Liberia: 'I Was Suspended'

Associate Justice designate of the Supreme Court, Judge Yusuf Kaba has openly admitted of being suspended by the very same Supreme Court he has now being designated to.

Speaking Monday, April 8, 2019 during his confirmation process on Capitol Hill, Judge Kaba said he was suspended by the high Court for one month on grounds of handling down a ruling different from what the Supreme Court wanted in a case.

Judge Kaba claims that he was never afforded the time to be heard by the court before his suspension, saying that decision from the Supreme Court cannot be argued or debated but rather accepted.

"Yes, I have being suspended by the Supreme Court for one month for the Supreme Court's interpretation of a judgment that I entered as a circuit judge. I was suspended without being given the opportunity to be heard by the court before my suspension," Judge Kaba told members of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Claims, Petition and Human Rights.

The Associate Justice designate clarified that his suspension was never based on what he considers as misconduct on his part as a Judge but it was rather on the basis of a ruling which according to him was not in accordance with Supreme Court.

Judge Kaba asserted that they as Judges and lawyers of the judiciary system took oath to accept whatever the high Court will say, thus, the action of the Supreme Court is respected by all lawyers or judges.

He told the Senate Committee that the matter for which he was suspended for is not substantive enough to deny him or any other person from ascending to the Supreme Court bench, because according to him the matter was not based on misconduct but on the basis of ruling.

At the same time, Judge Kaba has also admitted of being involved into some money issue with some group of market women as far back as 1994-1996 as which time he was never a judge.

"I operated a small business from 1994 up to the end of 1996. The name of this business was Kroka New Liberia saving and loan scheme. This business was engaged in small savings of marketers and small business people and this business was very successful until the outbreak of the April 1996 war that led to the collapsed of the business," Judge Kaba narrated.

He continued "when the business collapsed and I saw that there was no way to resuscitate the business I started to find a way to see how I can resettle the members of the business and as an employee of the Ministry of Justice several of the members were settled by me and for almost four to five years now, no one has ever raised that issue with me until now in this hearing."

It can be recalled that one of the four accounts for which the former Associate Justice Kabineh Mohammed Ja'neh was impeached for was purchasing a piece of land from an old widow's son at the time he was not a lawyer or even on the bench of the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, could this in anyway in the future served as a basis for the Associate Justice designate impeachment or is it something that the appointing authority is in the know of but only trying acting like he is appeasing the Mandingo tribe or the Muslim community.

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