Did President Pro-Tempore Obstruct Senate Secretary’s Arrest?

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Pro-Tempore Chie used his call card to communicate with the Judge."

The Capitol Building’s office of Senator Albert T. Chie, President Pro-Tempore, was on Thursday, September 12 a place of tension following the senator’s alleged refusal to allow a court Sheriff that was accompanied by two officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) from arresting Nanborlor Singbeh, secretary of the senate, according to eyewitnesses.

The back of Senator Chie’s call card with a note to Magistrate Duncan about his desire to turnover Singebeh to her court.

Magistrate Victoria Worlobah Duncan of the Kakata Magisterial Court in Margibi County issued the arrest order on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, where Singbeh and several others of the senior management team of a Czech Republic-owned company, MHM Eko-Liberia Incorporated are accused of illegal sale of heavy duty earth-moving equipment (caterpillars) and heavy duty trucks worth about US$650,000.

Senate Pro Tempore Albert T. Chie sent a handwritten note on the back of call card, to tell the Magistrate Victoria Duncan that Nanbolor Sengbeh would be submitted to the court at a later time.

Eyewitness on Capitol Hill informed the Daily Observer that Senator Chie asked the court officers not to take Singbeh along with them, because he was going to communicate with Magistrate Duncan, and therefore, he (Sen. Chie) would be responsible to surrender Singbeh to the court at a later date.

Shortly afterward, the Sheriff pleaded with Senator Chie to reduce his statement into writing, which the Senator did in the form of a hand-written note on the back of his call card.

Copy of Senator Chie’s call card written on September 12 in possession of the Daily Observer reads, “Your Honor, Victorian Worlobah Duncan, I confirm that the Secretary of the Senate has been served the writ and will appear.”

Chie did not mention the date on which he would surrender Singbeh to the court.

The trucks and equipment under litigation were purchased and shipped by the 70 percent majority shareholders, Czech brothers Martin and Pavel Miloschewsky, but with an agreement of reimbursement when the company produced and sold crushed rock, the court’s record claims.

Since the establishment of MHM Eko-Liberia Inc. in Seeke-Ta, Weala, Township, Margibi County, in 2013 up to present, Singbeh has not produced or sold a single truckload of crushed rocks.

Secretary of the Senate, Nanbolor Singbeh sought refuge in the office of Senate Pro Tempore, Albert Chie, when the Sheriff of the court and two police officers came to arrest him.

Singbeh is the president and chairman of the board of directors of the MHM Eko-Liberia Inc, where he also holds a 30 percent share.

The case was brought by the Miloschewsky brothers through their Attorney-In-Fact Hans Armstrong, a British national against Singbeh.

Thursday’s standoff, according to eyewitnesses, began when the Sheriff and the police officers went to arrest Singbeh at his Capitol Building office to take him along with them to the Kakata Magisterial Court.

While trying to resist the arrest, Singbeh ran into the office of Senator Chie, but the officers and the Sheriff followed him there, the eyewitness said. The eyewitness explained that when the Sheriff and the officers entered Senator Chie’s office, they met the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill.

While there, one account said Minister McGill, in the presence of Senator Chie, was heard telling the Sheriff and officers, “Nobody will arrest Singbeh here without his lawyer’s presence.”

In the aftermath of a tense standoff that lasted for hours, the eyewitness said Senator Chie asked Singbeh if he has a lawyer, and Singbeh replied “yes,” before the Senator could give his assurance for Singbeh’s appearance any time in court.

Singbeh’s arrest comes just two days after the Kakata Magisterial Court ordered the arrest of his aide, Jan Holasek, a Czech national, in connection to the sale of the trucks and equipment, and the alleged illegal withdrawal of US$317,500 out of the company’s account at Ecobank-Liberia.

Holasek has meanwhile been released on a controversial bail, which Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe of the Gongloe and Associates Law Firm has challenged.

Before his release, Holasek allegedly informed the investigators that he gave Singbeh US$10,000 from the sale of an excavator #325.

Holasek also claimed that Singbeh sold one of the company’s Toyota Pick-ups to one James Fallah, who lives in Weala, Margibi County for US$3,000.

It is not clear when Senator Chie will live up to his commitment to surrender Singbeh to the court to exonerate himself from the criminal accusation. It also remains to be seen whether Magistrate Duncan will cite the Senate Pro Tempore of Minister of State for obstruction of justice.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Why did hon. Chie disrespected the law of Liberia. These are some of the very reasons why Liberia is where she is. Laws and rules are meant to be obey and respected by everyone and there is no exception so for him doing that was illegal and unhealthy to the rue of law. What if this was just another Liberian with no status or connection? Will hon Chie had done same for them to prevent arrest? This is the start of individual putting themselves above the law which need to stop if we Liberians wants to advance our nation. The laws governing us as Liberians are the highest order within our republic and everyone falls under these laws and not above the them. That’s corruption at another level and abused of power. When are we going to strike the right thing to help our country move forward? No wonder criminals have no respect for our laws while police stand by and watch crime being wage against innocent citizens. I think hon Chie need to be punished for his action. J. Ark

  2. The Supreme Court once entered into an illegal deal with lawmakers as politicians to carry out an unconstitutional removal of one of its own, all gloves are off concerning respect for the legal system by politicians as lawmakers. What they say over there , one sleeps with bedbugs like the Grand Kru County Senator , that person will get the same bedbugs. So is the Chief Justice and his Supreme Court. That’s a heavy price to paid. Even under the leadership of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf , the corrupt Senator from Grand Cape Mount County who is head of the Senate Judiciary Committee was arrested and indicted and brought before the Court. But that can not happen to a common Secretary of the Senate under the regime of George Weah and his legislative body and Supreme Court ? Wow ! Change for hope has become Change for the worse.

  3. Maybe mr singbeh is guilty , because he’s refusing to face an acquisition, go and clear yourself.
    In Liberia those who make the laws are the worse violators of the laws, if that was a common man you could be charged with obstruction of justice!!

  4. What arrogance on the part of Chie? He obstructs justice and sends a scribbling on the back of his call card to the judge? Mr. Chie has just demonstrated that the Weah government is not only a kakistocracy but also a kleptocracy that defends thieves that work for them in their various offices.

  5. Is Weah responsible for all the missteps and misdeeds of his staunchest supporters? No, he is not. However, he did swear under constitutional oath to enforce the laws of the country without partiality.

    And so the state of deep anxiety and dread that Liberians are showing now, derives from his inability or ineptness to address the malfeasance of both his elected and appointed officials.

    The president cannot build a just and equitable society by putting the interests of his kinfolks above the law for it creates the impression of impunity and selective justice.

    The behavior of people in the like of Chie casts aspersion on Weah’s image, and it dampens any good effort on the part of his administration to do the right thing when it comes to promoting justice, law and order, and fair play under the law.

    How swift it has been quite lately to arrest, charge, and incarcerate Sirleaf, Dorbor and others for the crime of economic sabotage and not one senator came in their behest. Was it because they are not from the president’s county also? And in the same token, why has Tweah not been indicted for similar offenses alleged against Sirleaf, Dorbor and others? My question is not meant to defend anyone, who might have intentionally committed a crime and for which he should be held accountable under the law.

    However, my reason for asking this question is for the fact that when a rule is applied unfairly to different people or groups, it is called “double standard.”

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