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“Stop Interfering In Court Matters” -Bong Supt. Walker Warns Traditional Leaders

By Patrick N. Tokpah, (Bong County Correspondent)
Bong County’s Superintendent Esther Walker has assured judicial actors in the county that there will be no traditional leaders’ interference in judicial matters during this term of court.
The alleged interference of the bush master in court matters in some parts of the county has been a major challenge hampering the court’s operations and the dispensation of justice in rural Bong County.
According to Supt. Walker, the interference of traditional leaders with judicial matters has caused serious embarrassment in the county, adding that the government has embarked on a process to put the situation under control.
The Bong County tough-talking female superintendent at the same time called on traditional leaders of the county to desist or distance themselves from all judicial matters, as instructed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Supt. Walker continues: ” I want to say it very clear here that no Traditional Leader will ever interfere in court issues. We have over the past had problems coming from the traditional people, so we are doing everything possible to stop such acts.”
The Bong County Superintendent issued the warning recently in the county during the opening ceremony of the February A D Term of court at the 9th Judicial Circuit Court.
It can be recalled in December 2022, the Supreme Court of Liberia sentenced seven traditional leaders from Bong County to six months imprisonment at a common jail in connection with the capturing of a Judge and others by ‘country devil’.
Those sentenced are Daniel Tubman, Clinton Brown, Robert Sulu, Miller Bondo, Varfee Sirleaf, Ernest White, and Joseph Kollie
On August 10, 2022, the traditional leaders allegedly carried out a raid by unleashing Traditional Bush Master (Country Devil), due to a land dispute.
The Supreme Court of Liberia 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 Supreme Court further stated that it was established that those who were held in contempt deliberately ransacked the magisterial court in Salala, Gbartala, and Bong Mines, Bong County, and abducted the Magistrate and others in Salala, which acts violated the constitutional principle of separation of powers and the immunity granted judicial officers in the performance of their duties.

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