues, because we are on one boat sailing together in the interest of the country, he said.
Nagbe was later confirmed by his former colleagues at the Senate, and commended them for trusting in his ability to work for his mother’s land.
In July 2018, Nagbe, a trained lawyer, was expelled from the Sinoe County Legislative Caucus for breaking a “peace accord” signed in Bamako, Mali in June this year. All five members of the caucus had met in Bamako and signed an agreement obligating them to work for peace and tranquility, and by extension, among the people of the county.
His exit from the senate has created a second by-elections in two counties following the victory of Representative Saah Joseph of Montserrado’s District 13.
Nagbe’s exit from the legislative branch now creates two slots for by-elections.
He replaces President Weah, who vacated the seat after winning the presidential polls in January this year.