Liberia: 'Only Petty Corruption At Judiciary'

-- Justice Wolokollie says, blames media 'for defaming Judiciary without evidence'

A confession made by Associate Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie on Monday, August 10, at the opening of the August 2020 Term of Criminal Courts, A, B, C, D, and E, that corruption exists in the Judiciary but at a minimal level, clearly points to the fact that public mistrust in the Judicial Branch of the government has a backing. Justice Wolokollie, who spoke on behalf of Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, told a gathering of lawyers and judges that though there are reports about corruption in the judiciary, "It is just petty corruption and not on a larger scale."

Justice Wolokollie's statement alludes to the prevalence of corruption in the Judiciary, something which has been widely perceived by the public. And contrary to the her understated view, several international and local institutions have documented more egregious levels of corruption at the Judiciary.

But Justice Wolokollie told the gathering that "We, who work with the Judiciary, are not perfect. We know there are issues and we are aware that there are issues of corruption."

Justice Wolokollie did not mention any action being taken against those judicial workers being implicated in acts of petty corruption. Instead, she shifted the blame on the media. "This goes to the media people who, for some reason, are going out there defaming the judiciary without any evidence," Justice Wolokollie claimed. She added that "Any story, which you report without any evidence and anything goes wrong, we Liberians will form a part of it because Liberia is what we all have."

President Geroge Weah has repeatedly said that his administration will continue to intensify the fight against corruption, which remains prevalent in the country and continues to negatively impact the growth and development of Liberia. One of the times the President made the statement was on January 27 this year, during his Annual Address to the Joint Session of the Legislature. President Weah also vowed that his CDC-led government will succeed in the fight against corruption. "Many believe this to be an unchangeable way of life here in Liberia. I think otherwise. I believe that we will succeed in our fight against corruption and will bring to justice relevant individuals and corporations who have and continue to defraud Liberia."

Additionally, President Weah promised that "We will continue to show a political will in the fight against waste and abuse of our national resources as we have shown in recent times when a managing director and other high profile officials were dismissed, arrested and sent to court to vindicate themselves from accusations of corruption. There will be no sacred cows as we take stronger measures to end this societal menace," the president said.

Even though the President has made these public speeches, which have been applauded by his admirers, the opposition community has always criticized him actions and decisions that run contrary to the anti-corruption that he professes.

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