GBARNGA, Bong – Bong’s resident judge, J. Boima Kontoe, has disclosed that the circuit court in the county dismissed 21 criminal cases in the November term of the court. Kontoe said the cases were dismissed because the complainants did not make themselves available to provide evidence to ensure prosecution.
Kontoe made the disclosure on Tuesday at the opening of the court’s February term. He said the dismissal of the cases followed an application filed by Bong’s attorney, Wilkins Nah, for the action to be taken into the cases.
“In the case of the 21 persons who this court dismissed the indictments against, there was no such person who ever came to the various magisterial courts’ operation in Bong County to provide evidence,” Kontoe said.
He said by law, an accused person is to not to stay more than two successive terms or six months in jail without trial.
Kontoe called on the public to assist the court in ensuring the timely and effective dispensation of justice by engaging in public awareness on court proceedings.
Meanwhile, Bong’s attorney, E. Wilkins Nah, says his office will not relent in pushing for dismissals of cases involving persons accused and detained for more than the period prescribed under Liberian law.
“It is not justice to bring somebody to court and you go back home and say I put him inside or I put her inside, no!” Nah said.
He continued: “We do not want to create a criminal paradise where people will know that after six months, they will be out of court if they commit crimes that [are] worth [a] year’s imprisonment”
He is calling for better collaboration among actors within the justice sector. He asked magistrates at the nine magisterial courts in Bong to cooperate in discharging their duties.
Nah also said he wants jurors to perform professionally. “You are here to help work with us to dispense justice, not to make money for school, business, or pay your rent,” he said.
The attorney told the gathering that any juror caught taking bribes or engaging in other illicit acts would be apprehended and prosecuted according to law.
There are 24 active criminal cases on the court’s docket for the February term, according to Kontoe. The court’s opening was attended by civil society actors, jurors, officials of the Liberia National Police in Bong, and ordinary citizens.
Featured photo by Moses Bailey