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Lofa County Senator-elect, J. Brownie Samukai Lofa County Senator-elect, J. Brownie Samukai

Samukai Escapes Jail Sentence - Pays 50% of AFL Money

Monrovia, Liberia: A day after Lofa County Senator-elect, J. Brownie Samukai, relieved the motion of Enlargement of Time to pay back his 50% of US$1,147,656,35 of the Armed Forces of Liberia “Welfare Fund” at the Criminal Court 'C', the Lofa County Senator-elect has completed his 50 percent payment as mandated by Judge Yamie Q. Gbeisay.

According to Criminal Court 'C’, Samukai on Thursday, August 19, 2021, presented a Manager's Check# 00047576 in the amount of US$ 173,276,05 (One Hundred Seventy-Six Point Zero Five United States Dollars ) as additional payment drawn from the United Bank for Africa Liberia (UBA).

The money was said to have been paid to the order of AFL Welfare Account constituting part payment of the US$573.828.17 which is 50%of the Money order by the judgment of US$1,147,656,35.
Recently, Judge Ousman Feika at the Criminal Court assigned a post-trial conference on Lofa County Senator elect and his deputies relating to the mandate by the Judge Yamie Gbeisay to pay the 50 percent of US$1,147,656.35 AFL money.

According to Judge Gbeisay’s ruling, which the Supreme Court confirmed and affirmed, Samukai and his deputies were given six months’ period to restitute US$1,147,656.35 or risk serving a two-year sentence at the Monrovia central prison. The time given to them elapsed as of August 10, 2021.

Judge Gbeisay’s decision, which the Honorable Supreme Court ruled and upheld with modification, mandated that convict Samukai and his deputies to restitute US$1,147,665.35 50 percent equivalent to US$573,828.175 in the AFL account or serve two years in common jail if they fail to do so.

It can be recalled that months after he won the most votes in the Lofa County Special Senatorial election, the fate of Liberia’s former Defense Minister Samukai has been hanging in the balance, as the Supreme Court of Liberia temporarily halted the certification, a short time after the National Elections Commission (NEC) declared him winner.

The high court’s action has been triggered by a petition for a Writ of Prohibition filed the Political chairman of the Movement for Progressive Change O’Neil Paasewe on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Samukai is the candidate of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) and he has been battling a legal suit in which he was convicted by the Criminal Court C for corruption, a verdict which was subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court.

The writ of prohibition was issued by the Supreme Court justice in Chambers Joseph N. Nagbe on March 5, 2021 to the NEC.

The writ of prohibition states that by directive of his Honor Joseph N. Nagbe, Associate Justice presiding in Chambers, you are hereby cited to a conference with his Honor on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at the hour of 2pm in connection with the above captioned case.

Meanwhile, “you are hereby ordered to stay all further proceedings and or actions in the matter, pending the outcome of the conference.”

On February 24, 2021, the Supreme Court of Liberia ruled in favor of CPP candidate Brownie Samukai in an electoral dispute case where three of his rivals claimed that there were Election irregularities and fraud in Lofa County District #4. But the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Samukai and sent the mandate to the NEC to proceed with the matter.

Following this ruling by the Supreme Court, it triggered many reactions from legal practitioners with the Ministry of Justice sending two separate communications to the NEC not to proceed with the Certification of the CPP candidate Brownie Samukai.

In the midst of this legal tussle involving the CPP’s candidate, citizens residing both Lofa and Monrovia have vowed to stage an Uncontrollable actions against the Coalition for Democratic Change(DC)- led Government and the NEC.

The fate of Liberia’s former Defense Minister, who was declared Lofa County Senator-elect, continues to hang in the balance, as the Supreme Court of Liberia on Monday, February 8, 2020 upheld the lower Criminal ‘C’ conviction against him for corruption during his tenure in the former Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s regime.

He ran and won the Senate seat on the opposition CPP ticket in the December 8, 2020 Special Senatorial election, a victory upheld by the Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission, after a series of challenges by some of his opponents from Lofa.

The nation’s highest upheld and modified the criminal court C ruling involving the former Defense Minister and one of his deputies and the Comptroller, saying that “the law extant in this jurisdiction that a person is guilty of theft of property when he knowingly takes misappropriates, coverts or exercises unauthorized control over or makes an unauthorized transfer of an interest in the property of another with the purpose of depriving the owner there of.”

It can also be recalled that the Criminal Court ‘C’ on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 found former Liberian Defense Minister Samukai and his deputies guilty of corruption, but Defense Lawyers took exception to the ruling and announced that they will file Appeal to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Samukai had been facing trial for misappropriating some US$1.3 million. His leadership of the Armed Forces of Liberia had received huge amounts for the AFL’s Compulsory Contributing Fund, which the Government of Liberia had sent to the Ecobank Liberia, Ltd. It included US460, 000.00 in addition to US$687,656.35, making a total sum of US$1,147,665.35.

 

Read 1311 times Last modified on Wednesday, 01 September 2021 01:21
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