- Published on Wednesday, 07 November 2012 10:08
- Written by T. Michael Johnny
…Court Releases Rights Advocate, Attorney
Criminal Court Judge Peter Gbeneweleh has termed the operations of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as “grossly illegal and unconstitutional” because the act which created the security agency has been repealed by an act of the National Legislature in 2011.
The legislations which created the Ministry of National Security in 1979; the NBI in 1998, the National Security Agency in 1974, and the Special Security Services (SSS) in 1986 were all repealed by an Act of the National Legislature in 2011, with all responsibilities transferred to the Liberian National Police (LNP)
Based on the dissolution of these agencies, Judge Gbeneweleh upheld the writ of Habeas Corpus filed by petitioners' Counsels and restored the rights and liberties of the Executive Director of the Independent Civil and Human Rights Center (ICHRC), J. Melvin Page and his Attorney Nelson Jallah.
“The National Legislature, specifying various functions of the Liberian National Police (LNP), its duties and responsibilities shall include the functions previously carried out by the NBI, and all assets shall be transferred to the LNP,” Judge Gbeneweleh stressed in his ruling.
The Judge said by repealing the Act in 2011, implies in the wisdom of the court that the NBI, does not legally exist, and has no constitutional authority to arrest, detain and investigate any citizen residing within the Republic of Liberia.
Judge Gbeneweleh maintained that the complaint filed by the Senior Agent in Charge of NBI, Al Karley, should have been forwarded to the LNP that assumed the role of NBI, noting that the power of authority has been transferred to the LNP, and hence, the detention of the human rights advocate and his counsel was illegal and unlawful.
“Therefore, the ICHRC Executive Director Page and his Attorney Nelson Jallah are hereby granted their rights and released from further detention in keeping with the wisdom of the court and the Act of the National Legislature in 2011,” Judge Gbeneweleh said in his ruling.
Moreover, the Criminal Court “C” Judge further indicated that documents in possession of the ICHRC Executive Director are useful in maintaining and sustaining the values of the Liberian constitution, which prohibits non-Negros from owning properties.
Rights Activist Page and his Attorney, Nelson Jallah, were recently arrested, detained and charged with extortion, terroristic threat and criminal coercion by NBI, which according to Judge Gbeneweleh, the agency has been dissolved.
Advocate Page and Atty. Jallah spent at least 48 hours in a dilapidated NBI headquarters cell before lawyers filed with the court a writ of Habeas corpus to have their clients released pending possible litigation.
The arrest and detention of Mr. Page and his Attorney by the NBI followed series of media publications by the ICHRC Executive Director alleging that a business woman in the employ of the Dhaliwah Trading Company (DITCO), Ms. Marpu Pearl Z. Dhaliwah, daughter of Mr. Dwaliwah, is in possession of both Liberian and Indian passports to protect her father's investment and wealth.