Liberia: Court To Investigate “Fake Deeds”  In Millad Hage Interstate Case

Edith Hage-Smith, Mother of Nohad Hage-Mensah Oringinal Deed

MONROVIA – The long-awaited investigation pleaded for by the window of the late Millad Hage since 2018, is underway, as the Supreme Court has opined that the Probate Court conducts an investigation as to whether the estate still owes Ecobank as being claimed.

The decision follows the court’s judgment to stop Nohad Hage from collecting money after she had the properties for over four years now.

Judge Boimah Kontoe during his tenure as special assigned Circuit Court Judge for the Millad Hage Estate and Curator for the Probate Court of Montserrado gave Nowad the properties, based on the alleged fake deeds she produced.

The investigation is intended to authenticate the deeds in the possession of the Ecobank, which is also claiming that the former administrator of the interstate of Millad Hage, Bassam H. Jawhary did not pay money owed by the estate.

Nowad Hage had claimed possession of the property with fake deeds and the investigation also intends to find out where Nohad got those new deeds from.

The Supreme Court judgment followed a Bill of Information filed by Oumou Hage, widow of the late Millad Hage after Judge Konto had ordered, that the properties be given to Nohad.

The properties in question are located in Redlight Community and Oumou has indicated that the 2.5 lots were bought from one John Dozen and Beatrice Dozen for her and her children and that the one lot was bought from one Rev. May Roberts is what Nohad and the other children are entitled to.

Ecobank is still overseeing the properties, based on claims that Jawhary has not paid back the loan secured by the late Millad Hage.

Mr. Jawhary is nowhere to be found and the investigation will determine the status of the loan.

In line with the investigation, the Supreme Court judgment also instructed Oumou Sirleaf Hage and the curator of the Monthly Probate Court to, within three months, submit a comprehensive inventory of assets and the manner of administration of the estate to the court, commencing 2014.

In its opinion, the court maintained that “the law in said jurisdiction also requires that where titles to real properties are contested on the issue of fraud in a probate matter, the monthly and probate court before whom the matter is pending on application by either party or the court sua sponte, on, shall refer the issue of fraud to the civil division of the circuit court of the country in which the case is being heard.”

However, the higher court noted that in the instant case, the parties, having raised adverse claims to three of the properties said to be owned by the children of the testator, the monthly and probate court for Montserradi County should have by law, referred the issue of fraud to the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court for Montserrado, for a trial by jury as a matter of law.

Not having done so in said case, the Supreme Court stated that Judge Konto, then Judge of the Probate Court of Montserrado erred, when he ruled on the demarcation survey report and awarded title, hence a ruling the higher court revised.

Therefore, the court ordered that pending hearing and determination of the adverse claim laid by the informant (Oumou Hage), to three of the properties awarded to Nohad Hage, all rental payments from said properties are to be held in an interest-bearing escrow account under the supervision of the probate court with a reputable local bank until the real owner of the disputed property is established.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court then ordered the lower court to resume jurisdiction of the case.