Liberia: Plaintiff Wants Supreme Court Enforce US$786K Ruling

Augustine Quioquio, chief executive officer of the Global Group, a Liberian company that filed the lawsuit in 2020


The chief executive officer (CEO) of Global Group, the company that was awarded US$786,476 as damages against National Contracting Company (NCC), an Indian own entity, is appealing to Chief Justice Sie -A-Nyene Yuoh to ensure that the outcome of the case is enforced to the letter.

In early April, the Civil Law Court ‘A" ruled in favor of Global Group and its CEO, Augustine Quioquio, and ordered NCC to pay him  US$75,000 as special damages, US$500,000 as general damages for the mental anguish, suffering pain, inconveniences, embarrassment, and psychological injuries, the NCC caused to Quioquio, and US$209,762 as the full contract amount before its termination in 2020, about three years ago.

The decision to award Quioquio the money was reached by Judge Kennedy Peabody and the jury of the court on April 7, 2023, and NCC, continues to challenge it to the Supreme Court.

In the appealed judgment, Peabody said, after NCC terminated the contract with Global Group, for non-performance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Quioquio had taken loans from several institutions and individuals to continue with the contract, despite the raging COVID-19 pandemic, in the country.

Peabody said, when the creditors heard that the contract was terminated, they took Quioquio to the headquarters of the Liberian National Police (LNP), where he was jailed and publicly humiliated, for which he deserves the money.

“It is undisputed from the records that the CEO of Global Group was handcuffed and jailed as the direct result of the termination of the contract, because he had earlier loaned money from institutions and individuals, and the contract was the guarantee to paying back the creditors,” Peabody noted.

In tears on Friday, June 9, Quioquio told journalists at the Temple of Justice, where he had gone to the Supreme Court to follow up on the status of his case there, that for the termination of the contract, and up to present, he is finding it difficult to pay back some of the remaining loans.

“While I was in prison, my wife could not withstand the situation, and she died in the process, leaving me with several children and no decision as to when the case would come to a conclusion by the justices of the Supreme Court,” Quioquio wondered.

“The lawyer threatened me that they would see to it that the case remains with the highest court. This [could] be true because each time I go with my lawyer to the Supreme Court, nobody is there to tell the status of my case there” Quioquio explained. “I am not doing this for the chief justice and the other justices to pity my situation, but I want them to know that I am in need of justice. Because of the loan, I cannot stay home any longer for fear of being arrested again,” said Quioquio.

He is now hoping that justice will be served, that the justices will decide the matter swiftly.

“I am hoping for justice for my family and the company that is now bankrupt.”

The project is owned by TRANSCO / CLSG, the company that is responsible for the transmission of electricity from Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, and Sierra Leone to Liberia.

CLSG also contracted NCC, which then subcontracted Global Group for a specific portion of the project — excavation of slots, piling, stub setting assembly, and reinforcement. The defendant later terminated the contract on June 22, 2020, by email, and informed Quioquio that they had already allotted towers 39 and 40, to M/S K-Line, another Indian company, as the new subcontractor.

According to the court records, Global Group's argument has been that “the delay in the implementation of the project was attributed to the insurgence of COVID-19 and the state of emergency, for which plaintiff cannot take responsibility because COVID-19 was a natural phenomenon by God and that plaintiff took significant steps prior to the pandemic to implement the contract.”

They further argued that while it was performing at the project site; defendant e-mailed it on May 8, 2020, threatening that if towers 39 and 40 were not completed on time, the defendant would award the contract to an Indian company.

He claimed that because of the defendant’s threat, he wrote to defendant on March 30, and May 7, 2020, respectively, requesting an extension of time due to the pandemic, and as well, the state of emergency by the government, and requested the defendant secure an advance of 10% of the project fund so as to procure additional materials and to communicate with CEMENCO and Sethi Brothers for a credit facility for materials for construction, but the defendant refused.“I secured a loan outside of the bank and began implementing the project. Surprisingly, the defendant terminated my services,” Quioquio said.