4 December 2012

Liberia: Drama At the Temple

What appears to be a drama was performed at the Temple of Justice Monday when the Sixth Judicial Civil Law Court rendered judgment in favor of the children of the late Professor Thomas Gaie.

Professor Gaie died November 16, 2012 at a local hospital following a brief illness. But since the death of the former Head of the West African Examination Council, there have been claims and counter-claims from the children and wife as to who has legitimate right over the Prof's body.

The sons including Ernest and Lamaii Gaie on one hand and Madam Ruth Gaie on the other have been at loggerhead over the corpse with both sides claiming legitimacy.

The argument over legitimacy finally landed at the Civil Law Court when Madam Ruth Gaie who claimed to be the legitimate wife, filed a petition for a declaratory judgment of her right to the body.

She took legal action against her step children after she was denied access to the body of her husband upon her returned from the United States of America.

The court later placed an injunction on all arrangements over the burial until further hearing into the petition. Madam Ruth Gaie in her petition to the court claimed to be the legitimate wife of the falling WAEC boss who got wedded to her in 1978 and bore three children.

The sons of the deceased Ernest and Lamaii through their legal counsel produced a bill of divorcement before the court arguing that the couple broke out in September 2012 before the 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Bomi County.

The children of the deceased produced the evidence in Court on Monday after the legal team filed a motion to vacate the temporary injunction to allow the burial of Professor Gaie.

The Judge of the Civil Law Court, Yusuf Kaba following ruled in favor of the children following legal argument. Judge Kaba ordered the children to go ahead with the burial of their father.

In his judgment, Judge Kaba said he earlier imposed the injunction on the burial of Professor Gaie based on the allegation that Madam Ruth Gaie was the legitimate wife of the deceased.

Although the lawyer representing Madam Ruth Gaie said the bill of divorcement was fraudulently obtained, Judge Kaba ruled that he lacks the jurisdiction to review the act or decision of the 11th Judicial Circuit Court on grounds that they all have concurrence power.

Professor Gaie is expected to be buried on Thursday, December 6, 2012 in Monrovia.

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