Monrovia - Barely after three months of legal wrangling, a 12-member jury at the Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, brought down a guilty verdict against LoneStarCell-MTN, holding the company liable for US$240,000 in damages.
“We, the petit jurors in this case after careful review of the evidence in this case unanimously agreed to bring down the defendant LoneStarCell-MTN liable,” read the verdict from the jurors.
In January 2017, LoneStarCell-MTN was sued at the Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice by Alpha Jalloh, who claimed that he entered a vehicle rental deal with the company in May 2015 when he rented his Nissan Patrol Jeep to the company for use by its regional supervisor for Lofa, Bong, and Margibi Counties, Robert Pettiquoi.
Jalloh further alleged that in the deal, LoneStarCell-MTN was due to pay him the amount of US$165 per day and he was required to provide a driver and service of the vehicle whenever there is a mechanical fault.
He stated that the when the deal was signed, things were moving on smoothing until on May 2016 when his jeep was discovered burnt on the Monrovia-Gbarnga highway.
Jalloh stated that after the jeep was discovered burnt, the case was taken to the Gbarnga Police station and it was established by investigators that the car was set ablaze by the LoneStarCell-MTN’s regional supervisor and the driver for some sinister motive.
He indicated that prior to the burning of the vehicle, onboard were 800 pieces of US$1.00 scratch cards and US$400,000 cash but the investigators discovered that the car was set ablaze by the occupants to use as a cover-up for the alleged missing scratch cards and money on the vehicle.
Jalloh claimed that after his car was discovered burned, he contacted that management of the LoneStarCell-MTN about the incident but the LoneStarCell-MTN management claimed that they were not responsible for burning of the vehicle, something that prompted him to file a lawsuit to the Civil Law Court.
According to Jalloh, while the case was been heard by the Civil Law Court, LoneStarCell-MTN Management failed to produce Robert Pettiquoi, then regional supervisor, to come and testify. Pettiquoi has refused to testify on behalf of the company because it has dismissed him in connection with the burning of the vehicle.
The Jurors have asked the LoneStarCell-MTN to pay Jalloh an amount of US$240,000 in damages, US$60,000 as the cost of the burnt vehicle and US$1,000 for compensation to the owner of the vehicle. The verdict was excepted to by lawyers of the company.