By Grace Q. Bryant
An additional two motions have been filed before the Supreme Court which seem to breed hitches in defendant Brownie Samukai’s final payment plan at the Temple of Justice.
On August 26, 2021, lawyers representing defendant Samukai at Criminal Court ‘C’ informed Judge Ousman F. Feika that their client had fulfilled the 50% payment of his share of the total sum US$1,943,971.99 but a motion through a Bill of Information and another for Enlargement may not favor their client.
According to the defendant lawyers, Samukai a made 50% restitution of the judgment sum within the six months required timeframe and thereafter should have entered an appropriate stipulation with the court as to how the balance shall paid.
The lawyer informed the court that co-defendants Joseph Johnson and J. Nyumah Dorkor have only paid US$ 1000 each within the said six months period as mandated by the Supreme Court but their client, J. Brownie Samukai satisfied his portion of the 1/3 of the 50% payment within six months and therefore in keeping with the said mandate, has entered the appropriate stipulation to complete his second and final portion of the 1/3 50% payment.
However, the two co- defendants, Joseph Johnson and J. Nyumah Dorkor are currently seeking medical attention outside of the court and could not fulfill their portion of the USD 191,276.05, and the said situation has caused them to file a Bill of information before the Supreme Court seeking Enlargement of time to have them pay their portion of the 50%.
Samukai’s lawyers pleaded with the court requesting to “enter an appropriate payment arrangement” that will be acceptable until the Supreme Court would either grant or deny the Bill of Information as well as the Enlargement of Time as prayed for by the co-defendants.
Meanwhile, Judge Feika, took judicial notice of the fact that a motion for Enlargement of Time is still pending before the Supreme Court while the state has also filed a motion for Bill of Information pending before the came court.
According to the mandate of the Supreme Court, the defendants in the proceedings should have fulfilled the 50% payment of the judgment sum within the six months or before August 25 and thereafter enter stipulations to pay the balance 50% within the one year period.
“In light of the forgoing, this court says, it would be unwise to proceed with the enforcement of the mandate of the Supreme Court when the Motion for Enlargement of Time as filed by the defendants and the Bill of Information filed by the State have not been determined by the Supreme Court which is a superior court to this court. Hence these proceedings are therefore suspended pending the issuance of a notice of assignment,” the court concluded.
However, the Supreme Court has notified the judge and the defendants that on September 6, it will hear the Bill of Information filed by the Government of Liberia.
It can be recalled that the Criminal Court “C” Yamie Q. Gbeisay adjudged defendants Samukai, Johnson and Dorkor guilty of the crimes of Theft of Property, Misused of Public Money and Criminal Conspiracy and ordered them to restitute USD 687,656,35 to the AFL pension saving account and USD 460,000 to the government of Liberia’s account, making a sum total of USD 1, 147,656.35.
Judge Gbeisay revealed that sentence will be pronounced pending pre-sentence investigation in obedience to chapter 31, section31.5 of the criminal procedure law and that the clerk of the Court was ordered to communicate with the probation service of Montserrado County to proceed to conduct ore-sentence investigation of the defendants herein and report to the Court in 15 days as of today’s date.
The Court is also of the considered opinion that the fact and circumstances of the commission of the crimes against the AFL in these proceedings by the defendants in which they illegally, wrongfully, intentionally withdraw funds from the AFL account by their directive and authority by using the comptroller of the Ministry of Defense, acted in concept and as such criminal conspiracy will lied against them.
Judge Gbeisay revealed that the Samukai, Johnson and Dorkor attempted to grab a straw when they vehemently argued that the prosecution having admitted that the money subject of the crimes is a private money, misused of public money as charged in the indictment should be dismissed, and the Court is at lost with that absorb contention.
He said the Court earlier in this opinion, declared and proclaimed that Samukai and by extension his principal deputies were fiduciaries of the AFL personnel which fiduciary capacity permits them to be signatories to the said account.
More Legal Hindrances In Samukai’s Political Skirmishes
By Grace Q. Bryant