Ruling Reserved in Marketing Asso. Case with VP Taylor
Monrovia – On Wednesday, July 17, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case involving the suspension of Liberia Marketing Association’s (LMA) president by Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor with the high court reserving ruling.
In the arguments, Cllr. David Woart representing the legal interest of Vice-President Taylor appealed to the high court to reverse the ruling of the lower court’s judge in favor of the suspended LMA president, Madam Yeebahn, because the decision of the Vice President was to bring peace in the LMA.
Cllr. Woart argued that the LMA was part of the national budget and that the Vice President, who is second in command of the country, has a supervisory over that body.
“Your honors, the decision of Vice-President Taylor was to bring peace and stabilize the country on ground that the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) was in dis-array as the result of the rising confusion between some aggrieved members and the current leadership,” Cllr. Woart stated.
Cllr. Arthur Johnson, the lawyer for Madam Yeebahn, counter argued and told the court not to reverse the decision of the lower court’s judge as the Vice President has no authority to suspend the LMA President and that the decision lies in the purview of the Board of the Association according to the Act establishing the LMA.
“Your honors the Supreme Court should judge in favor of the LMA so that the Vice President will know that she doesn’t have that function and the Act doesn’t support her action,” said Cllr. Johnson called on the Supreme Court Judges.
Chief Justice Francis Korkpor reserved ruling in the case at the end of the hour-long arguments between Cllrs. Woart and Johnson.
Suspended LMA President Yeebahn was elected in 2017 at the association’s convention in Grand Bassa County but was ordered suspended by Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor on August 26, 2018 based on a complaint from some aggrieved members and was replaced by an interim leadership headed by one Jerry Gedeh.
According to an LMA source, who asked for anonymity, since the suspension, the Vice President has reportedly attempted appointing three interim leaderships for the LMA but every attempt has been prevented by protesting aggrieved marketers, who claimed that the LMA matter is in court and that there was no need for the Vice President to appoint an interim leadership in the absence of a the court ruling.
Following the announcement of Madam Yeebahn’s suspension, she then challenged it before the Civil Law Court ‘A’ at the Temple of Justice to restore her right terming the Vice President’s action as “illegal.”
Judge Yussif Kaba now an Associate Justice, who first heard the case, dismissed Madam Yeebahn’s petition that she did not have the right under the law to sue in the name of the LMA rather she should file the lawsuit as an individual, who was injured.
The suspended lady later withdrew her lawsuit and filed it in her own name at the Civil Law Court “B” presided over by Judge Scheapolor Dunbar, where the matter was heard and the court ruled in her favor.
Vice-President Taylor’s legal counsel headed by Assistant Justice Minister for Litigation, Cllr. Wesseh Alphonso Wesseh, took exception to the ruling and filed an appeal to the high court for judicial review of the lower court’s ruling.
According to some legal practitioners, the Supreme Court Wednesday’s hearing, will likely end the leadership crisis within the LMA. This crisis has paralyzed the marketing association’s activities since the suspension of President Yeebahn on August 26, 2019.