Liberia: Court Orders Ex-President’s Son, 34 Others not to Leave Country
Monrovia – The Stipendiary Magistrate of the Monrovia Magisterial Court, Judge Kennedy Peabody, has issued a writ on 35 officials including Mr. Charles Sirleaf and former Central Bank of Liberia Governor Milton Weeks. The 35 men and women are not to depart Liberia without courts’ approval.
Report by Bettie K. Johnson-Mbayo, [email protected]
Mr. Sirleaf is the son of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
On the banned persons, the court issued a Writ of Ne Exeat Republica. This is an equitable writ restraining a person from leaving the jurisdiction of the court or the state.
It may be issued to ensure the compliance by the defendant with a court order.
On Thursday, September 27, the writ was issued on Dorbor Hagba, Richard H. Walker, Adolphus Forkpah, Cyrus Badio, Amie N. Rogers, Michael B. Ogun, James Wilfred, Joseph K. Jallah, Mounir Siaplay, Supuwood T. Tarpeh and Mussa A. Kamara. Others on the travel ban include Mustapha E. Sherman, Sylvia Tarkpah, Joyce J. Dolo, George Wilson, Miatta Oberly Kuteh, Maria E. Grigsby-Toe, Musulyn RB Jackson Charles Sirleaf, Maaka Amblard.
Other names are Prince Bull, Solomon Jaykpah, Theodora B. Jreh, Oldada Deshield, Ophelia Nyenpan, Barquolleh Gabriel, Zinnah Davison, Lillie Ballah, Andrew Pabai, Edwina Edet, William Dargbeh, Stephen Nyenma, David M. Wilson and Lawrence Sirleaf all current officials except Dr. Milton Weeks, who resigned early this year.
The court ordered the arrest of any of the above names should that person try to leave the bailiwick of Liberia.
“You are hereby commanded to arrest the living bodies of defendants hereinabove named of the city of Monrovia, Montserrado County, Republic of Liberia to be brought before this honorable court to answer to criminal charges levied against them by the Republic of Liberia by and thru the Ministry of Justice.
“The clerk of court is asked to notify the names (defendants) to make their formal appearance in court.
“If the defendants herein failed to file a bail bond as required by law and approved by a court, you will commit them in the common jail of Montserrado County where they will remain until and unless they file such bail and security.”
The writ followed recent calls from protesters and opposition parties calling on Government to investigate alleged missing L$160 billion, which the Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism said arrived in the via the Freeport of Monrovia and Roberts International Airport in Margibi County.
According to Information Minister L. Eugene Nagbe the L$16 billion arrived in containers and bags between November 2017 and August 2018.
On September 17, the Liberian Government, through the Ministry of Justice, issued a press release, announcing that President George Manneh Weah has set up a tripartite investigative team comprising the Liberian National Police, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) into probe the matter.
“Initial findings indicate that the containers and bags of moneys allegedly arrived between November 2017, prior to the inauguration of the current government and August 2018. Evidence available to the Investigative Team has established that the current administration was not informed about the arrival of the containers and bags of moneys into the country.”
On Tuesday, September 18, another press release, this time under the signature of the Minister of Information, Mr. Nagbe, had the names of at least 15 persons, whom they said were “persons of interest,” and those persons were ordered not to leave the country.
Arrest on ‘Mistaken Identity’
Recently, a man identified as Nuku Kollie Ballah was arrested and apprehended at the Roberts International Airport while in route to the United States of America.
Mr. Ballah has a brother — Kollie Ballah — an employee of the Central Bank of Liberia, his name is among the 15 CBL employees, who are barred from leaving the country at the moment.
Nuku said his arrest and incarceration by officers of the Bureau of Immigration were humiliating on grounds that security officers should know their suspects and stop humiliating people, who may have similar names.
He told this newspaper that he has asked the security agency to do a formal apology in several dailies. He was allowed to finally leave for his destination on Wednesday evening for a wedding he was expected to attend prior to his arrest.