The Tax Court at the Temple of Justice, one of the specialized courts established by an Act of Legislation to fast track tax related government cases, has turned into a “Ghost Court” with no records to show it has decided a single case this year.
In past years, when Judge Eva Mappy Morgan presided over the court, she was instrumental in raising millions of United States dollars through the enforcement of rulings against several delinquent taxpayers.
Judge Morgan was replaced with Judge Mozart Chesson in 2013. Since then, the door to the Tax Court has remained closed.
Since the beginning of 2016 the doors to the Tax Court have not opened for normal activities as is the case with the Debt and Commercial Court, which has not heard more than 20 cases, according to court documents, since 2016.
During a visit by the Daily Observer, staff members of the Tax Court were seen loitering around, with others sitting idle in their offices most of the day.
“Some of them,” according to a staff member who asked not to be named, “sit in their offices just watching videos on their laptops, while others play games on the court’s computer.”
An attempt to speak to Judge Chesson did not materialize, even after fulfilling the requisite protocol to talk to him.
Other staff members, who also spoke with the Daily Observer on condition of anonymity, admitted that there is no record to show that they have heard a case since the beginning of 2016.
“It is true this court is different under Judge Chesson, because when Judge Eva Mappy Morgan was presiding over the court, we were successful in raising over one million United States dollars in a single year from delinquent taxpayers,” a male staff member said.
It may be recalled that Judge Chesson at one point blamed the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) for doing nothing to have his court enforce previous rulings against delinquent taxpayers, a claim the LRA has denied.