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Saturday, July 20, 2024

PRESIDENT BOAKAI’S SUPREME COURT NOMINEE ENTANGLED IN INTEGRITY CONTROVERSY

Date:

MONROVIA – President Joseph Boakai’s recent nomination of Judge Ceaineh D. Clinton-Johnson as Associate Justice of the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia has come under scrutiny due to integrity issues linked to her past rulings. As reported by Socrates Smythe Saywon, the controversy centers around Judge Clinton-Johnson’s relationship with convicted criminal Maria Luyken and her ties to the administration of former President Charles Taylor.

In October 2020, Criminal Court ‘B’ at the Temple of Justice ruled that Maria Luyken was guilty of child trafficking. However, despite this conviction, Luyken did not serve jail time. Judge Clinton-Johnson presided over the case, and it is alleged that her close relationship with Luyken, dating back to the Taylor administration, influenced the outcome. During Taylor’s regime, Judge Clinton-Johnson’s husband, Koboi Johnson, served as Minister of Justice, further complicating the matter.

The integrity of the court’s decision has been questioned, suggesting that Luyken’s connections with the Johnsons and her former role as a messenger for President Taylor played a part in her evasion of incarceration. The allegations of preferential treatment and the lack of enforcement of the court’s ruling against Luyken highlight serious concerns about the judicial system’s commitment to impartiality and justice.

Luyken, a former Representative candidate for District #8 Montserrado County during 2023 presidential and legislative elections and owner of Destiny Entertainment Center, was indicted in 2018 for trafficking children to the United States without the consent of their parents, Mathaline Johnson and Elizabeth Johnson. The failure to imprison her following the conviction stresses a troubling disparity in how justice is administered in Liberia, seemingly favoring those with influence.

This situation casts a shadow over President Boakai’s administration, which has pledged to build a new Liberia based on transparency and justice. The vetting process for high-level judicial appointments must be thorough and free from past corrupt influences to uphold the administration’s commitment to the Liberian people.

Given the gravity of these allegations, it is vital that President Boakai reconsiders Judge Clinton-Johnson’s nomination to ensure the integrity of Liberia’s highest court. The administration must prioritize a transparent selection process and ensure that nominees undergo rigorous background checks to maintain public trust and foster a judicial system that serves all citizens fairly.

Liberians will be closely watching how President Boakai handles this nomination, as it serves as a litmus test for his administration’s dedication to reform and justice.

Socrates Smythe Saywon
Socrates Smythe Saywon is a Liberian journalist. You can contact me at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or reach out via email at saywonsocrates@smartnewsliberia.com or saywonsocrates3@gmail.com.

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