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

Musa Bility, Others Free To Travel

By Grace Q. Bryant

Monrovia, Liberia Feb. 20, 2020 –The Stipendiary Magistrate of the Monrovia City Court, Jomah Jallah, has dismissed a Writ of Ne Exeat Republica earlier issued to the former chairperson of the LRA board, Musa Bility and two others thereby restoring their rights to movement.The prominent businessman Bility who served as chairperson of the board during the tenure of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf when Ellen Corkrum was Managing Director of Liberia Airport Authority was set free along with the LBDI boss John Davis and the General Manager, Gloria Manjor.
The Writ of Ne Exeat Republica was issued based on a petition filed to the court by the prosecution to stop the defendants from traveling out of Liberia.
According to Magistrate Jallah, there were no records to show a case pending before the city court to back the government’s motion, therefore the petition cannot be granted.
Judge Jallah said the investigation that is being conducted by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) is not sufficient in the motion for the Writ of Ne Exeat Republica which was filed by government against the defendants.
The petition for Ne Exeat Republica before the Monrovia City Court was filed on February 6, by the government seeking the court to issue travel restrictions on all named defendants.
According to the prosecution’s petition, the court should mandate the accused from leaving the country while the state prepares the documents in connection with the recent crime of Economic sabotage slammed against the defendants.
But the defense’s argument in its 24-count response stated that the government is not prepared for any legal argument and reminded the judge that there is no case before the court in connection to them and as such, the court should deny the government’s petition to restrict their travel.
On Wednesday, Judge Jallah summoned the LACC boss to appear so that following his testimony into the matter, the court is then better informed to make a logical decision into the matter; an evidence that aided Judge Jomah’s rule against the state’s petition for Ne Exeat Republica.
It can be recalled that the three officials along with Melvin Johnson of the United States, Ellen Corkrum, Momar Dieng, Jeremi Tegli and Justin Oguagua were indicted by the grand jury for Montserrado County during the May term of court in 2013 for the crimes of Economic Sabotage, Criminal Facilitation, Criminal Conspiracy, Misapplication of entrusted and Theft of Property.
In that same year, the defendants prayed for a motion to advance the case on the court’s docket in the August term of court, something the court granted.
Later, the court in its ruling regarding a motion to dismissed the same case in 2015 before Judge Peter Gbeneweleh, presiding judge of Criminal Court ‘C’ in its October term at the time, granted the motion to dismiss the indictment without prejudice to the state in confirmative with Section 18.3 of the Criminal Procedural Law.
Section 18.3 provides that the dismissal of an indictment is not a bar to subsequent prosecution by the state.
What is now posing a controversy over the outcome of the trial now is that the now Solicitor General, Sayma Syrenius Cephus of the CEMAR Law Offices was hired by Madam Corkrum as an additional counsel to provide legal services in the matter and that he made appearance for co-defendant LBDI as well; an action which is on the record of the court in April, 2016.

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