Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Open Letter to the Chief Justice of Liberia

Written by Vallai M. Dorley
The Re-emergence of the Past

Dear Hon. Lewis:

Chief Justice of Liberia
I write to express my disenchantment on how we were humiliated and flogged by your Court Security Officers in the yield of the Temple of Justice on Tuesday, November 9, 2010.

Your order given them to flog and step us out of the compound of the Temple of Justice contravenes articles 15 and 17 of the Magna Carta of Liberia. Article 15 provides “Every person shall have the right to freedom of expression, being fully responsible for the abuse thereof.

This right shall not be curtailed, restricted or enjoined by government save during an emergency declared in accordance with this Constitution”.

Also, article 17 explains “All persons, at all times, in an orderly and peaceable manner, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good, to instruct their representatives, to petition the Government or other functionaries for the redress of grievances and to associate fully with others or refuse to associate in political parties, trade unions and other organizations”

Our institution under the umbrella, Consortium of Civic Society Youth Movement; a conglomerate of more than 15 youth organizations took all of these clauses of our constitution into consideration and peacefully assembled at the compound of the Temple of Justice with our placards to give our grievances and candid opinion on the ongoing case between a member of the Supreme Court Bench, Cllr. Glady Johnson and the Managing Editor of the Front Page Africa, Mr. Rodney Sieh. All we wanted was to read our placards and see our concerns as all of the Associate Justices and other Court Officials did. Up to now, our overall concern is to see a fair trial in this case; either with Mr. Sieh or Cllr. Johnson.

Hon. Chief Justice, even refereeing to us as “Bush and Native Boys” on that day shows some level of disconnectivity between the so called “Congos” and Natives. I strongly think that Liberia is longer moving on such divisive path; because these statements have the proclivity to undermine the cohesiveness and tranquility we are now enjoying in Liberia.

Your Honor, the order given by you to your Court Marshall General to kick and step student and youth leaders out of the court yard reminds me of the old orders of the 60s, 70s, 80, and 90s when SATU, ATU, RRU ,and other related Para-military officials were treating our people like animals. But as a Retire Student Leader and an active youth advocate, we are not going to see the reminisce of the past! We are going to be robust and professional in making sure that the rule of law will continue to be on the right trajectory.

Hon. Lewis, if you have a fundamental problem with the natives please make it known to us. The last time I read some pages of our own history, I was made to understand that because your father, John Lewis did not emerge as president while serving as Speaker of Parliament during the resignation of Charles D.B. King and his Vice President. Based on this factor, you have decided to fundamentally go against the Natives or what you (Hon. Johnny Lewis) personally called “Bush People”.

Finally Hon. Chief Justice, is there any legal justification that forbids anyone to peacefully assemble in the court yard of the Temple of Justice? Do you know that you abrogated Articles 15 and 17 of the constitution of Liberia? How can you distinguish the legal system of the old orders from today? Do you also know that you are not above the law?

After leaving my sick bed, I am going to write you another letter outlining many disappointments in you and the judiciary system of Liberia.

The last time I was beaten and thrown out of the Supreme Court of Liberia through your order, I still manage to real the wall of the Temple of Justice and it was still written “LET JUSTICE BE DONE TO ALL”. But remember, you will not remain Chief Justice for ever in Liberia; see what is happening now to Cllr. Jenkins Scott. The evil that man does live after him!!

Disappointingly yours,

Vallai M. Dorley

News Headline

Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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