MONROVIA-The Supreme Court of Liberia has termed as false and misleading a front-page publication in the Monday, July 4, Edition (VOL. 31. NO. 125) of the Inquirer Newspaper titled, “Weah Rejects Chief Justice’s Successor?”, in which the paper claims that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, His Honor Francis S. Korkpor, Sr., nominated the Chief Judge of the Commercial Court, Her Honor Eva Mappy-Morgan as his successor, but she was said to be rejected by the President of Liberia because of her alleged “unethical behavior”
The author of the story, hiding under the guise of sources both within the judiciary and executive branches, further displayed his ignorance of the Constitution and laws of this Republic by stating that the Chief Justice has the “option” to nominate his replacement upon his retirement and that the supposed rejection of his nominee by the President was a “slap in the face of the Chief Justice”.
The Supreme Court wishes to categorically deny such a story, as at no time has the Chief Justice met with the President in person or written the President on nominating Judge Mappy-Morgan, or any other individual to fill the vacancy of Chief Justice come September 5, 2022.
We wonder why the Inquirer Newspaper would seek to spew such boldfaced and diabolical lie, when in fact the media outlet, like others has a reporter assigned at the Judiciary for the purpose of gathering information, and fact-checking such information before publication?
It is a known fact that there is a matter before the full-bench of the Supreme Court emanating from a Judiciary Inquiry Commission (JIC) to which Judge Mappy-Morgan is a party, and a decision of the Court cannot be made because of a tied vote, thereby triggering Section 2.8 of the New Judiciary Law which requires the Chief Justice to notify the President when such situation arises, and the President shall then appoint a judge as Ad hoc Justice for the sole purpose of determining that particular case; hence the Chief Justice, in conformity with the law, has written the President on this particular case.
Therefore, it is not legally and administratively tenable at the same stroke of the pen to write the President or even meet with him in person to recommend or nominate (as the paper puts it) Judge Mappy-Morgan as his successor.
We have said often times and which to re-emphasize, that the Judiciary is open to the media and will always provide information once engaged, but we cannot countenance when media outlets purposefully distort facts to besmear other people’s reputation and misinform the general public.
What kind of journalist does such unprofessional work for such reputable newspaper, if not with the intent to tarnish the reputation of others and bring both the Judiciary and Executive Branches to public ridicule?
The Supreme Court sees the publication as a disservice to the people of Liberia and foreigners alike who are readers of the Inquirer Newspaper, as the paper denied its readers the benefit of professional journalism and accurate information and fed them with total fabrication and misrepresentation of the facts.
The Court, therefore, calls on the publishers of the Inquirer Newspaper to now perform its professional duty by retracting its front-page story of Monday, July 4, 2022, and render apologies to its readers for such deliberate falsehood and misinformation.
We also urge the Liberian Media to treat the Liberian people with fairness always in the exercise of their reportorial duties as the information consumed by your audience could have a positive or negative consequence on our Nation and its people.
The Liberian Judiciary stands prepared to work with the media and any other public interest group desirous of obtaining factual information of and about the Liberian Judiciary.