The Judicial Inquiry Commission at the Temple of Justice has recommended to the Supreme Court of Liberia that the Debt Court Judge of Bong County, Francis Danuweli be suspended for six months for his involvement into two cases.
The report of the Judicial Inquiry Commission on Wednesday delivered to the full bench of the Supreme Court revealed findings of an investigation it conducted on the case involving Labor Minister Neto Z. Lighe for and behalf of Henry Davis Bong County Labor Commissioner and M. Magattfried Temeh.
The commission said in the case of the Labor Minister, the judge clearly violated Judicial Cannon Thirty-Five which says that “A Judge should be subject to disciplinary action for the wanton and reckless abuse of discretion which has become violation of the constitution, statue and laws”.
“A judge should be mindful that his duty is the application of general law to particular instances, that our government is that of law and not men, and that he violates his duty as an administrator of justice under such system if he seeks to do what he may personally consider substantial justice in a particular case and disregards the general law as he knows it to be binding on him,” the commission added.
In addition, the report further that justice should not be molded by individual idiosyncrasies of those who administer it but should adopt the usual method of doing justice and not seek to be extreme, spectacular or sensational in the conduct of the court.
It further indicated that the actions taken by Judge Danuweli were “arbitrary, reckless and contrary to the Constitution of Liberia, the Civil Procedure Law and the Judicial Cannons”, noting that he had been a subject of another complaint earlier investigated by the commission of inquiry.
The commission also revealed findings of the case of M. Magattfried Temeh, stating that the judge clearly abused his exalted judicial office by trampling upon the rights of a party whose only crime was to avail him to a court of law seeking relief.
Accordingly, the court is the last place of hope of man on earth and therefore the judge presiding must live above reproach as his conduct to trade with a party before him was a violation of Judicial Cannon 35.
Moreover, the commission has said it is consistent with any of the Judicial Cannons for a judge presiding over a case to show any personal interest in any shape or form or at any stage of the proceedings before him.
“A judge should abstain from taking part in any judicial act which his personal interests are involved. If he has litigation in the court of which he is assigned, or is resident, he needs to resign his judgeship on that account but he should, of course, refrain from any judicial act in such a controversy,” Judicial Cannon 28 noted.
Meanwhile, members of the commission which include: Cllr. Kathelin Makor, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe and Cllr. N. Oswald Tweh have prayed to the Supreme Court to suspend Judge Danuweli for a six month period which should not run concurrent with the period.
By Akoi M. Baysah Jr.