Former House Speaker Alex Tyler and Bomi County Superintendent Adama B. Robinson were forced to cut short their stay last Friday, February 8, 2019, at the Criminal Court ‘C’ after they were booed outside of the courtroom by protesters shouting “Tyler and Robinson, rogue, rogue.”
Robinson and his accomplices, including Stanley Walker, who is believed to be the owner of a reportedly “dubious” scrap company, Fountain Liberia, were arrested on Wednesday, February 5, by court officers in Bomi County. They were subsequently transferred to Monrovia for the alleged disappearance of the truck, marked with license plate number LB-11906 and which was contracted by Fountain Liberia to transport the US$2,000,000 scrap metal equipment from Sackie Town, Bomi County, to Monrovia for sale.
Tyler was one of those lawyers on whose plea Robinson and Walker were released, although there is no court record to show that Tyler posted any bail for the court action.
Tyler and Robinson’s booing was triggered when Judge Boima Kontoe ordered officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to release the vehicle to its legitimate owners.
Sao M. Kortu and Vayanka A. Toure, who are believed to be owners of the missing truck, requested the court to ensure that the police turn the vehicle over to them.
Judge Kontoe also ruled that the US$2 million scrap metal equipment in question be off loaded and subsequently placed in the custody of the police.
“The sheriff (court officer) is also mandated to take inventory of the scrap metal equipment and produce sufficient copies of said inventory to be delivered to all persons and individuals of interest. They are to appear in court to produce the scrap metal equipment on March 20, 2019,” he also ordered.
Shortly after Kontoe’s judgment, Tyler and Robinson found themselves drawn outside of the courtroom to a chorus of boos and jeers, along placards bearing inscriptions: “Tyler and Robinson are rogues, and Robinson should be dismissed for corruption;” “They are not true representation of the people of Bomi County.”
On Friday, after being booed by the angry crowd, Tyler and Robinson rushed into their respective vehicles sped out of the courtyard.
Other bystanders pointed fingers at Senator Sando Johnson, who they claimed had “paid the protesters to tarnish the reputations of Tyler and Robinson.”
It was not clear whether Tyler is considering contesting the 2020 Senatorial election, because the incumbent has declared his intention to re-contest the post.
“They are paid agents of Senator Johnson, who wants to create confusion in our county, but we are going to resist them,” another by-stander said, describing the protesters.
Kortu and Toure claimed that before loading the scrap metal equipment, they had earlier entered into a contractual agreement with Robinson, who claimed to be the owner of the scrap, and Walker, who claimed to be the vendor (seller).
Kortu and Toure, the truck owners, in their complaint also alleged that they did not have any knowledge about Robinson and Walker’s deal. But since they were contracted by Walker, they wasted no time to inquire about the legitimacy of the contract, and chose to go to Bomi County in order to load the scrap on their truck, which was on its way to Monrovia.
However, they claimed that they were arrested, shortly after they took off from Sackie Town for Monrovia, by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) on January 4, 2019.
“Our truck and the scrap were impounded, and since then we have not been able to retrieve both the truck and the scrap,” Kortu and Toure explained to the court.
“We are not part of the criminal transaction and therefore the continued seizure of our vehicle and the scrap by Robinson and the police has subjected us to great loss of income, hardship, and embarrassment and has made us a party to the criminality,” Kortu and Toure said.