MONROVIA-Criminal Court “C” Judge Ousman F. Feika has order the issuance of a writ of arrest against the management of FrontPage Africa Newspaper for reportly lying on the Judge.
Judge Feika decision to issued a writ of criminal contempt and arrest against FPA follow the alleged refusal of that media house to sign for and receive the writ of summons.
It can be recalled Friday, August 27, 2021, the judge of criminal court “C” summoned FrontPage Africa and New Democrat Newspapers over their separate publications linking Judge Feika to wrongfully interpreting the supreme court in Brownie Samukai and his two deputies US$1.5 million dollars criminal case.
The writ of summon mentioned, “You are hereby commanded to summon the management of FrontPage Africa to appear before criminal assizes “C” first judicial circuit for Montserrado County on August 30, 2021 to show cause why the management should not be held in contempt of court for wrongfully reporting in its VOL. 15 NO.141, Friday, August 27, 2021 edition, under the caption, “Samukai suffers setback as government wants his 50 percent payment revoked; says all co-defendants must jointly pay 50 percent of US$1.3 million,” found on page-8.
It reads “the legal proceeding involving former defense minister brownie J. Samukai and others convicted for misappropriating the armed forces of Liberia pension will have to delay up to September 6, following a bill of information filed by the ministry of justice against ‘irregularities’ by criminal court “C” by judge Ousman Feika and co-defendants Samukai and others,”
The court says the management aforesaid has wrongfully made the above quoted publication against the presiding judge and criminal court “C”, thereby subjecting him and the court to public ridicule; hence, this writ of summons citing the management to this court to show cause why it cannot be held in contempt of court for it wrongful publication against the court and the presiding judge, his honor Ousman F. Feika.
But at the called of the hearing on Monday, August 30, 2021, only New Democrat appeared, but FPA did not show up nor send any representative to the court at which time the sheriff informed the judge that FPA allegedly refused and neglected to sign by the writ of summon issued out of that court.
This resulted to the judge instructed its clerk to issued a criminal contempt and arrest against the institution and have the sheriff bring the FPA management before the court at all cost.
But in a communication addressed to their readers, the FPA management said since the outbreak of the deadly Covid-19, they have had limited presence at their main office near Vamoma Junction Airfield Road. The management said most, if not all of their reporters and editors work from home and submit stories via email and through their WhatsApp group chat.
“To our dismay, the Criminal Court “C” presided over by assigned Circuit Court Judge, OUSMAN F. Feika this morning ordered the arrest of our Management for what it calls our failure and refusal to sign for and receive a writ of summons” the note to the reader said.
They said that their security officers say that the Sheriff made an attempt to serve the writ at 11am for the management to appear at 12:30pm, something according to them making it nearly impossible for anyone in authority to appear on time thus breaking the law as all of their staff were on assignment.
“While we have no intention of breaking the law we are also mindful of observing Covid protocols. We have done nothing wrong for any judge to order our arrest. We will be happy to appear once we are served in reasonable time to honor the court’s request” the FPA management said.
The FPA management furthered, “In this light, we are pleading with Chief Justice Korkpor to ensure that the judicial branch use its power for those who need it the most, and not to muzzle, intimidate or instill fears in members of the Fourth Estate.”