Is Weah Administration Undermining the Justice System?

Many who shared my view feel that there are no redlines left for terrorists to cross. This is a psychological war and succumbing to the strategies would give the enemies superior hand. Let stand up with one voice and call to win this war!

The Editor,

With revelations made by the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia when she testified in the trial of former Defense Minister Brownie Samukai and his deputies, it seems that Liberia is again witnessing another political trial under the disguise of the rule of law or the fight against corruption.

Indeed, just like in the trial of Kubaneh Ja’neh, it appears  that the Weah administration is again using the justice system to settle political scores.

A few months ago, this newspaper was informed that some members of the Weah administration had approached former Minister Samukai and asked him to either drop out of the Lofa 2020 senatorial elections or join the ruling. He was told that failure to do so, the administration will take him to court about the misapplication of AFL pension funds.

According to our sources and the sworn testimony of the Deputy Chief of Staff, President George Weah and President Sirleaf has discussed and settled the issue and President Weah promised to replenish the funds through budgetary allocations. There is no reason to doubt that the Deputy Chief of Staff was telling the truth in court. Both Minister Samukai and the Deputy Chief of Staff are saying that President Weah had discussed this matter with President Sirleaf, Minister Samukai and the AFL Investigative team and reached an agreement.

It is now clear that the Weah administration is weaponizing the judiciary to get back at its real or perceived political adversaries.

This action, a repeat of the Kabineh Ja’neh trial clearly undermines the judiciary. The issue is no longer about Minister Samukai’s guilt or innocence but the blatant use of the legal branch of government to resolve political differences. This is the kind of actions that plunged the nations into chaos.

The Ministry of Justice is more and more appearing to be the most dysfunctional institution in government, with the Minister and the Solicitor General seemingly never on par on issues. The ongoing fiasco about Ms. Ellen Cockrum is a good example of how chaotic things are in the Ministry. Who dropped the case and who re-opened? When? The Minister has no clue. The Solicitor General seems to act all on his own. 

President Weah must look at recent history and guide his steps. He could be taking the wrong lessons from past leaders who denied Liberians fair justice and plunge the country into destruction. The Judiciary has long been the weakest link in Liberia’s governance and the actions of this administration further contributes to its deterioration.

Abdoulaye Dukule
[email protected]