-To Six Months By Supreme Court
By: R, Joyclyn Wea
MONROVIA-At least five traditional leaders of Bong County have been sentenced to six-month imprisonment by The Supreme Court of Liberia for recently obstructing the function of the 9th Judicial Circuit Courts in Bong County.
Months back, traditional leaders reported invading the court’s facility and obstructed normal businesses of that Honorable Court, on this basis, a contempt charge was issued against them.
The Supreme Court has the inherent authority to punish contempt acts interfering with the independence and integrity of the court and the inherent constitutional duty to protect the sanity and dignity of the judiciary, especially the courts and its officers.
These five traditional leaders were sent to a year imprisonment, but following a plea from their lawyers and others, that was reduced to six months.
Handing down judgment on the matter Thursday, the court noted that contempt proceedings by the Supreme Court are independent and exclusive of any criminal or other investigations conducted by the other branches of government or other institutions.
As in the instant case, the Supreme Court shall not refuse jurisdiction nor fail to take cognizance of contempt merely because the same acts and conduct for which the contempt proceedings have been instituted are being simultaneously investigated by other institutions.
The high court furthered that it had been established that the contemnors deliberately ransacked the magisterial courts in Salala, Gbartala, and Bong Mines, Bong County, and adducted the magistrate and others in Salala, which acts violated the constitutional principle of separation of powers and the immunity granted judicial officers in the performance of their duties, the contemnors are guilty of criminal contempt of the judiciary branch of government.
The contemnors are hereby sentenced to a term of imprisonment in a common jail for a period of six months commencing as of the date of rendition of this judgment.
The Marshall of the Supreme Court is hereby ordered to give immediate effect to this judgment costs are disallowed.
It can be recalled, the police detachment in Salala, Bong County was overtaken by country devils in late August 10, 2022, when a land dispute transpired between traditional people of the area.
The Bush Masters (Country Devil) according to LNP’s release took along with them a Police officer, an inmate from the withholding cell, and the Judge of the court.
This is not the first time that country’s devil had been involved in a violation in the country. Prior to this recent report, months back, the country devil manhandled some individuals in Nimba County whom they alleged of being involved with witchcraft activities in the area.
August 10, 2022, attack, was allegedly ransacked by some traditional people who brought out the traditional bush Master (Country Devil), due to a land dispute that was being handled by the Court, the LNP release revealed.
Officers of the Liberia National Police have been dispatched in search of those missing persons captured by the bushmasters.
At the same time, the LNP again condemns this unconstitutional act and requests the immediate release of the missing persons.