Tuesday, August 11, 2015

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.

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