Vice President Joseph Boakai has said that the rule of law is crucial to the building of a vibrant democratic society in which the rights of all citizens are guaranteed.
“There is no way a country can go on without the rule of law,” the VP said, when he visited with authorities of the 10th Judicial Circuit Court in Voinjama City, Lofa County, during his week-long post-Ebola tour. He visited the Court in order to acquaint himself with activities there.
He further stated that the provision of logistics for the courts to do their work is critical to the legal process and promised that government will make sure that courts are properly empowered to do their work to ensure the rule of law in the country. The lack of these basic logistics has contributed to the slow pace of the dispensing of justice in the country, he said.
He noted that Judge Nancy Finda Sammy, who was not present, had acquainted him with the challenges facing the court, including conveying prisoner(s) from other parts of the county and lack of transportation for the court’s operations.
He praised her for restoring dignity to the court.
The Tenth Judicial Circuit of Lofa County presented a document listing the critical needs and priorities of the court to the Vice President. The VP said he would consult with judicial authorities in Monrovia for proper redress.
One of the requests that Mr. Foday A. Konneh, Coordinator, Lofa County Branch, National Association of Trial Judges, presented to the VP was that there be two pre-trial detention centers for holding accused persons until their conviction. They must be transferred to the Voinjama Central Prison. “One of these pre-trial detention centers should be located in Zorzor City to serve Zorzor and Salayea Districts. Another should be built in Kolahun City to serve Kolahun, Vahun and Foya Districts.”
“As earlier discussed with you by Judge Sammy,” Konneh further stated, “we also wish to remind you of the dire need for vehicles to help transfer accused persons and convicts from various magisterial Courts as had been done by UNMIL.”
Earlier, the Vice President toured the Voinjama Market where a new market building under the auspices of the Sirleaf Market Women Fund is being constructed. He also visited the Lofa County Community College to acquaint himself with the situation there.