Liberia: Deputy Justice Minister Found Liable For ‘Reckless Driving’ That Injured Three Children


Monrovia – The Traffic Court at the Temple of Justice Monday, July 6, found Deputy Justice Minister for Codification, Nyenati Tuan liable of reckless driving resulting to the injury of three children.

As part of its ruling, the Court also ordered the Deputy Minister to pay a fine of L$20,000.00 or its equivalent in United States Dollars into government revenue within 24 hours as of the ruling.

If he fails to pay the fine, he shall be held in a common jail until said fine is paid and receipt brought to the court satisfying the ruling.

Court record revealed that Mr. Tuan was sued by three complainants, Angel Johnson, Anointed Cephas, Christine Cephas and Timothy Morris after his Toyota Land Cruiser with plate number LB_2216 ran into a Maroon Bajah motorcycle on March 1, 2020 in Paynesville.

He was accused of failing to yield to the right-away. The accident left three children riding on the motorcycle seriously injured.

The court record added that when the case was called for hearing, Tuan then called for reconstruction of the accident scene, which was granted by the court.

When the reconstruction was done by the Traffic Division of the Liberia National Police, when the Deputy Minister was held liable for the accident.

During the trial, the Court record added that when Mr. Tuan took the witness stand, he pleaded not guilty and blame the motorcycle operator for causing the accident due to excessive speed on his part. At the same time, he accused the police of tempering with the accident investigative report.

Reading the judgement, Magistrate Karsor Zubah stated that taking into consideration the testimonies of the witnesses in the case and documentary evidence produced the Traffic Law of Liberia approved May 9,1972 and came into effect October 17,1972 provides in Section 10.40 and 10.43 a driver of the approaching an intersection shall yield the right way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway.

Judge Zubah further that when vehicles approach or enter an intersection at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the operator of the vehicle on his right.

According to Magistrate Zubah, Section 10.43 states that the driver of a vehicle shall stop as required by Section 10.57 all of the traffic law of Liberia in obedience by stop sign or signal erected at the entrance to an intersection whether or not the intersecting road is through highway and he shall proceed into the intersection with caution, yielding the right of way to any vehicle not required to stop which is within the intersection or approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard.

“The court says, considering the law controlling in this proceeding, coupled with witnesses’ testimonies, questions asked and answers and documentary evidence produced to this court, the Defendant in this case is hereby held liable and guilty for the accident,” the Judge stated.

Defendant Tuan took an exception to the ruling and announced an appeal to Criminal Court “B” at the Temple of Justice. The appeal, which was accepted by the court, is expected to be heard during the August 2020 Term.

But the mother of the three injured children, Jamesette Taylor who was in the court for the ruling, frowned on the posture exhibited by the Deputy Minister since the occurrence of the accident on March 1.

“We have been dragging with this case for the past five months now; we will go wherever he wants because children cannot get Justice now in Liberia but let President Weah know that this can’t happen to Champ (President Weah’s son),” she said.