President George Weah Monday named trial Judge Yussif Kaba as Associate Justice to the Supreme Court of Liberia to replace impeached former Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh.
The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.
Who is Yusuf Diakete Kaba?
The Ministry of Information Culture Affairs and Tourism released the following information about the Supreme Court nominee.
Kaba will be the only one on this current bench who had served as a Trial Judge unlike the other four Justices who were never a trial judge before being named on the Supreme Court bench.
The newly nominated Associate Justice, Yusuf D. Kaba, is an experienced jurist who has been a Judge since 1998 when he was nominated by President Charles Taylor as Relieving Judge and roused the ranks in the Judicial Branch. He served as Resident Circuit Judge of 6th Judicial Circuit, Acting Court Administrator, Acting Probate Judge, and member of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate complaints against Judges. In 2017, he was sworn in as Judge of the ECOWAS Court.
The last time a former trial judge sat on the Supreme Court bench was His Honor Johnnie N. Lewis, former Chief Justice from 2006 to 2012. Justice Lewis was Resident Circuit Judge of the Third Judicial Court Court in Sinoe from 1975-1980. Before Chief Justice Lewis was Gladys Johnson who served as Associate Justice from 2006 to her retirement in March 2011. Justice Johnson was a Monthly and Probate Court Judge from 1977-1982.
None of the other Justices now had served as a Trial Judge before taking up duties on the current bench.
Chief Justice Francis Korkpor prior to being nominated on the Supreme Court in 2004 was a Legal Counsel at the Foreign Minister and later went into private practice. Her Honour Jamesetta Howard Wolokollie was a Legal counsel at the LBDI Bank from 1988-2005 before joining the Governance Reform Commission. For her part, Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Gyapay Yuoh was Assistant Minister for Legal Affairs from 1983 – 1985 at the Ministry of Justice. Associate Justice James N. Nagbe had been a Legislator for 15 years.
Since 1977, he is the Fifth Muslim to be nominated as Associate Justice. The first was Cllr Frederick K. Tulay who served as Associate Justice in two different governments from 1977 to 1980 under Chief Justice James A.A. Pierre, Sr. and from 1985 to 1987 under both Chief Justice Emmanuel Gbalazeh and Chief Justice James N. Nagbe.
The second was Cllr Karmo Soko Sackor, Sr who was Associate Justice in two governments also. He served in the Liberia National Transitional Government from `1995-1997 under Chief Justices James G. Bull and Frances Johnson-Morris and he was re-nominated on the Supreme Court by President Charles Taylor and served from 1997-2003.
Cllr George S. Tulay also served as Associate Justice on the Frances Johnson-Morris bench in 1997. While of late, Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh served from 2006-2019.