A prominent Liberian lawyer once told a friend, “Yes, I know that lawyers are on their way to hell.”
It is, of course, almost impossible for any human being to determine who will go to Heaven or to Hell, for that is totally the prerogative of the most merciful Heavenly Father.
However, the way some of our lawyers behave, one is easily tempted to believe what that lawyer said about the ultimate fate of at least some lawyers—not necessarily all.
Who, for example, were the lawyers for the defendants in the case of the Lebanese who raped and trafficked Liberian girls—who were the lawyers that first decided to seek a change of venue from Margibi to remote Bomi County? And sure enough, once this was granted, the defendants’ lawyers sought every trick in the book to have their clients set free. The case had been completely argued and the judge, His Honor George W. Smith of the 11th Judicial Circuit in Bomi County, was about to render his verdict. But it was just before then that lawyers for the defendant, Counselors Amara Sheriff and Johnny
Momo, belatedly “discovered” that the lawyers, who had argued the case against the defendants – Lebanese traffickers and rapists who took several Liberian ladies to Lebanon under false pretense – both County and Assistant County Attorneys for Bomi, had no valid lawyer’s license, and had not paid their dues to the Liberian National Bar Association!
How on earth is it possible that the Liberian government’s own lawyers, appointed County and Assistant County Attorneys, would be allowed to practice law in Liberia without licenses? That is, to say the least, preposterous (laughable, outrageous, unbelievable). The person in the Ministry of Justice who was responsible for their hire and appointment to these positions should be immediately reprimanded, even fired.
Here is yet another in the myriad of clear indications that Liberia is NOT A SERIOUS COUNTRY. Which other country in the world would allow Lebanese or any other human traffickers and rapists to treat the country’s women in such a criminal way and go completely free? We know of nowhere in the world where a people’s women—mothers, aunts, sisters, wives—would be treated in such despicable (appalling, vile, wicked) way. Yes, only in Liberia.
The chief defenders of Lebanese in our country, who have, for reasons best known to themselves, taken these businesspeople to be more privileged, more important, than their own Liberian people, are now clapping their hands and rejoicing that these Lebanese human traffickers and rapists are now set free.
The Daily Observer has reliably learnt that the defendant left the country the same day Judge George Smith dropped the charges against him! Surely he will one day soon return and lay low for a while, assured by their callous (heartless, cruel, pitiless) unpatriotic and selfish Liberian cohorts that nothing will happen to them in Liberia!
Two of the 14 dishonored, hapless and destitute young women, in an extensive interview Wednesday in the Daily Observer Library, told our Reporter Gloria Tamba that they and their colleagues had not only been trafficked and raped by these Lebanese men, they were even beaten, suffered attempted stabbing with knives by Lebanese women they worked for, imprisoned and often forced to sleep on the streets in Beirut as homeless people!
They expressed to reporter Tamba their deep disappointment with their own government and its judicial system—the unexplainable betrayal even after their own President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a woman like themselves, had assured them that they would definitely get justice in order to have their honor restored.
Alas! On a spurious technicality, their case was summarily thrown out of court and they, the victims, flung on the streets in their own country, just as they had been in faraway Lebanon!
We wonder how Attorney General Frederick Cherue and Chief Justice Francis Korkpor now feel, and what have they to say in the face of this glaring travesty of justice under their watch against their own daughters and sisters. And Gender and Social Welfare Minister Julia Duncan Cassell? And President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf? They are all now haunted by the proverbial question, “Have you nothing to say, all ye that pass by?”
The Daily Observer has encouraged the young women to keep the faith. One day some good and caring lawyer/s will take up their case again to help them get justice.
Meanwhile, Liberians, do not worry. By God’s grace, this, too, shall pass! Who would have ever thought that such a thing could happen under the watchful eyes of Liberia and Africa’s first woman President?
Do we now see why 2017 is so important and critical to our very survival? Liberians, if never before you have been serious, get serious now! Our very survival as a respectable nation and people is at stake.