The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

“Erroneous Order” -MOJ Runs To S/Court Over US$200,000 Drug Money

By Grace Q. Bryant
The Government of Liberia has rejected Judge Blamo Dixon’s decision to return US$200,000 seized from the four persons believed to have been suspects in the US$100 million cocaine case.
The government raised the contention though a Writ of Prohibition asking the Supreme Court to place a stay order on the release of the money to the four individuals in that it was US$113,000 allegedly confiscated from one Gustavo Henrique who was tried by the government in absentia.
In the petition, the government contends that Judge Dixon’s order is erroneous because it is not in his purview to issue such order and moreover, the amount in question does not belong to any of the defendants that were acquitted as it was provided by Gustavo Henrique to purchase a container according to Malam Conte one of the acquitted defendants.
According to the government, they reduced the amount from US$200,000 to US$113,000 which was the actual amount that the petitioner received and deposited at the Central Bank of Liberia and a copy of the confirmation of the deposit is in their possession.
According to them, the actual money on the indictment was US$200, 000 but after thorough investigation, they realized that the money was US$113,000 contrary to what the indictment had.
The petitioner explained that Judge Dixon in announcing the verdict of the jury and the acquittal of the defendants of the charges on Thursday May 18, erroneously ordered the State to return to the defendants, the amount of US$210,000 to which order petitioner excepted and gave notice to take advantage of the statute.
“The minutes of court of April 13, form a cogent part of this petition. Gustavo Henrique absconded from Liberia upon learning of the arrest of Malam Conte on October 1, 2022, and was never brought under the jurisdiction of the court. Petitioner says that assuming but without admitting that the State is to return any money, it has to be based upon a process initiated by Gustavo Henrique,” petitioner noted.
The petitioner said Judge Dixon erred in that the court had already been put on notice the amount received by the Ministry of Justice which was deposited at the Central Bank is US$113,000 and not US$210,000
The petitioner also said a Writ of Prohibition is a special proceeding to obtain a writ ordering the respondent to refrain from further pursuing judicial action or proceeding specified her and therefore, the prohibition will also lie to stay the procedural mishap and the unlawful conduct of Judge Dixon and the order emanating therefrom.
During his instruction to the jury who found then defendants ‘not guilty’ the prosecution claimed that Judge Dixon said if the Jurors returned with a ‘Not Guilty’ verdict, the US$200,000 taken from the defendants will be immediately returned.
The petitioner maintained that as a consequence of his charge, the trial jury returned with a ‘Not Guilty’ verdict for all four crimes: Money Laundering, Unlicensed Possession of Controlled Drugs, Unlicensed Importation of Controlled Drugs and Criminal Conspiracy, thereby acquitting defendants Malam Conte, Adulai Djibril Djalo, Makki Ahmad Issam and Oliver A. Zayzay.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.