15 May 2018

Liberia: Chief Justice Warns Judges to Live Above Reproach

Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor has urged judges to live above reproach and stop using the court as a place to get rich or for money making.

Justice Korkpor made the statement at a ceremony where Magistrate Nyan Ben turned over the Ganta Magisterial Court to his successor, S. Yarlor Saywon as the new stipendiary magistrate.

"Don't take bond fees from anyone standing trial or as a means to intimidate those seeking justice," he said.

Korkpor, who was very frank in his deliberation at the ceremony, urged judges to use the resources they have in discharging their duties, rather than take money from people who are seeking for justice from them.

Although he did not point to any punishment for judicial malpractices, he admonished them to be strong and do things according to the law by helping the people get just justice.

"If you do the right things and people thank God for your sake, that alone will make you to live long and be respected in the community," he said.

The Ganta Magisterial Court is one of the leading courts in Nimba County but with limited manpower and space for the court, said outgoing Nyan M. Ben. The Chief Justice said it will be taking care of.

The outgoing Stipendiary Magistrate Ben served Ganta for four years, something the Chief Justice said it was too much for a judge to stay in one community for such they will get accustomed to the people.

The incoming Yarlor Saywon, II assured the public of a good working relationship and called for cooperation from the citizens and all party litigants.

Magistrate Saywon served as principal for both Yini High in Ganta and later at Tappeh Memorial High in Tappita. He also served as teacher John Wesley Pearson High School in Ganta and again as Superintendent of Nimba from 1999 to 2001.

Chief Justice Korkpor explained that his reason for endorsing the turning over ceremony is because Ganta is one of the cities in Liberia with people of diverse backgrounds.

"In so doing," he said, "I am here to sound some warning against some of the judicial malpractices in the court."

He also warned citizens to respect the law of this country and must give the judiciary a chance to discharge their duties. "Don't take the law into your own hands, by assaulting those who are accused of wrongdoing. In fact, don't carry on a mob action," he said.

"Don't try the people in a mob court, seek court's remedy and respect the view of the court, but if you are displeased with the court's decision then you must appeal to the high court for redress," he said.

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