The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh is said to be on fire as she has begun implementation of promises made during the October opening Term of Court to lead a robust judiciary for the country.
Justice Yuoh on Thursday October 13, 2022, suspended with immediate effect the assignment of his honor Sikajipo A. Wollor from presiding over the 5th Circuit court of Grand Cape Mount County for ethical misconduct.
At the same time, Chief Justice Yuoh also ordered the immediate dismissal of Mr. Webster B. Wreh, clerk of the tax court of Montserrado County following administrative investigation that found him liable for egregious ethical misconduct unbefitting a staff of the judiciary.
Justice Yuoh, sounded tough on Monday at her official siting and formal opening for the October Term of the Supreme Court, vowing here to lead a robust judiciary for the country.
In her address during the ceremony, she also promised that her administration will hold no allegiance to any authority, but the principle of law, saying “We will make sure that justice is provided to all pursuant to Article 11 (a) and (b); cardinal to this, I will resolve to not only hear the human rights cases but to … render opinion … timely and expediently.”
Justice urged and encouraged members of the black gowned association and staffs of the judiciary to be more ethical and professional and motivated them that the limited budgetary support and aid to the institution should not deterred them from doing their job.
While many applaud the expressed intention of the Chief Justice, citizens present an open challenge to her to go a step further by demonstrating practical actions in her quest to transform the Liberian judiciary.
Too often, it has been observed with great disappointment, officials making flowery speeches when they assume office, including promises that they don’t intend to keep or fulfill. This is unfortunate.
Many hope that Her Honor, Chief Justice Yuoh will depart from this culture of flowery speeches and do exactly as she has promised, to emulate the good example of former Chief Justice of the United Kingdom John Marshall in being robust and straight to the law, holding no allegiance to the Executive or the Presidency or anyone except the written law of Liberia and her own conscience.
But Justice Yuoh is said to be taken the challenge from the Liberian people and international partners seriously as she has begun to walk the talk.
In a Communication under the signature of the Director of Communication of the Judiciary, Atty. Ambruse Nmah, disclosed that the Chief Justice Yuoh has with immediate effect suspended the assignment of his honor Sikajipo A. Wollor from presiding over the 5th Circuit court of Grand Cape Mount County.
‘The decision of the Chief Justice is predicated upon a complaint of alleged misconduct of the judge which is a grave magnitude’’ the communication quoted the Director of Communication.
According to the communication, the complaint has been forwarded to the judicial inquiry commission for a full investigation whilst judge Wollor remains suspended from all judicial functions pending the outcome of this investigation.
At the same time, the Chief Justice has also ordered the immediate dismissal of Mr. Webster B. Wreh, clerk of the tax court of Montserrado County following administrative investigation that found him liable for egregious ethical misconduct unbefitting a staff of the judiciary.
The Liberian judiciary has been brought to international scrutiny and criticism for corruption, characterized by compromising of cases and, justice only for the highest bidder. United States Human Right Reports have constantly indicted the judiciary for graft, which does not present a positive image for the country.
This has not only hindered effective dispensation of justice to the population but discouraged investors and strangulated the business environment, making doing business in Liberia very difficult.
Another issue plaguing the Liberian judiciary is selective justice, where government moves quickly to prosecute some cases, while it drags its feet on others, such as officials indicted in audit reports against the swift trial and conviction of former Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai and others for corruption on one hand, and obvious reluctance to try ex-Passport Director Andrew Wonploe for passport scandal, which led the U.S. State Department to sanction him and his immediate family.