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

LEC Deputy, Lebanese National In Court For Theft

The Deputy Managing Director at the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), Joseph Howe, and the General Manager of Builders Construction, Hussin Mortada, a Lebanese national, are currently facing legal action for what the court referred to as Theft of Property by deception.
The two who are considered business partners, were recently ordered arrested by the Monrovia City Court following a legal notice from one Ousman Fofana that in February 2019, co-defendant Joseph Howe of the LEC, received a 2018 Nissan Pathfinder jeep valued US$45,000 from one Musa Fofana under the pretext of selling the said property, and make the proceed available to the owner of the vehicle.
According to court’s record, instead of selling the vehicle and return the amount of US$45,000 to the owner of the black color Nissan Pathfinder, (Vin-No 5N1DR2MM7JC648124), Co-defendant Howe out of deception, failed to make the said amount available.
The court’s document of which copy is in the possession of this paper further notified that Co-defendant Howe criminally and intentionally sold the same vehicle (Nissan Pathfinder 2018 model) to co-defendant Hussin Mortada, and that he (Howe) converted the money to his personal use and benefit.
Additionally, the court’s record narrates that Co-defendant Howe used the money generated from the sale of the car with the intent to deprive the private prosecutor thereof.
The alleged act of the defendant, according to the court is in violation of Section 15.51 of the New Penal Law of Liberia.
Earlier, when our reporter contacted Co-defendant Mortada on the matter, the Lebanese businessman told the journalist on the phone to “fuck-off.” Mortada said: “If I bought stolen vehicle how does that concern you…Is that any of your business?”
The Lebanese national in an aggressive tone warned that nobody calls him again on the matter as he slammed the call. However, Cllr. Bobby Livingstone who is said to be legal representation of Mortada admitted that his client was held at the Monrovia City Court but disclosed that he was released following the filing of a bond. According to court’s record, a US$94,500 Criminal Appearance bond was submitted by lawyers representing the Lebanese businessman. Cllr. Livingstone told our reporter that the case will be dismissed and charges dropped against his client. He indicated that such legal proceeding will be held anytime this week.
As for Co-defendant Howe, his phone rang endlessly without him returning the call. Court sources hinted the INQUIRER that Co-defendant was not made to sit on the prisoners’ bench when he was arrested, instead only the Lebanese national sat on the bench until his bond papers were finalized.
Theft by deception is very similar to the general criminal act of theft in that it entails taking someone else’s property or services on purpose. However, this particular theft crime has the added notion of deception or trickery involved. Typically, in these cases, the victim of the crime relies upon the deceit, or lies, that are claimed as truths by the thief.
Theft of Property is defined as a criminal act in which property belonging to another is taken without that person’s consent. Theft, however, is actually a broader term, encompassing many forms of deceitfully taking of property, including swindling, Embezzlement, and False Pretenses.
Meanwhile, lawyers representing the complainants could not be reached to explain the next course of action as required by law. Howbeit, court sources hinted that a writ to impound the US$45,000 worth 2018 Nissan Pathfinder jeep would be issued this week. Writes D. Webster Cassell

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