November 2, 2020 – Chief Justice Francis Korkpor’s Day of Infamy! He Must Resign Voluntarily or Face Impeachment!

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It was indeed a sad day for Justice in Liberia, Monday November 2, 2020 and will go down in history as a day of infamy. It was a day when Justice, it appears, was put on trial and it happened under the watch of Chief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor and it took place right in his backyard garden, so to speak.

In the view of the public, this development warrants either his (Justice Kporkpor’s) voluntary resignation or his impeachment from office.

According to a legal expert (identity withheld), the Writ of Arrest against Mr. Ponpon appeared to convey a distinct impression that it was intended to intimidate, silence and cow the aggrieved workers into submission by having its leader, Ponpon, subjected to what would have been a bogus trial.

Graphic accounts, captured on video of Archie Ponpon, the leader of the aggrieved Temple of Justice workers, daring Court officials to arrest him, dousing himself with gasoline and then setting himself ablaze were truly heart rending and have gone viral around the world.

This latest development has once again highlighted the point underscored by this newspaper on numerous occasions that historically, the Courts of this Republic, especially the Supreme Court, have never been there for the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized and the underprivileged.

Rather the Courts have always been there for the movers and shakers of society. And this point has been made manifestly clear by the heavy and very high-handed manner in which Chief Justice Francis Korkpor has handled the case of aggrieved Temple of Justice workers who have been engaged in protest action against the non-payment of their salaries and benefits for over five (5) months now.

That Judicial workers would take such open public protest action, which is unprecedented in recent history, suggests that  channels of communication between the Chief Justice had broken down due to what a judicial official (name withheld) says is Chief Justice Korkpor’s haughty, over-bearing and heavy-handed attitude towards workers and even towards lawyers.

According to the official, this can explain why the leader of the aggrieved workers, Archie Ponpon virtually ran into a brick-wall desperately seeking the services of a lawyer to defend him against charges levied against him by Chief Justice Korkpor.

Further, according to the judicial official, fear of disbarment from legal practice is the Sword of Damocles that the Chief Justice allegedly never fails to dangle above the heads of lawyers which has tended to encourage obeisance rather than critical and constructive engagement.

Ponpon had been slapped with a Writ of Arrest apparently on charges of leading workers protesting against unpaid salaries and benefits which according to sources are about  five (5) months in arrears. 

But that Writ of arrest caused to be issued by the Chief Justice, according to a leading lawyer (name withheld) was not only in bad taste, it was a clear and flagrant violation of Mr. Ponpon’s basic and fundamental Human Rights including the right to protest against discrimination and non-compensation for services rendered as in the case of the aggrieved workers.

It can be recalled that only a few weeks ago, Police had violently broken-up protest action by workers in demand of their pay. A number of workers sustained injuries during that incident and right on its heels has come this latest protest action-self immolation by protest leader Archie Ponpon.

Fortunately, the flames were doused by sympathetic onlookers and fellow co-workers as well, according to reports quoting eyewitness accounts. During the entire episode, not a single Police Fire Service or government ambulance could be seen. Ponpon was instead conveyed to hospital by a motorbike.

But questions are being asked and rightly so if Chief Justice Korkpor is indeed a right fit for the job, given what is being viewed as a flagrant violation of the basic and fundamental right to compensation for services rendered to the state by poor struggling people, struggling through legitimate means to feed their families daily.

Why do they have to be beaten up and assaulted only for exercising their rights under the Constitution to peacefully assemble and protesting in demand of their due rights to their pay now five (5) months in arrears?

Unlike those protesting workers. Justices of the Supreme Court earn thousands of US dollars monthly, in addition to other perks and benefits such as gasoline allowance, etc.

That a young man would douse himself with gasoline and set himself ablaze clearly demonstrates that he had been driven to desperation and for him, therefore, life had become no longer worth living.

It sends a clear message to all and sundry that officials of this government should not take the Liberian people for granted.

Their actions are tending to drive people to desperation and this certainly does not augur well. Perhaps the Chief Justice may have had very little or no inkling at all where the road he had chosen would lead. Certainly not with someone setting himself ablaze.

But it came as a rude shock and this latest development has damaged the already eroded image of the judiciary. It portrays the Chief Justice as a strongly vindictive, callous and inhumane character, which are all non-desirable traits of any individual presiding over a court of law and what should be essentially a “holy altar of justice”, according to the late Chief Justice Louis Arthur Grimes.

Truth be told, Chief Justice Korkpor’s actions have drawn the Court into the cross-hairs of adverse public opinion formed largely by graphic images gone viral of  Archie Ponpon setting himself ablaze. And the images are shocking to say the least.

In the opinion of the public, Chief Justice Korkpor ought to resign forthwith or be made to face impeachment proceedings for violating Archie Ponpon’s  basic and fundamental human rights, including those of his fellow co-workers. But whether he possesses the moral courage to resign remains to be seen.

And if he does, it would indeed be a watershed moment in the country’s political growth and development. And if he does not, it would hardly be surprising, for men of honor are nowadays a rarity and in very short supply in Liberia.

17 COMMENTS

    • This editorial is a sewage! That because a notoriously demented and deranged homosexual carries out his obvious insanity, a Chief Justice should resign? Mr. Editor, the only difference between yours insanity and that of this disgusting behavior of this notorious punk is that his goes to the extreme, while yours is simply insanity and idiocy!

    • Gbada Flomo, when it is about your biological ma Ellen, the editorial can’t be “researched and well written”, huh? Kwasia!

  1. How much is the Liberian portion of their salaries that would cause workers to go through this. Why are big shots do wicked? How many months have the Chief Justice not received his salary checks? Where is the empathy?
    Doggit!

  2. Corrupt and Heartless Chief Justice Korkpor should have resigned tonight, if we were a democracy. Liberia is no democracy.

    These people, Chief Justice Korkpor, Tweah (aka Truth Nationalist) and McGill have stolen the core message of our party and terribly running our country in the wrong place of history.

    My hope is our party would restore its principles to what we know. CDC was never envisioned for rogues – that the McGills, Tweahs (aka True Nationalist) and Korkpor of this world have taken over CDC and the government, all we can is Weah needs to know that they will turn their rage on him someday. These are not your people, Weah.

  3. From the day this Korkpor guy personally and physically stopped Cllr. Gongloe from completing a remark he (Gongloe) was making at a judiciary function thought to be critial of and cautionary of the disparaging reputation and controversial trajectory of the judiciary in Liberia, it became clear this man does not have not only the temperament, but especially the acumen of a supreme court material, much less its chief justice. No decision of the Supreme Court under this man’s leadership has been hailed as either laudable or landmark. None!

    When names such as Gibson, Bernard, Grimes, Lewis, Wordsworth, etc., etc., presided over the judiciary in Liberia for over a century, indigenous Liberians were convinced their marginalization in the realm of the rule of law as with other self-fulling areas of life was based in large measures to their ethnicities or lower social class status. They cried, prayed, craved, some losing their lives in the process for the day that seeming damnation would be lifted off their collective destiny.

    Long story short, the Samuel Does, George Weahs, Korkpors and their likes were supposed to be the messianic ones, the replacement sets to level the field of opportunity for everyone alike, and especially looking out for those who were marginalized for so long. Well, here we are today. Need I say anymore?

    • Dempster Yallah aka Peter Gboyo, if according to you because His Honor Chief Justice Francis Saye Korkpor disciplined Tiawen Gongloe when he Tiawen displayed hooliganism at such sacred forum, so His Honor Korkpor “does not have not only the temperament, but especially the acumen of a supreme court material, much less its chief justice, and no decision of the Supreme Court under His Honor’s leadership has been hailed as either laudable or landmark“, THEN WHY did the same and very Tiawen Gongloe behave in a disciplined manner as expected by His Honor Chief Justice Korkpor and by all, a few days ago at the opening address of His Honor Francis S. Korkpor, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia???

      You better think well before coming here to display your stupidity, indiscipline character, and your street rude traits. You should be ashamed of yourself that you are now frustrated after Ellen’s and Amos’ corruption which had you receiving ghost pay on government payroll for their personal assignment which you had actually nothing to offer but solely incompetence and falsehood. You should also be ashamed of yourself to extend your rudeness to someone as His Honor Chief Justice Korkpor when you a mere crumbs collecting follower are aware you can never ever reach the level of official state statuses he Hon. Korkpor has had over the years, not to mention the one he has today as Chief Justice of The Republic of Liberia.

      • I did not expect anything more than your tribal sentiments to support your kinsman; if he is not to blame, why did he suspend those who were involved in the protest and interestingly indefinitely suspends its leader? If he was so just? is protest not an expression of oneself; he did not discipline Cllr. Gongloe, but exposed himself for being the most compromised Chief Justice that ever lived in Liberia; he joined with other miscreants to butchered the Constitution of Liberia; this action of his will haunt him all his days left on earth. A judge or Justice should never answered for decisions made in court, but he helped others to abuse our laws to satisfied his pay masters.
        A Bachelor degree in Law makes him better than others, he is your “Book man”. Indeed, for the one who called herself “KOU”.
        A man with dubious characters: one period, Human rights advocate of Catholic JPC, another, the henchman for the CDC, implementing their every decision, like the Observer said, he now sits over a court that not only suppressed the ordinary, but marginalized them.

      • Kou James Larsah Gontee, you thought you could hide forever, right? I just haven’t been paying much attention to you as reason why you survived incognito for this long. You will surely atone for your sins Mr. Kou. Promise!

        • Dempster Yallah aka Peter Gboyo, the fact that you are known for being an opportunist, a heartless ingrate, a coward and a hypocrite who uses aliases to insult others, should not build in you the mindset that “everybody” has such a dubious mindset. So, you better immediately desist from your madness of mistaking me or associating me with your likes.

          Go and ask those who had you fraudulently receiving pay from government prior to 2018. Let this be a grave warning to you that the next time you equate me or make such an insulting claim as this that I am someone else, I shall not hesitate to discipline you as usual. You want to come in the public space with fake names insulting others with impunity while you enjoy immunity from critique..

          • You must be smelling your funky self in the delusion you can threaten any poster here, much more me, Peter Gboyo. Limit your responses to just Peter Gboyo and you will surely be sodomized, intellectually James Larsah. Including Rashida! Take me as any others as figment of your delusion, you are not referring to Peter Gboyo. That’s how it’ll flow.

  4. Why should one blame the Chief Justice (CJ) here?
    The Minister of Finance made it clear that the CJ does not have a hand in the salary cut or delay. He further stated that the Justices of the Supreme Court are also innocent of this allegation. If some lawyers in our country are joining some ordinary citizens to blame the CJ about Supreme Court decisions, then they (lawyers) are to be blamed here based on the following: in order for the Supreme Court to make a decision, at least 3 of the 5 Justices on the bench must have agreed on the decision. In other words, the CJ alone cannot make decision(s) for the Supreme Court. Sometimes the CJ can be against majority decision, but the majority decision must stand, whether or not the CJ likes it. If the Supreme Court makes decisions that aren’t in the interest of our country, we must blame the full bench or majority and not only the CJ.

    Look at this, from 1861 up to now, our current CJ has delivered the most difficult cases opinions that have helped our country democratically. He’s the best in our legal system, I think.

  5. POSTED AT 9:24 PM EST ON FRIDAY, November 6, 2020

    It all comes down to Accounting, Economics, and Law

    FIRST, there is the budget balance. Revenue versus Expenditure. If the former exceeds the latter, there is a surplus. If the latter exceeds the former, there is a deficit.

    Whenever major concessions companies withdraw, we lose revenue. Whenever exogenic shocks to the mining and rubber industries occur, we lose revenue from corporate taxes. Meanwhile, the GOL has bills to pay and proceeds to pick and choose. That’s when the GOL employees may be sacrificed for other spending activities like debt servicing, purchase of fuel, etc.

    As time passes, a strike occurs and the GOL settles payroll liabilities. Then another strike occurs and there follows another settlement. It’s all “whac-a-mole”.

    ———————

    SECOND, there is the GDP. The GDP was US$3 billion in 1998 with a GDP per capita of US$1,000. By the time the second civil war ended in 2003, the economy had contracted. We had growth during E.J. Sirleaf’s first term but recession after 2014 due to the ebola crisis. By the time the Weah administration had settled into office, the GDP hovered at US$2 billion. Then the UNMIL withdrew and there was a recession.

    A Bloomberg news report revealed a projected growth of a miniscule 0.2 % (according to Samuel Tweah) but COVID-19 entered the fray so we’re back in recession. With extraordinary spending co-existing with previous COVID-related shut-down, expect economic contraction, a decline in revenue, and a negative cash flow. That means more salary arrears for a while.

    ———————-

    THIRD, there is the law. The legislature makes the laws, the executive enforces, and the judiciary interprets. Regardless of which government branch an employee serves, it is the Ministry of Finance that settles salary obligations. Thus, any employee who seeks redress has the right to sue the Government of Liberia. It could easily become Archie Ponpon et al versus Samuel Tweah (in his official capacity).

    So, all of that drama about protesting and insults directed at the Chief Justice are simply acts of lawlessness. Hence, the Chief Justice was correct in suspending Ponpon and seeking his arrest and prosecution by the Montserrado County Attorney.

  6. POSTED AT 9:42 PM EST ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2020

    #1. The only James Larsah I know is the one who is a CWA High School alumnus. He was a member of class of ’84. I was a member of class of ’85. I’ve read Kou Gontee postings over the last few months and I doubt that Kou is James Larsah.

    #2. I have not seen any evidence that the person posting as “Peter Gboyo” is Dempster Yallah.

    #3. I recall a posting by “Peter Gboyo” asserting that he has had past online interaction with me in another discussion platform about two decades ago. I do not recall interacting with any “Peter Gboyo”. I am also a little bit suspicious of such a surname called “Gboyo”. It may seem that “Peter Gboyo” lacks the moral standing to accuse anyone of posting under another moniker. In essence, this may be a case of pot calling the kettle black.

    #4. For the record, I am using my real name. The same old Renford Walsh from Africaonline’s “Liberian Chat Room [August, 1997 – December, 2003] and Coalition of Concerned Liberians (CCL) Chat Room [April, 2004 – December 31, 2008].

    #5. Those who hide behind monikers appear no different from the numerous warring faction soldiers who used all sorts of names like “One Man One”, “Noriega”, “Kaddhafi”, the numerous “J. R.”s, “Super Killer”, “Blood To Rambo”, “Colonel ‘F**K me quick”, “C.O. Devil”, “Mosquito”, etc.

  7. Dempster Yallah aka Peter Gboyo, it is your dirty and funky smelly mother who will be physically sodomized as you continue your stupidity saying I am one of your types. This is the same with your dirty and funky wife Lucia Massaley Yallah who is been sodomized by every Tom Dick and Harry in Monrovia.

    As I said to you recently, you are a fool a filthy one at that who want to come in the public space with fake names insulting others with impunity while you enjoy immunity from critique. When I am done with you, you will never again ever dream about insulting any woman.

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