Monrovia- Former Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai and others convicted for misappropriating Armed Forces of Liberia Pension will have to wait until September 6, to get further explanation on the payment procedure of their liability imposed on them.
This follows a Bill of Information being filed by the Ministry of Justice against ‘irregularities’ by Criminal Court C Judge and defendants Samukai and others.
The Bill of information argued that the lower court misinterpreted the Supreme Court Ruling to have separated the payment of liabilities incurred on the three convicts, for which the government is requesting the Supreme Court interpretation.
The Ministry of Justice is also praying to the Supreme Court to revoke initial payment made by Samukai as his share, on grounds that they should pay jointly.
The deadline for the payment of the 50% of a total of 1.3 Million AFL Pension liability, and if the parties had not lived up to the mandate, they were expected to serve a prison sentence.
The lower court had to halt a pretrial conference on Thursday, August 26, but due to the Bill of Information filed by the MOJ.
Lawyers representing Samukai see on one hand arguing that their client has completed his portion of the 50% liability, while the government through the Ministry of Justice is, on the other hand, argued that the defendants pay their liability jointly.
As such, it would only be left with the high court to decide as to who is proceeding rightly.
According to the Bill of information Blamo Dickson, Residence Circuit Judge, Criminal Assizes C, Temple of Justice and Brownie J. Samurai, Joseph Johnson and James Nyumah-, Ndorkor are to appear and file their return before the full bench of the Supreme Court on Monday, September 6, 2021, at 9:00, am to show cause while information as pray for should not be granted.
“You are hereby commanded to instruct the respondents herein to file their official returns to this writ in the office of the clerk of this Honorable Court, before the six days of September, and to read to them the original leave a copy of the writ with the respondents and as to when and how you shall have to serve this writ,” the Bill of information said.
On Thursday, Criminal Court C Judge Ousman Feika had to halt pretrial conference, on grounds that he is aware of the Bill of information from state prosecution and also takes Judicial notice of a motion for enlargement of time filed by the defendants and that said motion for enlargement of time is still pending before the Supreme Court.
“Notwithstanding the above, this court says that it takes judicial notice of the fact that a Motion for Enlargement of time had been filed by the defendants in these proceedings and the said Motion for Enlargement of Time is still pending before the Supreme Court undetermined. Also, this Court says that it takes judicial notice of the fact that a Bill of information has been filed by the State/Prosecution in these proceedings, requesting the Supreme Court of Liberia to correct the irregularities enforcement of the mandate of the Supreme Court of Liberia, “document from Criminal Court C started.
“This Bill of information is also before the Supreme Court undetermined.”
As a result, the court sees it unwise to proceed with the enforcement of the mandate of the Supreme Court, when a Motion for Enlargement file by Defendants and Bill of Information filed by Prosecution has not been determined.
“In this light, of the foregoing, this court says it would be unwise to proceed with the enforcement of the mandate of the Supreme Court when the Motion for Enlargement of Time filed by the Defendants and the Bill of Information filed by the Prosecution has not been determined by the Supreme Court which is a superior court to this Court. Hence, these proceedings are therefore suspended pending the issuance of a notice of assignment. And it is hereby so ordered,” the document maintained.
Meanwhile, MOJ in its Bill of Information is also praying for the initial amount paid by Mr. Samurai to be revoked on grounds that he and other defendants are to pay jointly.