Liberia: Leaked Letter from Judicial Inquiry Committee Vindicates Commercial Court Judge Eva Mappy in MOTC Case

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Monrovia – A leaked letter seen by this paper has put a new twist to the protracted saga involving Mr. Amos T.K Brosius and Judge Eva Mappy Morgan, Chief Judge of the Commercial Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.

The letter, which authentication has been duly established, was written by Associate Justice Yusuf D. Kaba, who is also chair of the Judiciary Inquiry Commission.

Addressed to Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, the letter informs the Chief Justice about the outcome of the Judiciary Inquiry Committee’s investigation into the complaint filed by Mr. Brosius.

The May 10, 2021 letter also disclosed that the Judiciary Inquiry Commission investigated Mr. Brosius’ complaint and “did not find that Judge Eva Mappy Morgan directly or indirectly withdrew funds from any account that was the subject of the litigation before her”.

Outlining the three major points that summarize the outcome of the committee’s report, Justice Kaba’s letter infers that the committee after the investigation has “advised” that Mr. Brosius takes “advantage of the law” if he feels  aggrieved  but his allegations against Judge Mappy is a “private wrong” and not an ethical breach as being wrongly peddled in the media.

Point three of the letter to the Chief Justice reads: “The commission in its finding advised that should a party stand aggrieved by the action or inaction of the judge in the handling of the matter , that party may take advantage of the law. This being a private wrong , the same cannot be considered an ethical breach”.   

“The Commission therefore asks that I abreast your honor of the above and advise that Mr. Brosius be so informed and advised,” the letter concludes

However, the letter states that the investigation found Judge Mappy Morgan’s action of granting an ex parte order based upon the request of one of the parties without notice to the other party as a “violation of canon 23 of the judicial canons” governing judges in Liberia.

This finding is a subject of disagreement as the Judge continues to assert that all parties including Amos Brosius counsels were present in the meeting and aware of the decision to do so.

The letter, according to several legal experts who have been speaking on condition of anonymity, now clarifies misinformation in the public that the chief judge of the commercial court was found guilty of illegally transferring funds against the interest of Mr. Brosius.

The leaked letter has surfaced just a day ahead of the Supreme Court’s hearing into an appeal by Judge Mappy Morgan against the JIC recommendation that calls for her suspension for one year. 

Meanwhile, the management of the Monrovia Oil Trading Company (MOTC) has expressed concern and disappointment “by the persistent and long-running media reports that distort and misrepresent its ownership of and control of Ducor Petroleum (Ducor)” — in which Mr. Brosiuos is said to have 10% share before the ongoing litigation ensued between he and the management of MOTC.

In a press statement released Monday, May 24, MOTC management claims that there is a “deliberate and purposeful misinformation campaign” against its “ownership of Ducor and also current litigation at the Commercial Court between it and Mr. Amos Brosius”.

“Mr. Brosius was removed by the Board of Directors and shareholders of MOTC for stated reasons and, when he could not account for significant funds of Ducor, MOTC as 90% shareholder of Ducor filed a Petition for Accounting against him, asking the Court to have him do what every agent/officer of a corporation is obliged to do — account for his stewardship of the company,” the release states.

The company added that after discovering irregularities by Mr. Brosius in the management of Ducor, it then sought control over the firm based on an agreement with Mr. Brodie’s as reflected “in the bank opening forms and signature mandate on the file of LBDI (bank)”.

The release also claims that Mr. Brosius and the management “never agreed that the Ducor account be closed or frozen, and Judge Mappy Morgan’s order concerning the account never asked that it be frozen, but that no operation would take place without court’s order.”

The release adds that the management then “politely informed the court that this order was neither an agreement of the parties nor the result of any preliminary injunction prayed for by Mr. Brosius”.

The release continues: “At a conference called by the judge in response to MOTC’s letter, Mr. Brosius’ lawyer and the court conceded the merit of MOTC’s case and Judge Mappy Morgan’s order was appropriately modified, with the mutual agreement of the parties that the amount of US$212, 704.3 representing the combined value of some checks deposited in the account be escrowed at Afriland Bank in order not to be used unilaterally by MOTC.”

The US$212,704.3 was then withdrawn from the LBDI account and put in an escrow account at Afriland Bank and, according to the MOTC management, the fund was used to “pay cost of the audit mutually agreed by the parties and performed by PKF (audit firm) under the supervision of the Commercial Court.”

Further commenting on the accounting of funds deposited in the Ducor account, MOTC disclaims that it is not a “personal account” as being asserted by Mr. Brosius in his several media appearances.

“Mr. Brosius’ assertions of MOTC’s operating “his” account is therefore wholly unfortunate and nothing more than a deliberate campaign to defame MOTC and probably Judge Mappy Morgan and the Liberian judiciary,” the release concluded.

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