Liberia: No Lawyer to Represent Isaac Jackson as Supreme Court Reschedules Argument on His Status at IMO

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Atty. Jackson’s lawyer, Cllr. Cllr. Arthur Johnson withdrew his legal representation for Mr. Jackson after a FrontPageAfrica interview in August 2019 in which Jackson stated that only a compromised court will rule in favor of the government

Monrovia – The Supreme Court on Wednesday, January 15 could not proceed with hearing the writ of prohibition filed against the Government by Isaac Jackson, Liberia’s embattled Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Jackson’s case was scheduled for 10 AM but the absence of his lawyer in the high court prompted Chief Justice Francis Korkpor to reschedule the case to an unannounced date.

A source closed to the Justice Ministry told FrontPageAfrica that there will be no more argument entertained by the high court in the case.

“The decision of the court will be based on previous arguments and records because the argument is intended for the court to render judgment and not the parties,” said the source, who asked for anonymity.

Initially, Jackson was represented by Cllr. Arthur Johnson, who first filed the Writ of Prohibition before Associate Justice Jamesette Wolokollie in July 2019. The writ is challenging President George Weah’s decision to replace Mr. Jackson with Moses Owen Brown as Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO). 

Jackson is contending that his five-year tenure as an ambassador to the IMO has not elapsed and replacing him is a misuse of the president’s appointing power. 

Jackson’s case was scheduled for 10 AM but the absence of his lawyer in the high court prompted Chief Justice Francis Korkpor to reschedule the case to an unannounced date

However, Cllr. Johnson withdrew his legal representation for Mr. Jackson after a FrontPageAfrica interview in August 2019 in which he stated that only a compromised court will rule in favor of the government because the government of Weah has got no absolute argument upon which to hinge this case to victory.

“If I do not win this case, I will come to Monrovia and submit my issue to the people and if the government puts bullet in my head, my blood will be on the hands of Chief Justice Francis Korkpor for his mindless cowardice because I am told that the government has re-introduced the sour voices of notorious ex-rebel general in our national politics,” said Jackson.

Reacting to Jackson’s statement after the story was published, Cllr. Johnson told a FrontPageAfrica Judiciary reporter that his client was political and affront to the high court because lawyers don’t condone political statements.

“The statement from Jackson is political in nature, therefore, I am going to relinquish representing Jackson at the Supreme Court because lawyers don’t condone political statements,” said Cllr Jackson.

Jackson, a former Deputy Minister for Public Affairs at the Ministry of Information, was appointed by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the IMO in 2016.

In July 2019, he was replaced by President George Manneh Weah but Jackson had referred to his replacement by the president as unlawful.

In his writ of prohibition, Jackson claimed that the position he occupied as permanent representative was a post of deputy commissioner that required a five years tenure which has not expired.

Atty. Jackson stated that the Maritime Act of 2010, section 1, part 7 of the Maritime Act of 2010 states that suspension and removal of the Commissioner shall be subject to removal or suspension from his position by the President on the recommendation of the Board for non-performance, dishonesty or any offense in violation of Liberian criminal laws or as the result of an outcome of due process investigation or shown of complete disregard for international treaties and conventions to which Liberia is a party.

But former Solicitor General Cllr. Daku Mulbah, at the time, counter-argued that the position of permanent representative which Jackson occupied does not require a Deputy Commissioner position that requires five years tenure.

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