By Ora Garway
It was a dramatic, but a sad scene Thursday at the Temple of Justice, when the Chief Justice of the Republic of Liberia Johnnie Lewis, ordered his UNMIL bodyguards to seize the camera of a journalist who snapped him after he disembarked his black Mercedes Benz.
Journalist Sando Moore, a photo journalist and an employee of the Daily Observer Newspaper got the shock of his life yesterday, when he snapped the Chief Justice. Without wasting anytime, Justice Lewis ordered his UNMIL bodyguards assigned to him to take away Journalist Moore’s camera.
The Chief Justice stood and looked at his aides engaged in a scuffle with the journalist who resisted them taking away his camera. But he was later overpowered by the guards who were more in number.
Journalist Moore said, he is taken aback by such behavior of Justice Lewis who is a public official to seize his camera for just taking his photo. He wondered as to why his camera was not ordered seized by the Associate Justices whose photos he took prior to the Chief Justice’s photo. He threatened to also make a formal complaint to the UN Mission in Liberia, about the un-peaceful and aggressive act applied by the UNMIL Officers assigned to Justice Lewis.
Meanwhile, the President of the Press Union of Liberia George K. Barpeen, Jr., has given the Chief Justice of Liberia, 48 hours to return the seized camera of Journalist Moore of the Daily Observer and apologize. Failure on the part of the Chief Justice, the Union’s head said, serious consequences would be meted out against the Judiciary.
Mr. Barpeen made the statement yesterday at the Union’s headquarters when Labor Minister Samuel Kofi woods presented to the Union, more than 900 copies of all the various newspapers published in Liberia dating as far back as the 1970s.