28 January 2013

Liberia: False Jurors' Case Leaves Clerk Suspended

A case involving three false jurors reportedly sent to represent the Township of West Point has led to the indefinite suspension of Mr. Richard Tarjibo, a clerk assigned to the office of West Point Commissioner, Miatta Flowers.

Mr. Tarjibo's indefinite suspension was announced over the weekend by Commissioner Miatta Flowers who accused Mr. Tarjibo during a press briefing.

Mr. Tarjibo is said to have secretly and unilaterally sent three jurors who are none  residents of West Point to represent the township as jurors for the Term of Court without the knowledge of Commissioner Flowers ,  including Annie Davies, Judith Blamo and Agatha Sekpe, something which has led to his indeterminate suspension.

Addressing a press briefing over the weekend, Commissioner Flowers said her decision to indefinitely suspend her office clerk was based on his corrupting of the office of Commissioner, and said she was not prepared to tolerate such ugly act.

"Criminal Court "D" last November wrote my office requesting me to send names of selected jurors who would represent the Township of West Point for the November Term of court. Mr. Tarjibo received the letter and refused to present it to me" Commissioner Flowers claimed.

Adding "I did not know about the letter until January 4, 2013 when the court sent a prosecution team to come to me and inquire whether I sent these people(the fake jurors). I told them that I had no idea of the letter neither did I know the jurors sent by Mr. Tarjibo. When the information leaked, we called Mr. Tarjibo to investigation and he admitted that he acted on his own. I didn't take that lightly and this is why I decided to suspend him indefinitely."

Due to Mr. Tarjibo's clandestine behavior, Commissioner Flowers further disclosed that the court dismissed the entire jurors' bench, especially in the case involving Liberian journalist Darlington Pelena."

The West Point commissioner also informed reporters that she would do nothing to undermine the Commissioner's Office and the trust and confidence reposed in her by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the people of West Point.

"I was appointed by President Sirleaf as Commissioner for the Township of West Point not only on the basis of my competence and academic credentials, but also based on the implicit confidence and trust that the Liberian leader has in me, and I am not prepared to undermine that trust and confidence, neither am I prepared to degrade the office of the commissioner and the people of West Point" Commission Flowers vowed.

She said Montserrado Superintendent Grace T. Kphan was fully aware of the situation, including Mr. Tarjibo's apology letter, and that she was now awaiting the superintendent's next course of action on the matter.

Meanwhile, the accused Richard Tarjibo, could not be contacted, but an apology letter in the possession of this paper written by him (Tarjibo) to Commissioner Flowers' office has referenced him as admitting and apologizing for his wrong doing, saying,  "Hon. Flowers, I apologize to you for not informing you in respect to the communication received from the Temple of Justice, Criminal Court "D" for jurors and pray that such act will not happen again. I hope and pray that my communication will be accepted."

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