Chief Justice Defends Judiciary

By Lewis K. Glay



Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted August 17, 2005


Chief Justice Henry Reeves Cooper has dispelled the public perception that the Judiciary would divert fund intended for renovation of courthouses across the country. Cllr. Cooper made it crystal clear that there has been a tripartite agreement between the Judiciary and UNMIL to help revamp dilapidated courthouses in the country due to the civil war.
He said UNMIL earmarked 15,000US dollars for each county thus totaling 22, 5000.00US dollars for the 15 counties. Against this amount he disclosed that the Judiciary has received and deposited into a checking account at the Central Bank of Liberia, 57,296.00 that will remain in tact until it is requested.

Cllr. Cooper in an interview with The FORUM at his Temple Justice office recently revealed that the Judiciary was taken aback that UNMIL has lonely begun implementing the agreement without their input.
He said instead of the Public Works Ministry, which is the technical arm of government being involved to provide blueprint, UNMIL drew its own plan for the counties.

Cllr. Cooper said lawyers are not construction workers but they, through consultation with the Public Works Ministry can decide the kind of renovation work to be done, indicating that UNMIL alone cannot determine the type of reconstruction work that is appropriate for the Judiciary in Gbarnga, Sanniquellie Buchanan, Cestos, Harper and other places

According to him, the blueprint submitted to his office by UNMIL for the various counties do not represent the anticipation of the Judiciary lest to mention the work now being done by the commission’s contractors.

The Chief Justice noted that currently, they have engaged UNMIL to revisit the tripartite agreement in order to ensure that the Ministry of Public Works becomes the implementer and supervisor of the Quick Impact Project (QIP).

Also reacting to allegation that he requested 20 percent from contractors for the renovation work, acting Court Administrator, Cllr. Peter W. Gbenewelleh said he does not even know the UNMIL hired contractors lest to mention about “kickball”. He said such allegation against him was only meant to tarnish his reputation adding, “This is untrue”. Cllr. Gbenewelleh challenged anyone to prove such allegation because according to him, the Judiciary is a clearing house and does not encourage corruption.

© 2005: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved. Forum can reached at: