It seems that the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) is having some difficulties in finding a legal team to defend British national, Hans Armstrong, in his accusation of unethical conduct filed against Judge Roland Dahn of the 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Nimba County.
This is because for almost two months the commission assured the British investor of finding a lawyer for his legal representation, not much has been heard about reconvening the Investigation of Judge Dahn after the matter was suspended because of lack of legal representation for Armstrong.
Most importantly, the Supreme Court’s attention is now focused on resolving the multiple complaints of irregularities that characterized the conduct of the December 8, 2020, Special Senatorial Elections.
The JIC sometime in February this year through a written communication said that it was going to provide a lawyer for Armstrong’s legal representation. Lawyers who had defended Armstrong in the past are not interested in joining his team at this time on suspicion that defending him against the Circuit Judge may create future problems for them.
More broadly, a number of prominent law firms have refused to engage in any legal representation in a matter going against Judge Dahn.
According to legal sources, lawyers are refraining from representing Armstrong because of threats by some members of the Trial Judges Association of Liberia that Dahn is a senior member. “We may not win a case if we take the risk to defend the man against the Circuit Judge,” a lawyer told the Daily Observer at the Temple of Justice.
Even, just days after Armstrong had filed his compliant, some elite law firms (names withheld) advised their lawyers not to file any documents on behalf of the British investor.
It can be recalled that Associate Justice Yussif Kaba, Chairman of the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC), sometime in February of this year assured Armstrong of providing him with a lawyer to enable the commission to reconvene the investigation. By then, Justice Kaba’s letter came after the commission had postponed the hearing on two occasions.
Justice Kaba’s letter placed a condition as to whether Armstrong would accept the commission’s request for a lawyer to represent him since almost all of the lawyers of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) have allegedly refused to represent him.
The communication, dated February 24, 2021, said, “The commission would like to know if you would be pleased for us to request Chief Justice Francis Korkpor to kindly instruct the Public Defender’s Office to provide you with adequate legal representation throughout the tenure of the investigation of your complaint before us.”
It concludes: “Your prompt response in the premise is highly solicited.” However, up to present and to the publication of this story, there is nothing to show that the commission has discovered the lawyers.
It is therefore unclear when the commission will reopen the investigation amid perceived difficulties to get lawyers who will understand the merit and demerit of Armstrong’s complain.