-As Court Officers, Relatives Take Suspects Home


By Jefferson Massah



Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted October 1, 2006


The Stipendiary Magistrate assigned at Gbarnga Magisterial Court, Alfred Manigbolor, recently informed reporters that the absence of prison facilities in Gbarnga seriously impedes the active function of the court in the area.

The magistrate emphasized that the court is finding it extremely difficult to prosecute criminals due to the lack of prison facilities. He said as a result, court staffers are constrained to sometimes take convicts and suspects to their homes which he described as very dangerous.

He said at times people in the community volunteer to take criminals home with some of the criminals escaping while in the custody of these goodwill Liberians, thus invading justice.

The judge made specific reference to two rapists who reportedly escaped when they were sent to their relative homes while awaiting trial.

According to Magistrate Manigbolor, when people are charged by the police and sent to court, they no longer care to return and have them placed back in police cell which is said to be the only detention center now in Gbarnga as that county prison facilities were damaged by inmates two months ago when they went on the rampage.

Magistrate Manigbolor said no effective work will be done at the City Court if the central prison was not renovated because most of the suspects to be prosecuted remain in Monrovia since they were transferred as a result of their violent actions.

He then appealed to the national government to consider the speedy renovation of the Gbarnga Central Prison to avoid criminals parading the various communities which he believes is another form of the culture of impunity.

In a related development, the Judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court Yusuf Kaba has embarked on a countywide tour to inspect judicial facilities especially magisterial courts in Bong County.

Speaking to reporters following his return from Sanoyea District, he expressed disappointment over the structure currently housing the magisterial court in the district, describing the building as ancient which does not represent the court.

Judge Kaba said, while in Sanoyea, he also realized that the area does not have prison facilities and police depots to assist with the enforcement of law and order.

He called on police authorities to consider the deployment of personnel in the district to combat crimes and restore the rule of law.

© 2006: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved. Forum can reached at: