By: G Bennie Bravo Johnson I
The Liberia National Bar Association through its national secretary general Cllr. Bornor M. Varmah has condemned the attack on the normal worship service at the Christ Chapel of Faith Church of Senator Prince Y. Johnson on Sunday, May 21, 2023, describing it as a threat to civil liberty, freedom of expression, and association.
The attack which was carried out by men believed to be partisans of both the NPP and CDC Youth wings, was further described by the LNBA as outrageous and a pure act of provocation to undermine the peace of the country.
“The LNBA is utterly dismayed over the such cruel act of violence, which has repeatedly marred the Political Landscape and gravely threatens the civil liberty, freedom of expression, and association as guaranteed under the 1986 Constitution.”
The LNBA noted that these attacks are intended to harass and intimidate prominent citizens and members of the public in the months leading to the upcoming elections and could have a chilling effect throughout the country.
At the same time seriously cautioned the Liberian Government to take all necessary steps to prevent acts of motivated violence and refrain from all inflammatory actions that could incite similar attacks or deter people from enjoying their civil liberties ahead of the crucial 2023 elections.
Meanwhile, the Bar continued by reaffirming its commitment to fully cooperate with relevant actors to keep the peace by ensuring that the Liberian democracy is kept afloat.
The Bar provided that, the Liberian government is under obligation by law to protect life and property and must ensure that the needful is done consistent with Article 20 (a) of the 1986 constitution.
Article 20 (a) provides that “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, security of the person, property, privilege or any other right except as the outcome of a hearing judgment.”
Consistent with the provision laid down in the 1986 Constitution in accordance with due process, the LNBA in went on by calling on the Liberian Government to immediately and unconditionally launch a thorough, independent, and impartial investigation to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice in fair trials before a court of competent jurisdiction.
The LNBA warned that this reckless act by anti-peace elements must not be treated as business as usual as it is only the adherence to the principle of the rule of law that guarantees the peaceful co-existence of all Liberians.
Meanwhile, the LNBA pleaded with the international community by calling on ECOWAS, AU, and the United States Government to not sit by to let Liberia degenerate into conflict; especially ahead of a crucial election this year.
In furtherance, the LNBA called for monitoring the actions of anti-democratic elements and the immediate imposition of sanctions and other measures to jealously protect the peace of the country.
At the same time, the National President of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA), Cllr. Sylvester D. Rennie has departed the country for a weeklong International Conference hosted by the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Banjul, in the Republic of the Gambia.
The weeklong International conference which is being organized under the theme: “ECOWAS’ ZERO TOLERANCE FOR UNCONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT”, will bring together jurists, scholars, and other stakeholders from the
Institutional Agencies of ECOWAS and Member States of the Community.
The LNBA noted that the relevance of the theme of the conference cannot be overemphasized as it focuses on the need for participatory democracy and constitutional order in all ECOWAS Member States, and in particular on the ECOWAS policy of Zero Tolerance for Unconstitutional Change of Government.
The LNBA in a statement released today, says that following the civil war in Liberia which began in 1989, and later spread to Sierra Leone, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.