Tuesday, August 11, 2015

ERU officer ‘shares’ booty with criminals

Alleged armed robber Varfee K. Bestman has told police investigation that moneys he looted off his victim were shared between him, his accomplices and an Emergency Response Unit (ERU) the officers identified as Boza Wallace. “Joe-dee Craig and myself when to a ghetto behind Remedy church where we met one ERU officer by name Boza Wallace AKA BMW who took the wallet from us and took out the amount of US$200 which was all in 20 bills. Boza gave us US$100 plus four packs of co-co [Cocaine] and we left with the ERU officer and did not check in it,” Defendant Bestman said. Defendand Bestman alongside three other individuals identified as Wesseh, Zam and Joe-dee Craig (all alleged) were charged of committing the crime of armed robbery, aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy against the person of Cyrus A. Tolbert. According to the police charge against them they attacked their victim (Cyrus) who when clubbing around the Airfield area at about 12:00 am. Victim Tolbert told the police investigation that when he was left the Old Folks Night Club he cross the road and went to urinate when his Samsung Galaxy Note-3 phone began to ring. “As soon as I opened my zipper to peepee, my Samsung Galaxy Note-3 phone value US$850 began to ring and I took it out to answer the call at which time an unknown came from behind me and knocked it from my hand,” he said. He narrated that the phone dropped in a distance then he and the unknown man began fighting over the phone when some unknown men came from his back and stabbed him behind the left ear with a scissors and chopped his wrist with a cutlass. Victim Tolbert said that his attackers having lacerated his body charged his pocket and collected US$380 one heavy duty driver license, one Stella-Marries ID card and one Nokia 8600 phone value US$45. Defenant Bestman denied knowledge of the chopping and stabbing of victim Cyrus but said that he had gone to the Old Folks Entertainment center to enjoy himself when he used a razor blade to tear the front pocket of a man who was sleeping. “I took the wallet and started running towards the Remedy Chruch and the gentleman chased after me but did not catch up with me. My friends Zam and Wesseh chase the gentleman and grabbed him but I do not know what happened thereafter,” he said. The escaping ‘criminals’ then met ERU officer Boza Wallace who collected the wallet from them and give them US$100 and four packs of cocaine as their share of the loot.

Urey throws hat for presidency

-urges partisans, Liberians to raise the standard of democracy By: Bill E. Diggs Mr. Benoni Urey has become an aspiring candidate for the Liberian presidency come 2017 with the National Election Commission (NEC) certifying his party the All Liberian Party (ALP). To him the certification was a clear manifestation that Liberia’s democracy has begun to mature therefore all ALP partisans and Liberians must work to protect the country’s democracy. Mr. Urey was speaking at the party’s Headquarters in the Old Road Community Friday, August 7, 2015 shortly after the NEC certificated the party as one of the standing political institutions in the country. “Upholding the principles and virtues of our country’s democracy are crucial in proving to the world that we have finally turned the corners and that the dark and difficult days of our nation’s history are behind us. We are marching forward forever. This is the true significance of this ceremony,” he said. Mr. Urey once served as Liberia Maritime Authority Commissioner under the reign of imprisoned former President Charles G. Taylor and is currently one of Liberia foremost businessmen who believed that the country can only reclaim respect through democracy. “Let me assure you ladies and gentlemen that as political institution, the All Liberian Party (ALP) will endeavor to raise the standards of democracy in Liberia. We must work tirelessly to achieve this goal. The ALP is the vehicle through which the dreams and aspirations of our country and its citizens can be achieved. “Most of you want to go to bed with knowledge that food will be on your tables tomorrow. Most of you want to be assured that the means of your children’s education can be affordable. Most of you want to work and your enumerations can be equal with others. Most of you want to go home on the day you take your pay and not be visited by armed robbers 2 O’clock in the morning. Most of you want your children, friends and relatives to stop dying from sicknesses that can be easily treated. Most of you want your people to be given the basic essentials for living, which are food, water, light, shelter, etc. We have brought a hope to move Liberians from life of darkness to a life of radiance which is the kind of nation our forefathers were working hard to build and this is the kind of nation that Liberia must be, a home of glorious liberty by God’s command,” Mr. Urey added. He told the ALP partisans that the certification was a prayer answered by God with a mandate for nation building. He called on them to see the party as a vehicle through which the vision of the country’s forefather can be fulfilled noting the establishment of the party marks a new beginning in History of Liberia. “This party will fulfill a vision to build a great nation which shall be the pride of Africa and the emblem of the world at large. It has now been realized. Liberian can now boast with their heads up high and be proud of this great nation we all love so dearly,” Mr. Urey said. He averred that the came to ensure that Liberia becomes a land where most of its policy and programs are implemented for the benefit of its people and not the way it has been done in the past. “Today is a glorious day in the history of our nation. The All Liberians Party presents itself as boundless party that deals with issues that champion the cause of our people. It will foster a society that will be for all Liberians and a society where everyone will be equal under the laws and enjoy equal opportunity. Everybody will be responsible for the government and the government will be responsible for everybody. It intends to uphold Liberia to higher highs democratically, academically, and socially. On this day of our party’s birth, I make this promise to you fellow partisans, I will work along with you to make this happen. I will stand by you, until our goal is achieved. I will never and ever weaver in my faith until the dream is realized and I will always be there with you whenever you need me the most.”

Matilda Parker’s bond adjudged valid

Efforts by state prosecutors to smudge the sufficiency of a US$1.2 million bail bond filed in favor of defendants Matilda Parker and Christiana Kpabar Paeley has been thwarted. On yesterday, Judge Peter W. Gbeneweleh ruled that the bond was valid despite the claim by the state prosecutors that the insurance company (Family Dollars Universal Insurance Services) did not show assets equivalent to the amount of bond posted. During the justification of the bond’s sufficiency, the defendants told the court that since 2014, the Family Dollars Universal Insurance Services incorporated met all requirements require of an insurance company by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) therefore the bond it posted was legitimate. In order to be accredited by the CBL as an insurance company, the applicant company must give prove of having cash in the amount of US$450,000, assets valued of US$350,000 in assets, and reinsurance valued US$750,000. Despite such basic requirements, prosecuting lawyers during cross examination believed that the justification given by the Family Dollars Universal Insurance Services Incorporated was not sufficient because the assets filed with the CBL in 2014 could not remain the same up to present. However, when Judge Gbeneweleh ruled yesterday he said that the law (Judicial order no. 1) upon which the state prosecutors relied was illegal and unenforceable. “We take judicial notice of the Robertson et-al Vs. Quiah Brothers et-al Supreme Court opinion 2012 which declared judicial order number one illegal and unenforceable,” he said. He noted that the bond filed met all of the standards set by the Supreme Court which include: article of incorporation, registration certificate, and clearance from ministry of finance. “A careful perusal of the insurance bond filed by the defendant shows that the said bond met the requirements to execute the criminal appearance bond in this case. The primary objective or purpose of the criminal appearance bond in is to secure the appearance of the defendant before a court of competent jurisdiction. The surety, during the examination answered in the affirmative that the defendants will appear before this court whenever needed. The bond is therefore valid,” Judge Gbeneweleh said. Meanwhile, Madam Parker and Madam Paelay were accused of breaching the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) regulation to award Mr. Flomo two sole contracts even though he did not have the expertise and required licenses to handle search contract. The two contracts given to Mr. Flomo were for the removal of wreck from the port of Greenville and the provision of security consultancy at all the seaports in the country. Investigation conducted by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) into the matter found that Mr. Flomo was neither a wreck engineer nor did he own a wreck removal firm. Also they found that the purported Recognized Security Organization named and styled Denmar Enterprise which belonged to Mr. Flomo and did not meet all registration requirements.

Judges blame for circumventing Judicial Cannon 5

-Cllr. Flomo says some judges no longer see court as the ‘place of last hope’ Counselor James Flomo, Public Defenders Coordinator, says some judges in Liberia no longer see the court the last place of hope for man in the earth as enshrined in Judicial Cannon 5. He made the assertion last Monday, August 10, 2015 during the opening of circuit courts for the august term when he responded to the Judges’ charge delivered by Her Honor Ceaineh Clinton Johnson presiding at Criminal Court “E”. “Some of the judges do not know that we go there [at court] for last hope so that they can treat us as such. Some of them come with their own discretional issues,” he said. Cllr. Flomo pointed out that on one occasion he was representing a client who secured a bond but was required to be present at the court every Friday to sign in which he described as strange in the judicial system. “Additionally, some of the judges decide how much should be the bond. They say ‘ok, even though we allow you to file bond got to pay a fee’. We know that the person we are representing is an indigent,” he said. Cllr. Flomo believed that such acts were not in line with Judicial Cannon 5 which provides that: ‘the court is the last place of hope for man on earth’ which place the court in a sacred and reverend place. Having stated how he believed the cannon was being bent by some judges, Cllr. Flomo noted that the state have been drawing up some bogus indictments. “Your honor we all are aware that there are some bogus indictments. There is nothing wrong with releasing people who have been illegally and worrying about there will be more criminal in society,” he said. He hoped that the judiciary will work collectively to handle the issue so that justice can prevail in the country. “We are not here to play games with people life. We are here so that when people come in need of justice they can have justice,” he said. Speaking earlier, Her Honor Ceaineh Clinton Johnson said that the attainment of the creation of the court as the place of last hope for man on earth has often been wrongly presumed or placed on the actions of the judges. She noted that it was a sheared responsibility of all actors, the judges, state prosecutors and defense lawyers must work together to ensure that the court deliver the justice that the people need. “to the public defense counsels, your mandate is to give representation to those who cannot afford the cost of representation. Your job is not done by only searching for doubts in the prosecution case; your job is done by equally searching for the truth,” she said. She noted that public defenders would not be doing justice when, from all things considered, their clients have told them the truth but they still want them to be set freed because of a missing link in the prosecution case. “When you do this, you put back into society someone who should be behind bars to protect [other] people from his/her behaviors,” she said.