For Judge Morgan’s ‘Unethical’ Probe: Justice Gbeisay Asked To Step Aside

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The Judiciary Inquiry Commission (JIC) Chairperson, Associate Justice Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay, has been asked to rescue himself from handling unethical complaint filed before the JIC by Hans Armstrong, a British national, against Judge Eva Mappy Morgan of the Commercial Court.

Armstrong’s reservation is contained in a communication dated September 5, 2023 addressed to the Secretariat of the JIC.

It was triggered after Justice Gbeisay wrote in his capacity as the JIC’s chairperson,  on September 5, citing Armstrong to attend a hearing of his complaint against Judge Morgan.

Justice Gbeisay’s citation reads: “By directive of His Honor, Yamie Quiqui Gneisay, chairperson of the Judiciary Inquiry Commission (JIC). You are kindly requested to attend a hearing of a complaint that you filed with the office of the Chief Justice, Her Honor, Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh, against Her Honor, Judge Eva Mappy Morgan.”

It continues:  “The hearing is slated for Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at 2pm prompt. Temple of Justice first floor,  JIC conference Hall.”

However,  in Armstrong’s letter for Justice Gbeisay’s recusal, he recounted  that on  April 4, 2021, he filed similar unethical complaint to the JIC against Justice Gbeisay  who was then  Reliving Judge assigned to his ( Armstrong) divorce case at the Civil Law Court.

In his letter, Armstrong recounted that on April 4, 2021, he filed similar unethical complaint to the JIC against Justice Gbeisay  when  he   (Justice Gbeisay) was serving as  Relieving Judge assigned to his ( Armstrong)  divorce case at the Civil Law Court.

The complaint against Gbeisay was reportedly not investigated when he was confirmed by the House of Senate as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

According to Armstrong’s letter, when he filed the complaint against Justice Gbeisay, the then Reliving Judge proceeded in organizing a press conference with various media outlets to include the Hot Pepper Newspaper.

After the press conference, the publication of the Hot Pepper Newspaper, on Friday, July 16, 2021, quoted Justice Gbeisay as saying, “he (Armstrong) seems to have a colonial mentality that black people are less human.”

The letter further said, “Justice Gbeisay’s personal racist attitude against me as a person and my country – the United Kingdom makes him unfit to preside over any case that involves me as a party. Justice Gbeisay’s unethical conduct was also demonstrated in the well-organized press conference as a response to my concern of complaint against him,” the letter to the JIC’s Secretariat also claimed.

Armstrong said he and other foreign nationals have contributed immensely through taxes to the economic and social development of Liberia.

In view of this, the letter indicated that Armstrong on October 3, 2022 wrote President George Weah, informing him of Justice Gbeisay’s racist insult against him. “He ought to have known that as a judge he took an oath to uphold and defend the justice system and to ensure justice is accorded to everyone that would appear before him as a judge,” Armstrong argued.

 

The letter further noted: “Justice Gbeisay should know he as Associate Justice of the Honorable Supreme Court, the final arbiter of justice in this country, has no colour of rights to preside over my complaint against Judge Morgan, or any case that I a party of. He has lost his code and became personal with me, since I complaint to the president, which calls for his recusal.”
The Judicial Inquiry Commission is an auxiliary established within the Judiciary Branch of  Government with the exclusive power and authority to receive and investigate complaints against judges of courts of record and non-record in the Republic of Liberia for violation of any provision of the Judicial Canons.

The Judicial Canons are intended to establish standards for ethical conduct of judges. They are rules for all judges to uphold and promote the independence, integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary, and also avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety and moreover, judges must perform the duties of judicial office impartially, competently, and diligently.

The Chief Justice has the power to appoint members of the Commission. In appointing, members of the Commission, the Chief Justice appoints an Associate Justice to serve as Chairman while the Chairman of the Grievance and Ethics Committee serves as Secretary of the Commission.

 

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