Nearly three months after the Judiciary Inquiry Commission (JIC) suspended the ‘unethical conduct’ accusation against Judge Roland Dahn of the 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Nimba County, the commission is expected by today, Thursday, May 6, to resume the hearing.
Thursday’s hearing was necessitated by the fact that British national, Hans Armstrong, has been privileged to obtain Counselor Amara Sheriff as his legal representative, one major reason for procrastination in the hearing of the case.
Armstrong has contended that he cannot proceed with the Investigation on grounds that lawyers who defended him in his US$5 million case that involved Senate Secretary Nanborlor Singbeh refused to represent him against Judge Dahn.
“Other lawyers who defended me at times are not interested in joining my team this time,” Armstrong by then informed the JIC Investigation.
More broadly, a number of prominent law firms have refused to engage in any legal representation involving Judge Dahn.
Lawyers have also remained on the sideline due to pressure being mounted on law firms and lawyers by some members of the Trial Judges Association of Liberia, of which Judge Dahn is a senior member.
Just days after Armstrong filed his complaint, elite law firms (names withheld) advised their lawyers not to file any documents on behalf of the British investor.
It can be recalled that Associate Justice Yussif Kaba, the chairman of the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC), in February this year, assured Armstrong of providing him with a lawyer, which would enable the commission to reconvene the investigation.
Justice Kaba’s letter came after the commission had postponed two of the hearings of Judge Dahn’s Investigation.
Justice Kaba’s letter placed a condition as to whether Armstrong would accept the commission’s request for a lawyer to represent him since almost all of the lawyers of the LNBA have allegedly refused to represent him.
The communication, dated February 24, 2021, said, “The commission would like to know if you would be pleased for us to request Chief Justice Francis Korkpor to kindly instruct the Public Defender’s Office to provide you with adequate legal representation throughout the tenure of the investigation of your complaint before us.”
It concludes: “Your prompt response in the premise is highly solicited.”
Unethical practices in the judicial system have in recent times been reflected.
Last month, the JIC had investigated and founded liable Judge Eva Mappy Morgan of Commercial Court at the Temple of Justice for illegally withdrawing over US$3 million out of the account of the Ducor Petroleum Inc housed at the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), while the matter was pending before her court.
Judge Morgan has been suspended for a period of one year without pay and benefits and subsequently forwarded to Chief Justice Francis Korkpor for further action.
In another instance, Judge Richard Klah of the same Commercial Court at the Temple of Justice, was recommended to the House of Representatives for impeachment for unethical conduct. Judge Klah, ahead of his impeachment had resigned his judgeship as the recommendation is still pending before the House of Representatives.
In the case of Judge Dahn, Armstrong had earlier accused him of holding secret conversations with Senate Secretary, Nanborlor Singbeh, while a criminal accusation brought before the court by him (Singbeh) against Amstrong was still pending.