By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh
Levi Johnson is not a household name.
He is now, I guess, because I know a little about him from his terrible encounter with Ms. Sie-A-Nyene-Yuoh and his 15 minutes of fame.
He’s the Liberian who was working as a security guard at Roberts International Airport earning an honest living when he encountered a Liberian big shot who cried that he disrespected her when he knocked on the door of the public restroom she was using at the time.
Believe it or not, the case went before the Supreme Court of Liberia.
The justices and Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, who heard the case, made the ruling. Mr. Johnson was charged with “disrespecting a female associate justice.”
For his ‘crime,’ Levi Johnson was jailed for a day, and he was also suspended from his job for one month for knocking on the restroom door Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh of the Supreme Court of Liberia was using at the time.
Here is the story in brief:
Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh went to the Airport recently to meet a relative who was returning home from an overseas trip.
Ms. Sie-A-Nyene-Yuoh, according to the story, wanted to use the restroom. Mr. Levi Johnson, the security guard, initially did not allow her to use the restroom because of ongoing ‘security regulations.’ But he later changed his mind and let her use it.
Why he changed his mind and allowed her to use the restroom later is unknown. However, after he realized that she was still in the restroom or in the area, he knocked on the door and reminded her to “leave this place.” Because “we are expecting guest in this place.”
I want to believe Mr. Johnson was unaware of Ms. Nyene-Yuoh’s status in government. Had he known, he would have even taken off his shirt (as a red carpet gesture) and let her walk on it.
That’s how most Liberians at home are afraid of government officials, because those useless, corrupt, classless and good-for-nothing high-ranking Liberian government officials are worshipped or demand to be worshipped. That’s their character.
She was angry; and went huffing and puffing and reported the incident to her colleagues at the Supreme Court of Liberia to take action because her feelings were hurt, and because she is associate justice Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh, whose historical and groundbreaking judicial opinions made the lives of her people and country better.
Really? Not so.
Not known to disappoint, the justices took up the “case” and immediately sentenced Levi Johnson to jail for a day for disrespecting one of their own.
As we all know, terrible things are happening in Liberia everyday and every hour that requires historic and groundbreaking Supreme Court interference. Presidential and legislative abuse of power, are just few.
How did such an insignificant, non-groundbreaking issue of this kind happen to go before the Supreme Court of Liberia? If anything, this case should be cited for judicial overreach and abuse of power.
Do you think a restroom incident or misunderstanding between a security officer who was doing his job (and probably was working terrible hours and was being paid slave wages), and an associate justice whose bloated ego was deflated, requires judicial interference from the nation’s highest court?
What’s she going to cry about next? That another Liberian ate her cookie?
Folks, this incident did not happen in Pyongyang, North Korea, a country whose citizens are at the mercy of their oppressive ‘dear leader,’ but Liberia, a supposedly democratic country under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Where are the ‘human rights’ activists and lawyers? Where are the political parties and the opposition politicians? Where are the would-be 2017 presidential candidates?
Why are they not talking?
Oh, I forgot that the would-be 2017 presidential candidates are only waiting for that one position – to be President of Liberia before a person can say or do anything for his or her people.
What a shame!
However, with abject poverty out of control in Liberia, and unemployment over 80 percent, the stupidest thing to do is to deprive this man or anybody of his or her job or liberty for foolishness, in order to nurse the bruised ego of this so-called associate justice, who was crying for no reason.
What’s wrong with these Liberian big shots?
If this lady is so serious about restrooms or any public policy issues, what’s wrong with advocating and lobbying her colleagues in the Legislative branch to make the necessary funds available to construct modern sewers/septic tanks and restrooms in Monrovia and throughout the country, that are reserved for both male and females and government officials?
What’s wrong with the associate justice and others lobbying the Legislature for all public facilities and private facilities – restaurants, etc, to have modern restrooms and sewer lines/septic tanks build everywhere in the country for the use of the public?
Remember now that this associate justice was at an international airport awaiting the arrival of her privileged family member.
Is Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh taking Liberia and Liberians back to the old days when privileged government officials and their privileged relatives oppressed and brutalized their own people because of the positions of power of their relatives and themselves?