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

Supreme Court Reacts To Newspaper Story

The Supreme Court of Liberia has termed as false, misleading, unprofessional, and malicious, recent publications by the Daily Observer Newspaper of “purported legal matters before the Court”.
Reacting to the October 22, 2020, October 20, 2020 and September 29, 2020 publications of the paper titled, “Will ‘Messy’ Voter roll Be Cleaned for Dec. 2020 Senatorial Election?” (Daily Observer October 22, 2020), “Supreme Court Decides Fate of By-election Today.” (Daily Observer October 20 2020) and “Supreme Court Questions CDC’s Meddling in NPP’s Political Affairs” (September 29, 2020) respectively, the Director of Judicial Public Information described such publications as not only intended to misinform and mislead the public, but also a malicious and calculated attempt by the reporter of these stories to incite the people of Liberia, especially party-interests in the political process of our country against the Supreme Court of Liberia and the Judiciary in General.
Atty. Darryl Ambrose Nmah, Sr. in a Judicial Press Release, asserted that there is absolutely no iota of truth in any of these publications by the paper as there is NO WRIT of MANDAMUS filed by the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) for the Cleaning of Voter’s Roll before the Full Bench of the supreme Court as at the issuance of the press release, contrary to claims by the newspaper that “not being satisfied with Justice Yuoh’s action (or lack thereof), the CPP has sought redress before the Full Bench that includes the four other justices. However, since the CPP filed their complaint before the Full Bench, the court is yet to set a date for a hearing. The question now remains whether the Supreme Court will be able to entertain legal arguments prior to the conduct of the December 8 Senatorial election.” The Court acknowledged the fact that there was a Writ of Mandamus filed before the Chambers Justice by the CPP for the Cleaning of the Voter’s Roll which Writ, in the judicial discretion granted the Chambers Justice by law, was declined and such decision of the Chambers Justice cannot be appealed to the Full Bench of the Supreme Court as is provided by law. He therefore wonders where the reporter and the newspaper got their information that the CPP has a Writ of Mandamus pending before the Full Bench?
The same issue of falsehood and misinformation was reported in the October 20, 2020 edition of the Daily Observer Newspaper when it reported that the Supreme Court was to “hand down its ruling on the writ of mandamus filed by the opposition Collaborating Political Parties, praying the Court to compel the National Elections Commission, the house of Representatives and the Executive Branch of the government to conduct the Representative by-election in both Montserrado and Sinoe Counties on or before October 28, 2020” which led interested parties in the outcome of this matter to throng the chambers of the Supreme Court in anticipation of said purported ruling. The Court, again, takes serious exception to this publication as the Court, at no time, issued a regular Notice of Assignment for Ruling on this matter which was heard only a day before the publication. Again, the Court wonders from where did the reporter and the newspaper get its information to have misled members of the public to assemble in the Chambers of the Supreme Court?
Director Nmah, in the release, expressed deep concerns that the reporter and publishers of the Daily Observer Newspaper would continue to publish stories about the workings of the Supreme Court of Liberia without exercising the professional standards of accuracy, balance and credibility, particularly when the reporter of these stories, Mr. Abednago Davis, who is the President of the Association of Judicial Reporters (AJUR), has never been physically present during any of these cases and is hardly seen around the premises of the Temple of Justice. The unprofessional conduct of reporter Davis has been brought to his attention, the attention of the leadership and his colleagues of AJUR and even to the attention of his boss, Mr. Bai Best after series of false publications, particularly that of September 29, 2020 where the newspaper claimed that the Supreme Court “questioned the intent of the Congress for Democratic Change’s political involvement in the affairs of the National Patriotic Party”, in the case Mulbah K. Morlu and the CDC against the National Elections Commission and Senator H. Dan Morais. We make it emphatically clear that “at no time during that argument was the Congress for Democratic Change mentioned by any of the Justices or any of the lawyers arguing the case and for the fact that reporter Abednago Davis was not physically present in court for that argument, he had to offer a personal apology to the Chief Justice. Yet, he continues to report stories in the Daily Observer Newspaper that are false, misleading and inciteful.
The Supreme Court reiterates its commitment to the stabilization of our democracy and the rule of law especially during this election period as was unequivocally expressed by His Honor the Chief Justice in his opening address of the October 2020 Term of the Court. The Chief Justice said, “We are aware that democratic governance is sustained and perpetuated through free and fair elections. We are aware of the critical role this Court must play by the decisions it makes in election and other matters not only to create the enabling condition for the people to exercise their rights to vote, but to keep our Country safe, stable and peaceful. And we are aware that our Branch of Government, the Judiciary, is indeed an important pillar of democracy; rightfully referred to as the anchor that holds a civilized government in balance. It has been said that without a strong and independent Judiciary, “vested interest might suffer, sacred rights might be violated, constituted authority might be challenged, and in time, administrative chaos could result.” The role of the Judiciary is therefore sacrosanct in upholding the rule of law and sustaining a democracy.
We therefore assure all Liberians, political parties and associations or organizations that during the ensuing Senatorial and all other elections that shall take place in our country, this Court will continue to be fair in its actions and decisions. In deciding election or other cases, this Court has no friend or foe and proceeds without fear or favor regardless of what or who is involved. Now, a party may not agree with a decision of this Court, but certainly, there should be no doubt of the independence of this Court in arriving at every decision. I Have said before and I say again, that we seek no approval from any source for our actions; neither do we wait until there is an echo from the crowd, back by numbers before we can act. Our actions and decisions are ours and ours alone, based purely on our inner convictions driven by settled principles of law. Over the years, we have remained on course in performing our duties and we shall continue to do so.
The Supreme Court of Liberia considers the media as an indispensable partner to the promotion of Justice, upon which peace and stability is anchored within our country and is therefore seriously concerned with these false and inciteful publications by the Daily Observer Newspaper. We therefore remind the paper of its responsibility to the public and its duty to also keep the peace within this Republic the release concluded.

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