By Abednego Davis
A prison commitment turned into a scuffle between the handcuffed defendant Sampson Boymah, accused of stealing US$21,000 and several bailiffs (court officers).
No one sustained any injury during the scuffle last Friday at the Monrovia City Court when court officers eventually subdued the fraudster and landed him in detention at the Monrovia Central Prison (MCP).
Defendant Boymah, chairman of the Liberia Non-Governmental Organization Network, a development and human rights advocacy group, is charged with theft of property, forgery and criminal conspiracy in connection with his alleged unauthorized withdrawal of US$ 21,000 from the network’s account at Ecobank Liberia.
Friday’s fight started when Magistrate Kennedy Peabody handed Boymah’s commitment documents to the officers to have him jailed at the MCP. Boymah attempted to resist, although he was in handcuffs. He was eventually subdued by the involvement of additional officers.
Magistrate Peabody issued commitment orders immediately after Boymah failed to obtain the services of a lawyer to secure his criminal appearance bond, as his crime qualified him for a bail.
“There were verbal arguments and there was a fight,” an eyewitness said.
Another eyewitness narrated to the Daily Observer that the commotion started when the handcuffed Boymah refused to walk with the bailiffs to the Capitol Bypass, a five-minute walk from the courtroom, to board a hired tricycle to take him to the MCP, as there was no available vehicle to transfer him to prison where he will remain until his family can post the bond.
Samuel G. Morris, a dismissed Ecobank teller, filed the case against Boymah.
Morris had earlier told the court that Boymah submitted forged documents from the network based on which he (Morris) withdrew the US$21,000 and paid the amount to Boymah, although Boymah is not a signatory to the network’s account. Despite dismissing Morris, the bank was compelled by the network to repay the US$21,000.
A writ of arrest in the possession of this newspaper alleges that in September 2014, Boymah conspired with co-defendant Constance Teah, who is on the run, and using fake documents, withdrew US$21,000 from the network’s account – 0811014700381301.
“The defendants exercised unauthorized control over the network’s account and deprived the owner,” the court document alleges.
Boymah’s action, the record alleges, was wicked, and in violation of sections 15.51, 15.70 and 10.2 of the New Penal Law of Liberia.
The case continues.