President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Monday, January 28, admitted that the prosecutorial ability of her government currently lacks sufficient strength to provide an effective and efficient justice system.
“The prosecutorial capacity of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) remains weak, although greatly enhanced by the appointment of a new Solicitor General,” President Sirleaf admitted when she delivered her annual message before the joint session of the 53rd Legislature.
She was swift to remind her audience that the MOJ has made progress in the prosecution of gender-based violence, bank fraud, murder, armed robbery and corruption cases.
According to her, a total of 172 cases were tried throughout the country, with the government winning guilty verdicts in 144 of them.
To buttress the MOJ’s capacity, she said, her government with assistance from the United Nations Peacekeeping Department managed to establish a regional justice and security hub.
The hub, she noted, helped to decentralize and strengthen the Criminal Justice System.
The first hub, established in Gbarnga to serve Bong, Lofa and Nimba, was inaugurated in February 2013, and is currently at 95 percent completion.
She said the hub facilitated successful management of disruptions in the three counties in that region over the past year.
“The new Circuit Courthouses will open within a month,” she said adding, “They will be buttressed by construction of three Magisterial Courts in each of the other two hub counties.”
“It would further strengthen and make the justice system more accessible to our citizens in the leeward counties,” the President explained.
According to President Sirleaf, the inclusion of immigration services, starting in the Gbarnga hub region, would pre-empt the need to travel to Monrovia to regularize immigration status..