Supreme Court Opening with JIC's Recommendation on Hold

Members of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) will today October 11 join other party litigants, partners of the Justice System and officials of government to witness the official opening ceremony of the Supreme Court for its 2021 Term.

Unlike the lower circuit courts, which operate by law with four terms, February, May, August, and November respectively, the high court has two terms yearly: March and October. The opening of the high court is expected to be attended by special guests, including the President, House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, and President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, Albert Chie. 

Unfortunately, in August 2021, the Supreme Court closed for its March 2020 Term, after hearing series of appeals from the lower courts throughout the country, and several other complaints of unethical breach against judges, but was not able to reach an opinion (judgment) on some of what legal professionals described as controversial cases’.

One of such controversial cases is the alleged depletion of about US$3.3million by the Commercial Court in Monrovia, involving its Chief Judge Eva Mappy Morgan and a Businessman, Amos Brosius, who accused Judge Morgan of illegally lifting a stay order from the Ducor Petroleum's escrow account housed at the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), which gave his adversaries, the Monrovia Oil Trading Company (MOTC), accesses to deplete the account.

The Judiciary Inquiry Commission (JIC), upon completion of its Investigation of the matter, held Judge Morgan liable and subsequently recommended a one-year suspension without pay and benefits. That decision was challenged by Judge Morgan and heard by the Supreme Court in April of this year, with no decision as to when an opinion (judgment) will be released.

Despite, the delay to release the Morgan's appealed judgement, Associate Justice Yussif D Kaba, who chaired the JIC’s findings along with seven other individuals that include lawyers, judges and religious leaders, was said to have been linked to a leaked letter dated May 10, just few days after he signed the recommendation to the Chief Justice Francis Korkpor that vindicated Morgan of any ethical misconduct.

Reacting to the alleged leaked letter, Kaba by then claimed that at no time his communication vindicated her describing media reports on the leaked letter as a work of politics with the intent to smear his character.

“JIC’s finding has already dealt with the amount in question, stressing that Judge Mappy Morgan was only held accountable for ex-parte order in violation of Cannon-23 of the Judicial Canons of Moral and Professional Conduct of Judges,” Justice Kaba maintained.