Cllr. Wright in Conflict of Interest over Judge Dahn’s ‘Judicial Impropriety’ Probe?

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Cllr. M. Wilkins Wright

Having been disgracefully removed as Liberia’s first representative on the beach of the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Counsellor M. Wilkins Wright could find himself in a similar situation if he continues to represent Judge Roland Dahn in the ongoing investigation of “Judicial impropriety” against the judge.

Cllr Wright, who is also a former Associate justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, representing Judge Dahn in the Judicial Impropriety Investigation by the Judicial Inquiry Commission (JIC) clearly points to the fact that Wright is again in complete conflict of interest of the law.

Dahn’s probe resulted from a complaint filed before Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, wherein a British national, Hans Armstrong, who accused Dahn, the Resident Judge of the 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Nimba County, of call exchanges between him (Dahn) and the Senate Secretary Nanborlor Singbeh, while Singbeh’s lawsuit of theft against Armstrong was pending undecided before the judge.

Surprisingly, Cllr Wright’s law firm is the one that is representing Singbeh in the case that is pending undecided before Judge Dahn’s court in Nimba County.

While Wright is representing Singbeh in the case before Dahn, Wright has chosen to represent Dahn again in the JIC ongoing investigation of his judicial impropriety claim; something the Supreme Court had punished many judges and lawyers for including Wright.  Wright was suspended in 2017 for one year over conflict of interest.

Besides, Cllr. Wright is currently representing Singbeh and his general manager Karol Socher, a Czech Republic national of the MHM Eko Liberia Limited undergoing trial at Criminal Court ‘C’, in Montserrado County for allegedly misapplying about US$5 million transferred from Czech Republic by two Czech Investors, Martins and Pavel Miloschewsky.

This case is filed on behalf of the Czech brothers by Armstrong who is the Attorney-In-Fact of the investors.

Cllr. Wright was suspended in 2017 by the Supreme Court for allegedly committing “Conflict of interest in 2009 while serving as Liberia’s Solicitor General.

The Supreme Court said Cllr. Wright obligated the Government to a fraudulent judgment of US$1.5 million in favor of his client, Karol Socher.

The case was heard and ruled by Retired Judge Emery Paye, of the Civil Law Court, in 2005.

In that judgment, the Supreme Court ruled that the “Conduct of Counsellor M.. Wilkins Wright, then Solicitor General, Republic of Liberia, who had previously represented his client, FIDC/ Socher, in this matter without recusing himself, deliberately obscured the fact of the lawyer-client relationship with Socher.”

The court ruled further:  “At that time Cllr Wright conceded to the judgment of US$1.5million which was against the Government of Liberia, but in favor of his client FIDC Socher.”

The court also said:  “This act of Cllr Wright is a gross conflict of interest in breach of rules eight and nine of the code for moral and Ethical conduct of lawyers,” adding, “Cllr. Wright is therefore suspended from the practice of law directly or indirectly within the bailiwick of this Republic for a period of 12; calendar months as of rendition of this court’s judgment.”

Interestingly, Judge Roland Dahn, a lawyer then, and the current Solicitor General, Sayma Syrenius Cephus, were lawyers representing Socher.

As opposed to Cllr Wright’s one year suspension, both Cephus and Dahn were seriously warned by the High Court.

By that, the Supreme Court said: “With regards to the conduct of counsellors Sayma Syrenius Cephus and Roland F. Dahn, the Court is convinced that had they meticulously reviewed the case files, they would have observed that the judgment of April 20, 2005 awarding damages to FIDC Socher in the amount of US$1.5 million was fraudulent and a sham intended to defraud the Government of Liberia.”

The judgment further said, “Cephus and Dahn pleaded the issue of lack of jurisdiction by the Supreme Court to hear the petition for a writ of Prohibition on grounds that the matter of the US$1.5million was pending before the ECOWAS Court of Justice undermines the authority of the country’s highest court being seized of a case that emanated from a final ruling of a trial court within this jurisdiction.”

“Therefore, these lawyers (Dahn and Cephus) are sternly warned that a repetition of this course of action will lead to stringent disciplinary action,” the Court ruled.

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