She commended the transformation of the Judiciary and noted that when we embarked upon the journey of political governance of the nation, we recognized a lot of things to be done to enhance the quality of justice, and to improve the delivery of justice through the incentives that are required. President Sirleaf said the Chief Justice and his colleague we did do something about the compensation, logistics, training and the facility.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf spoke on Saturday, September 2, 2017 when she dedicated the newly constructed Eight Judicial Circuit Court Complex in Sanniquellie City, Nimba County. The Judicial Complex houses the Eight Judicial Circuit Court, Debt Court, Traffic Court, Tax Court, Revenue Court and the Magisterial Court - including offices for the County Attorney, Public Defender, and the City Solicitors. There is accommodation for the Petty Jury and Grand Jury; which including separate sections for male and female jurors.
She commended Chief Justice and Associate Justices for their commitment in ensuring the completion of the project in time. The Liberian leader thanked all Branches of Government for the spirit of coordination that have existed and continues to exist among them for the betterment of Liberia. She used the occasion to congratulate citizens of Nimba County for playing their role by giving the land for the construction of the facility.
President Sirleaf recollected her participation in the groundbreaking ceremony on November 2015 and said she did not believe that facility would have been completed in time given the constraint of resources, adding: “Mr. Chief Justice and Associate Justices - let me commend you for this. This structure came out of strong determination in November 2015 when we broke ground, I was one of those not convinced that it could be finished in time because of resources and because of the time it took to construct building properly.” she said.
Speaking further, the Liberian Chief Executive pointed out that the government is very pleased about the construction of the complex because according to her the quality represents strong commitment, nationalism and patriotism that allows Liberia to stand shoulder to shoulder and neck to neck in all areas of our national endeavor along with many African countries.
President Sirleaf paid tribute to former Chief Justice Johnny Lewis for his immense contribution to the judiciary that is being expanded by Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor.
She however noted the absence of the Nimba Legislative Caucus including those seeking political leadership in the county, which she frowned at. She said they all should have been at the ceremony because they are the ones who will benefit from the quality of justice that will come out of the court.
For his part, Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor described the complex as an important step toward judicial independence. He said the facility will afford judges, judicial staff and other stakeholders in the rule of law sector the opportunity to work in an improved environment that will enhance their performance. She said it will become easy for judicial actors to coordinate activities and dispense justice; it will provide easy access to justice as contemplated by law.
Speaking further, Chief Justice Korkpor noted that the facility will promote the concept of judicial independence and said it was time for the Judiciary, as an independent Branch of Government be housed in its own facility which will be conducive for work and free of outside influence.
He assured all Liberians and foreign residents within our borders that the Rule of Law will remain paramount in all proceedings. He emphasized that the judiciary will remain fair and transparent in deciding all cases based on evidence in line with the law.
He used the occasion to urge all aggrieved parties to take their cases to court in order to be justly treated. Chief Justice Korkpor added that the judiciary should be left alone so that its rhythm will not be disturbed, especially during this critical time of elections. He informed the gathering that the compound also houses Criminal Court E, which deals strictly with gender-based violence related cases.
He thanked the people of Nimba for their cooperation over the years and indicated that the building previously used to house the Eight Judicial Circuit Court in Sanniquellie did not belong to the judiciary and was not intended as a court facility.
The ceremony was attended by senior government officials and heads of international and national institutions including Justice Minister, Cllr. Frederick Cherue, Nimba County Superintendent, Doi Cooper, the Deputy SRSG for Rule of Law, Wladimar Vrey, the President and members of the Liberia National Bar Association, the President and members, Nimba County Bar Association, judges and citizens of Nimba County.
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf made a brief stopover enroute to Sanniquellie City at the Rehab Center in Ganta City to acquaint herself with activities at the facility. She was briefed by Sister Daniella Mgunda, Missionary of St. Teresa of the Child Jesus and James S. Blama, Officer in Charge of the Center. She also interacted with several persons at the Center including 16-year old Emmanuel Kollie. The teen, a 6th Grade student at the Ganta United Methodist School, used carton to build a motorbike; something she was impressed with and offered to pay his school fees.
President Sirleaf also visited the campus of Liberia International Christian College in Ganta City, Nimba to formalize herself with activities of the school. She was received by Dr. James N. Kiamu, President of the College.