Liberia: Samukai To Appear for Open Hearing Today On 50% Payment Of AFL Pension Liability
Monrovia – Former Defense Minister Brownie J. Samurai and others to include Nyumah Doker and Joseph Johnson are expected to reappear at Criminal Court ‘C’ on Thursday to provide explanation on whether or not they have completed the US$50 payment of Arm Forces of Liberia pension money owed.
The total amount in question US$1.5 million and the 50% was expected to be paid within six months period, which expired on August 10.
The lower court in its ruling on March 24, 2020, held the three liable for Theft of Property, Criminal Conspiracy and Misuse of Public Fund but the Supreme Court in it’s recent running drop the charge on Misuse of Public Fund.
The court in its ruling ordered Samukai and others to pay per their positions.
According to the lower court, failure to pay will lead to Samukai’ imprisonment for two years and that Nyumah Doker will serve a sentenced for six months while Joseph Johnson goes prison for one year.
The court also ruled that said about be paid before Samukai is certificated.
However, Following the lower court’s ruling, Defense Lawyer asked for extension and took an appeal to the Supreme Court to address the matter.
The Supreme Court modified the lower court’s ruling, stating that the three equally committed the crime and bear equal punishment.
Samukai and others indicted by the court were requested to pay 50 percent of the US1.3 Million, but the former Defense Minister personally paid US$174 Thousand.
Last Thursday August 19, some prominent citizens of Lofa, Nimba, and others from the southeast in the Diaspora, as well as some Liberian business persons contributed nearly USD$182,000 and presented same to the Friends of Lofa County-Senator-Elect Brownie J. Samukai.
The amount represented the former defense minister’s share of 50% required by the court (USD$191,276.05).
Over the weekend, the Supreme also ruled in favor of the Ministry of Justice in its petition filed against the certification of former Defense Minister Samukai, who was recently elected Senator of vote-rich Lofa County.
This means that based on the petition filed by the government, the minister is a convict who is due to pay AFL pension money and should not be certificated.
According to Judicial analysts, Samukai is not exempted from the remaining amount that was slated to be paid on the 26 of August or face a jail sentence.
The matter arose from the verdict of the Supreme Court in the earlier criminal case against the above-named persons, now hingers on whether Senator-elect Samukai will pay his 50% share of USD383,552.10, which is equivalent to USD$191,276.05 before or by the end of the deadline on 25 August, 2021.
Even before the opening of the August Term of Criminal Court “C”, and without taking his seat, the new Judge ………, has already made a political brouhaha on Samukai’s head.
The new Judge of Criminal Court “C” not waiting for any of the party litigants to file any BOI or query to the court, took upon himself and ordered the Clerk of Court of Criminal Court “C” on 5 August 2021 to issue Notice of Assignment for Samukai and his colleagues along with their lawyers to appear before him on August 26th 2021 at 11:00a.m. for what he called Post Trial Conference.
Our investigation shows that both the Government prosecuting lawyers and lawyers for defendant Samukai have denied filing anything to this Judge and to Criminal Court “C” to raise this issue of a posttrial conference.
The new Judge of Criminal Court “C” seem to be in a desperate hurry to become famous by such pre-emptive action. It raises the question about the true intent of the Judge, whose action may be interpreted as continuation of targeted political witch-hunt against the Lofa County Senator-elect.
Earlier, a constitutional argument filed by the Movement for Progressive Change(MPC) on grounds that Samukai is a convict and most not be certificate to serve at the National Legislature, was denied by the court.
Whether or not the 50% of the amount requested had been paid remains a public concern, as Samukai is expected to reappear Thursday, August 26.
Everyone is now watching whether Samukai and his supporters have meet up with the time-bound mandate to pay.