Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the International Monetary Organization, Isaac Jackson, has for the second time apologized to the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court for comments which according to him were attributed to him in the media.
Amb. Jackson who is also a member of the Supreme Court and the Liberia National Bar Association said, “I wish to reiterate that I will never refer to the Chief Justice as a ‘Spineless coward’ and did not do so.”
“As a Liberian lawyer, I remain respectful of the Supreme Court and all of its Justices despite my polite disagreement with the opinion of the court,” he maintained.
The Supreme Court suspended Amb. Jackson, from the practice of Law in Liberia for one year for allegedly insulting the Chief Justice.
Amb. Jackson had earlier written a letter of apology quietly to Chief Justice Francis Korkpor but in the high court’s opinion that did not go far in making amends for what the Bench termed as an unwarranted and egregious act.
But the Supreme Court ruled that, “He is ordered to write and publish a letter of apology to the Chief Justice, the Supreme Court and the entire Judiciary and have same published three times in successions in two local dailies. One of which shall be the Frontpage Africa Newspaper and his failure to do as directed herein after a period of three months, the suspension imposed on him shall be automatically turned into permanent disbarment from the practice of law in the Republic of Liberia.”
Atty Jackson who was represented by Cllr. Arthur Johnson, when the Writ of Prohibition was filed before Associate Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie in July 2019 challenged President George Weah’s decision to replace his client with Moses Owen Brown as Permanent Representative at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
In his Writ of Prohibition, Jackson claimed that the position he occupies as Permanent Representative is a post of a deputy commissioner that requires a five-year tenure which had not expired.
His reliance was that the Maritime Act of 2010, Section 1, part 7 of the Maritime Act of 2010 states that suspension and removal of the Commissioner shall be subject to removal or suspension from his position by the President on the recommendation of the Board for non-performance, dishonesty or any offense in violation of Liberian criminal laws or as the result of an outcome of due process investigation or shown of complete disregard for international treaties and conventions to which Liberia is a party.
Jackson contented that he is entitled to five-year tenure as an ambassador to the IMO which according to him, had not elapsed and therefore having him replaced is a misuse of the President’s appointing power.
“If I do not win this case, I will come to Monrovia and submit my issue to the people and if the government puts bullet in my head, my blood will be on the hands of Chief Justice Francis Korkpor for his spineless cowardice because I am told that the government has re-introduced the sour voices of notorious ex-rebel general in our national politics,” Amb. Jackson said at the time.
However, the Supreme Court termed the comments from Amb. Jackson as unprovoked verbal assault and insults directed at the Chief Justice which according to the court is highly ‘contemptuous and reprehensible.’
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court explained that the effective operations of the government is when the Legislature, in the exercise of its authority granted by the Constitution, creates an institution or agency of government and makes it independent from the overarching executive influence, impact or interferences of the presidency by giving tenure to its members.