The Supreme Court of Liberia has sentenced seven traditional leaders in Bong County to six (6) months at a common jail in connection with the capturing of a Judge and others by the country devil in that part of the country. Those sentenced are Daniel Tubman, Clinton Brown, Robert Sulu, Miller Bondo, Varfee Sirleaf, Ernest White, and Joseph Kollie.
It can be recalled on August 10, 2022, an alleged attack was ransacked by some traditional people who brought out a traditional bush Master (Country Devil), due to a land dispute that was being handled. The Commissioner and City Mayor of Salala was among the five persons arrested and would remain in Monrovia until those captured by the country devil are released.
The Supreme Court decision yesterday, December 14, 2022, ordered the Marshall to give immediate effect of this judgment, adding that no costs to the arrest.
The Supreme Court has the inherent authority to punish for contempt acts interfering with the independence and integrity of the courts, and the inherent constitutional duty to protect the sanctity and dignity of the Judiciary, especially the courts and its officers.”
According to the Supreme Court, contempt proceedings by the court are independent and exclusive of any criminal or other investigation 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 noted.
The high court further that it have been established that the contemners deliberately ransacked the magisterial court in Salala, Gbartala, and Bong Mines, Bong County and abducted the Magistrate and others in Salala, which violated the constitutional principle of separation of powers and the immunity granted judicial officers in the performance of their duties, “ the contemners are guilty of the crime of the Judiciary branch of Government.
Reported by: G. Watson Richards