MONROVIA – The vacancy created by the elevation of to the position Cllr Sie-A-Nyene Gyapay Youhof Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia after the retirement of former Chief Justice Francis Korpor was filled on Friday, January27, 2023 by former Relieving Judge, Cllr Yarmie Quiqui Gbeisay as a member of the Supreme Court Bench bringing the number to constitutional required number of 5 persons on the bench of the apex court.
At the well-attended program which was primarily a judiciary affairs which saw Chief Justice Yuoh and her colleagues on the SC bench, judges, other judiciary workers, members of the Liberia National Bar Association, among others, Associate Justice Gbeisay while delivering his address upon being sworn in by the Chief Justice told the gathering about the myriad of challenges in the judicial system key among them according him is the “unwillingness of Liberians to obey the rule of law and have undermined the judicial system of the country. He gave an example of a Liberian who had travelled to Sierra Leone on a visit and violated a city ordinance on cleaning up the city.
“I am always reminded of the story about a Liberian fellow who visited neighboring Sierra Leone on a Saturday declared by the sierra Leonean government as a national clean-up campaign day, the young man elegantly dressed and began to move in the community when everybody was busy cleaning up including the army, and when the army commander inquired who he was,” Oh “I understand he comes from a country where nobody respects law”. Justice Gbiesay explains.
Associate justice Gbiesay, further decried the usual way of some Liberians exhibiting attitudes that disrespect laws thus setting for themselves standards they are comfortable with at the detrimental of their fellow compatriots, stressing “Liberia is always in the history as a lawless country, where for instance, almost every government officials have their own siren, drive on any lane, be it opposite among others”.
He added that such behaviors from the echelon of government to the common person in society ultimately pose a challenge to the interpretation and enforcement of the law and endangers judges and justices.
“In Liberia, everybody wants crimes to be penalized and corruption be eliminated, but when crimes are being tried in court, the accused usually has a cheering squad who may be beneficiary of the crime, chanting slogans for them before the courtroom” , Associate justice Gbiesay noted.
The newly inducted Associate Justice while underscoring the relevance of the judiciary to national development said a trusted judiciary, therefore promotes security, stability, peace and encourages both local and foreign investors to invest in the economy and developed the country.
He also reiterated that a trusted and credible judiciary is a sine qua non to national development, adding that as judges they are therefore battlefield commanders of the judiciary and must be prepared to take the bullets.
Justices Yarmie Quiqui Gbiesay, revealed that the first characteristic of a judge or justice is to be brave, knowledgeable, disciplined, courageous, have passion for the job and be dedicated to the task.
“I have come to this high seat of honor with the vision to support the Yuohs bench to maximize its efficiency and productivity to administer justice and enhance the rule of law.
He lamented that the traditional role of the judiciary is the maintenance of democratic governance, noting that a credible judiciary instills trust and confidence and encourages citizens and residents to seek redress in the court law.
It can be recalled that Cllr. Gbeisay was nominated on September 6, 2022 and confirmed in October, 2022 by the Liberian senate. He was among other government officials including Public Works Minister Ruth Coker-Collins who were commissioned by President George Manneh Weah on Friday, January 27, 2023.