Lofa County Solidarity Group Presents US$10,000 Check on Behalf of Convicted Lofa Senator-Elect Brownie Samukai
Monrovia — A solidarity group from Lofa County and other unnamed counties under the banner “Friends of Lofa County Senator-elect Brownie Samukai on Tuesday presented a check of US$10,000.00 to the lawyers representing the convicted Senator-elect for onward submission to the Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice.
The amount, they said, is part of the restitution of US$1.1 million that the Court ordered Mr. Samukai and his cohorts to restitute or face a two-year jail. They are expected to restitute over US$600,000 in six months.
The manager check with the inscription pay to the AFL Morale and Welfare Account was presented on Tuesday at the Temple of Justice to Cllrs. Augustine Fayiah and Wiefueh Sayeh by former Lofa County Superintendent Galakpa Kortimai.
Presenting the check while his kinsmen and women looked on, former Superintendent Kortima stated that after the conviction of the Senator-elect, the group planned to help him in order to pay his 50% share of the AFL US$1.1 million.
The amount presented, the former Superintendent indicated that it was collected from farmers, marketers, women, motorcyclists and students from Lofa County and other counties in solidarity with the Lofa County Senator-elect.
“Our county is bleeding because Lofa is not represented at the level of the National Legislature due to the delay by the National Election Commission (NEC) to certificate our Senator-elect,” said Kortimai who reported that Unity Party partisans in the United States have made some cash contribution but due to the banking problem they were unable to collect the money.
He said, the solidarity group will be making payment of the money almost every week until the 50% share of the Senator-elect is paid in full.
Receiving the check, Cllr. Sayeh who spoke on behalf of he and his colleague thanked the group and said the check would be presented to the court and the court will be asked give a receipt.
“The total amount of his share of the money to be paid by all three is US$382,00 for each,” said Cllr. Sayeh.
Former Defense Minister Brownie Samukai while in the employ of the Ministry was indicted by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County alongside Deputy for Administration Joseph Johnson and Comptroller Nyumah Dorbor that in July 2019 and November2017 US$1,943.971.99 was deposited into the Armed Forces Of Liberia (AFL) pension Account by them.
The pension account contained salary deductions and was established to supplement the pension package to personnel of the AFL upon retirement and to provide benefits for wounded AFL Soldiers and families of dead AFL Soldiers, deduction was made based on rank.
The indictment noted that the three Defendants criminally withdrew US$1,259,462 from the account between the period of September 2014 and September 2017.
Samukai and co-Defendants Johnson, Dorbor were charged with theft of property, misuse of public money and criminal conspiracy though pleaded not guilty when they were arraigned by the lower court.
After the trial Samukai and others were found guilty and sentenced to two years in a common jail and ordered to restitute the money in question but the three Defendants appealed to the Supreme Court against the guilty verdict of lower court Judge Yarmie Gbeisay in March 2020.
The Supreme Court after an argument pros and cons ruled on February 8, 2021 and upheld the lower court guilty verdict however, the two years jail sentence imposed by the lower court was suspended in an Opinion handed down by Associate Justice Yussif Kaba and the Defendants were ordered to restitute the full amount of US$1,147,656.38 or 50% of that amount in six months or be arrested and detain in a common jail.
This is the first payment to the court by one of the convicts since the Supreme Court handed down its Opinion on the case on February 8, 2021.