Monrovia - The Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) has finally surrendered to the court’s order to submit account statements of Cllr. Varney Sherman and Sherman & Sherman Law Firm to Criminal Court “C” on Wednesday.
However, Judge Yarmie Gbeisay of Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice fined the Bank US$300.00 for failing to produce the document within the stipulated ultimatum.
The court has ordered the bank to pay the amount for contempt and the amount is to be paid in government’s revenue within the period of 24hrs as of Wednesday. Failure on their part to comply accordingly would lead to the arrest of the bank’s president or any other manager in charge, the judge warned.
Judge Gbeisay’s ruling came shortly after a contempt hearing at the court against the bank Wednesday where the LBDI legal counsel represented by Atty.
Robert Freeman of the Cooper & Togba Law Firm pleaded with the court to purge the contempt against the bank.
“Counsel for the defendant requests your honor and this honorable court to have consideration on the contempt charge against the defendant for the delay of the document requested by this court from the defendant, counsel for the defendants begs court that the request the contempt charge be granted by the honorable court, in so doing counsel for defendant is pleased to present to your honor and the court the document requested,” said Atty. Freeman pleaded.
Before his ruling to fine the bank Judge Gbeisay indicated that Atty. Freeman had asked the court to purge the contempt against the bank without giving any reasonable justification why the management of LBDI failed and neglected to obey the order of the court. Judge Gbeisay indicated that such instance was not the first for the bank.
“The action of the LBDI management is a clear indication that the management of LBDI has no regard for this court or any constitutional authority.
The action was also intended to make mockery out of this court and embarrass the smooth operation in the administration of justice,” said Judge Gbeisay.
Judge Gbeisay held LBDI in contempt came as a result of a 72-hour ultimatum given to eight commercial banks in the country including LBDI on December 23rd, 2016 to surrender the bank account of indicted Grand Cape Mount Senator Varney Sherman which has already been admitted to the court with the exception of the Access Bank.
The management of Access Bank informed the court that Sherman holds no account with the bank.