Monrovia - The Commercial Court at the Temple of Justice has assigned the US$10.7 million debt case involving Lebanese businessman George Haddad against the Government of Liberia for Thursday, December 14, 2017 at the hour of 10:00 am.
In the wake of the court’s notice of assignment, parties to the case have been notified that upon failure to appear in court on the date and time mentioned, judgment will be rendered against that party by default.
“You are further commanded to notify the parties that upon failure on the part of any party to appear in court on the date and time mentioned judgment will be rendered against it by default,” said the court’s notice of assignment issued by acting Sheriff Emmanuel Morris and signed by Amos Gbowah Assistant Clerk, Commercial Court.
Thursday’s notice of assignment to the parties comes amid plea from state lawyers of their unpreparedness to proceed with the case in November 2017 but the plea was rejected by the Resident Judge of the court Eva Mappy.
State prosecutor and Assistant Justice Minister of Litigation at the Ministry of Justice Cllr. Joseph Fayiah at the call of the case in late November pleaded with the court for time to enable the state review the case files and consult relevant government authorities including the Minister of Finance and Development.
Earlier, lawyers representing the Alliance and Prestige Motors vehemently opposed the request of state prosecutor Cllr. Fayiah to suspend the case and said that the request was made in bad faith intended to baffle the case.
“The continuous request by state prosecutors to shelve the trial was intended to frustrate and deny the petitioner justice in keeping with the law,” said Cllr. Paegar.
According to court’s records, Alliance and Prestige Motors, representing an American and German automobile dealer in Monrovia had sued the administration of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for refusing to pay for vehicles and spare parts the companies supplied government in 2003 up to 2008.
The companies through its legal counsels also claimed in its lawsuit against the government that the US$10.7M government owed them has since the amount accumulated huge interest due to the government’s failure to settle its obligation over the last 10 years of the administration of the UP-led government.
At the start of the case in late 2015, state lawyers in a motion asked the court to dismiss the case on ground that the court established in 2011 by an act of the Legislature had no legal authority over the matter as the transaction was done prior to the establishment of the court.
Judge Mappy-Morgan, however, rejected that argument, noting that the Court was established to adjudicate all debt cases.