Female Judge Urges Colleagues to Avoid Turning Courts into ‘Political Platforms’
Monrovia – In the wake of series of negative public perceptions and allegations of corruption in the Judiciary, a newly assigned female judge has vowed not to entertain any political interference in the charge of her duty.
Judge Nancy Sammy, now assigned Judge of the Criminal Court “C” , made the statement Monday, November 11, at the Temple of Justice during program making the officials opening of the November 2019 Term of Criminal Courts A,B, C, D, and E .
The first female judge of the criminal courts since 2009 called on her colleagues to be aware that some politicians might try to use the court as platforms to promote themselves.
“Kindly don’t allowed yourselves to be pressured, coerced, or to let our courts to be used as a platform by politicians to promote themselves, please do not allow any politician or any other person to interfere in judicial decision you make,” stressed the judge.
Judge Sammy, who replaces Judge Blamo Dixon at the Criminal Court “C” and is currently the Resident Judge of the 10th Judicial Circuit Court in Lofa County, called on her fellow judges to be aware that the Judiciary is an independent branch of government and as such it is not answerable to any member of another branch of government.
According to her, judges are under legal duty to ensure that justice prevails in every case that is brought before them and to achieve this, judges must at all times exhibit cool neutrality in cases they hear and that they are never a party to a suit.
Speaking on theme, “The impact of our actions as stakeholders in the Judiciary”, Judge Sammy reminded her colleagues that they have embarked on “an arduous but surmountable journey” in dispensing justice without fear of favor and being fully guided by the Judicial Canons that Judges shall be impartial, temperate and attentive at all times.
On the issue of some lawyers taking money from party litigants with the aim of bribing judges, she warned that such conduct casts aspersions on the entire judiciary.
For Magistrates, Judge Sammy continued that although they have limited jurisdiction, they are however very important because they are the first personnel of the Judiciary and if their conduct is contrary to the law, it will have a far reaching negative effect on the entire Judiciary.
As for the prospective jurors, she warned that they should not come with a mind set to render verdicts that are contrary to the evidence and the applicable laws before them for reward or hope of reward.
Judge Sammy’s comes to Criminal Court ”C” on the back foot of government’s loss of a US$80,000 bribery case involving three officials of the National Housing Authority (NHA). The state failed to show evidence beyond a reason doubt that the defendants committed the crime of bribery.
Earlier, state prosecutor also loss an economic sabotage case against former Defense Minister Brownie Samukai.
The vocal female judge is expected to serve as judge in another high profile case in which three deputies and five Central Bank officials are being tried for economic sabotage.
While Judge Sammy warns against interference with the judiciary by other branches of government, Magistrate Ernest Bana was recently removed from the Monrovia City Court barely a day after he ruled and gave the closed-Roots FM Manager Fidel Saydee the right to sue in order to demand the return of the station equipment seized by government on October 10, 2019.
It is unclear whether Magistrate Bana was removed based on his ruling in the Roots FM case.