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

Eviction Hangs Over INCHR For Rental Debts, If…

Report reaching this paper says the Debt Court presided over by Judge James Jones has issued a Writ of Summons for Cllr. Dempster Brown and Madam Mary Broh.
The Writ which was written on June 8 cautioned the defendants that if they fail to appear, the court will be left with no other alternative but to render judgment of default as provided by law.
They are to appear before the Debt Court of Montserrado County sitting in its July term regarding some US$ 125,000 in rental debts incurred by the Independent Commission on Human Right (INCHR).
The rental fee is owed by the INCHR for using the current premises in Sinkor which was secured by the Director General of the General Services Agency, Mary Broh through a lease agreement with Mamud Jallah and Adboui Barry, owners of the said property.
Jallah and Barry’s six-count actions of debt to the court accused the two public officials of allegedly refusing to settle obligations with them from July 1, 2021 to present.
They said the defendants entered into an agreement and had been in their property mentioned but have refused to comply with the rental contract.
“Plaintiffs submit and say that while it is true that non-payment of rent is not the ground to evict or eject a renter in any rented property, however, given an unabated non-performance posture exhibited over the years by the defendants, plaintiff request court to order the defendants to pay all of the outstanding rental owed them from July 1 to December 30, 2021 and up to now to avoid the inconvenience imposed on them for years,” the plaintiffs are pleading with the court.
Apparently, the legal suit has gotten the Commission off balance to enforce its mandate as it might gradually be rendered a toothless bulldog if it reneges in going farther to address some of the issues that the human rights body lifted in its annual human rights situation report for 2021 and the first quarterly human rights situation on Liberia for 2022.
In the 1960s, a number of pan-African heads of states and scholars such as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Kenya, Sékou Touré of Guinea and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia began providing moral, financial and military support for the independence of other African states.
These collaborative efforts accumulated to the formation of the Organization of the African Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The organization was committed to eradicating colonialism and neo-colonialism from the African continent. During its lifespan from 1963 to 2002 it was referred to as a “toothless bulldog” with a “bark (but) no bite” as well as a “club of dictators” whose heads of states adhered strictly to the “principle of non-interference” which resulted in its inability to establish a proactive continental conflict prevention and resolution mechanism.
It is the same with the INCHR which was established by an Act of Legislature in 2005 with the mandate to promote and protect human rights and also has an adjunct function to ensure implementation of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
Article III (4) (e) of the INCHR Act of 2005 empowers the Commission “to conduct free and unfettered on sight inspection and investigation…, including powers to visit all civil, military and Para-military places of detention in the Republic of Liberia.”
With this mandate, the Commission can subpoena public servants to appear before it to answer to issues that concern the safety of an individual of a group of people whose complaints are before that Commission.
The latest reports of the INCHR, among other things, said the criminal justice systems remain weak as a result of several factors including corruption, absence of key personnel in the justice system and inadequate resources to support rule of law institutions including the LNP, judiciary, and the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation (BCR), mysterious disappearances and secret killings continue to persist in our society, that rape and gender-based and domestic violence cases are on the increase; police brutality and arbitrary arrests and illegal detentions of peaceful citizen remain issues of discussion as well as the lack of support for the Commission.
Since the launch of the first quarterly human rights situation reports on Liberia for 2022, which many citizens described as pejorative on the part of the government, the government is apparently playing blind eyes on the issues lifted by the INCHR or deliberately ignoring its role of finding remedial steps to eradicate those violations, which in itself is a human rights violation by omission.
Cllr. Dempster Brown said despite low budgetary support to the lead national human rights body, the Commission will continue to hold the GoL’s feet to the fire to ensure that it works in the confines of the rule of law.

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