Lofa County Fate In Limbo -As Senator-electe Samukai, Others Sentence to 2 Years Imprisonment

by The People News
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The supreme court of Liberia has convicted Lofa County Senator-elect J. Brownie Samukai together with two former Deputies, Joseph Johnson, and Nyahm Dorkor for misappropriation of US$1.4 million of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) pension funds.

The Supreme Court of Liberia on Monday, February 8, 2021 affirmed the ruling of the lower court after the defendants filed an appeal.

Mr. Brownie Samukai, Liberia’s longest serving Defense Minister along with Joseph F. Johnson, former Deputy Minister for Administration and J. Nyumah Dorkor, former Comptroller were indicted by the Weah led Government and subsequently rendered guilty of the following: thief of property, economic sabotage, criminal conspiracy, money laundering and the misuse of public fund.

Additionally, the court’s ruling also ordered the guilty men to restitute US$1.4 million. As excepted, the defendants took an appeal to the supreme court which is the final attributer of justice in Liberia. The move by the defendants was to ensure the high court overturn the lower court’s judgment.

Unfortunately for the defendants, the High Court upheld the trial court March 10, 2020 verdict with modification that the defendants serve a two-year term each in a common jail.

The jail term is subject to suspension provided that the defendants restitute fifty percent of US$1.4 million within the period six months, and thereafter enter appropriate arrangement to pay the remaining portion in one calendar year.

Reading the verdict on behalf of the Supreme Court, Justice Yusuf Kabah mentioned that the defendants failure or refusal to restitute the amount as mandated in its judgment shall lead to their incarceration in a common jail not specified and will remain there until the full amount is paid or liquidated at the rate of US$25.00 per month as provided for by law.

The Supreme Court Monday, February 8, 2021 verdict plunges Lofa County into a constitutional crisis as there is no law that prohibits an affirmed elected Lawmaker taking office.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is expected to again decide Samukai fate, this time in an electoral dispute predicated upon the December 8, 2020 midterm senatorial elections in Lofa county.

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