The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Bar Prexy Challenges Court

The president of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), Tiawan S. Gongloe, is calling on all lawyers and judges to conduct themselves in ways that will maintain the dignity of the legal profession in Liberia and abroad.
According to him, it is no secret that there is lack for respect of the rule of law in Liberia which is one of the contributing factors of the Liberian civil conflict, but all lawyers and judges are being very closely watched by Liberians and members of the International community who may take action against anyone of them based on information.
In his remarks delivered at the opening of the March Term of Court yesterday in Monrovia, Cllr. Gongloe, among other things, stressed that their best choice as Liberian lawyers and judges is to maintain the highest degree of integrity, consistent with their oath of office.
He then applaud the Supreme Court for punishing layers and judges who he said failed to uphold the dignity of the legal profession within the country and at the same time thanked Chief Justice Francis Korkpor and his administration for the efforts fast tracking the hearing and disposition of cases at the level of Magisterial and circuit court in the country.
“The LNBA appeals to your administration to include the Supreme Court of Liberia in the process because some members of the LNBA have complained that cases are heard but not disposed of by the court,” he added.
“This court must, as a matter necessity, lead the lower courts by example. Perhaps, except for election cases, it may be better for your honours to make decisions on all the cases that you have heard thus far before proceeding to hear new cases; because, as you all know, this court has a past record of disposing of many cases in one year when it decides to do so,” Cllr. Gongloe emphasized.
Meanwhile, the LNBA proxy differed with Chief Justice Korkpor that the late Baccus Mathews, Oscar Quiah and others who were arrested after the April 14, 1979 street protest against the increment in the price of rice were not political prisoners as being indicated by him.
According to Cllr. Gongloe, the protest was against the government at the time there was a policy to increase the price of rice, noting that the protesters only opposed to the policy by exercising their constitutional right to peaceably assemble and petition their government not to implement the policy.
He reminded the Justice that those arrested were neither taken to a police station for investigation to determine probable cause, nor were they taken to any magisterial court, but were instead incarcerated at the Monrovia Central Prison without a writ.

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