After a year of legal wrangling as to whether or not Aminata and Sons Incorporated – a Liberian petroleum vendor – actually duped government out of US$5,787,134.01 as excessive income unjustly accrued from the sale of the Japanese Oil Grant, Criminal Court ‘C’ will today decide the company’s fate.
The judgment will be delivered by Judge Emery Paye after he reserved his decision for four days followed by entertaining final legal arguments from both the Aminata and Sons’ legal team and lawyers representing the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), that discovered the alleged fraud and brought the lawsuit against the company.
At the commencement of the case, Judge Paye dropped a similar allegation that was levied against former Commence Minister Miata Beysolow and T. Nelson Williams, Jr., former managing director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), on grounds that the LACC’s investigative report, based on which the indictment against the former public officials were drawn, was marred with “serious legal errors.”
Aminata and Sons Inc. faces multiple charges ranging from economic sabotage, misapplication of entrusted property, criminal conspiracy and facilitation and violation of the required Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) procedures and processes, that called for competitive bidding, as well as their alleged role played in the Japanese oil grant in 2011 – claims the company denied when CEO Siaka Turay took the witness stand.
The LACC claimed that Turay sold the products (both diesel and gasoline) for US$4.22 and US$4.37 respectively, contrary to the agreed price of US$2.19 based on the gift element nature of the grant, thereby failing to account for US$5,787,134.01.
Though Turay deposited US$8.5 million to the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) as required by the agreement his company entered into with the government, LACC claimed the company should have deposited over US$14 million at the bank.