The Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice last Monday dropped charges against the management of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), after state lawyers asked it to do so.
The bank’s President, John B. S. Davies and Mrs. Gloria Menjor, general manager were facing four counts of crimes including economic sabotage, theft of property, criminal conspiracy and misapplication of entrusted property.
They were accused of conspiring with co-defendants Ellen Kwame Corkrum and Musa Bility, former managing director and former board chairman of the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA), respectively, by making unauthorized transfer of funds totaling US$269,000 from the accounts of another co-defendant Diaspora Consulting Inc, to the Bank of America for services which were never rendered.
Davies and Menjor have denied any link to the crimes, and had pledged to cooperate with the court to clear their names and the institution.
In their request to the court, last Monday, Cllr. J. Daku Mulbah, County Attorney for Montserrado County said, they were entering “nolle prosequi” in favor of Davies and Menjor so that they would serve as witnesses during the trial, as contain in Section 18.3 of the Criminal statute.
Accepting the request, Judge Yussif D. Kaba declared that “the defendant, Liberia Bank for Development and Investment, is hereby discharged from answering to the charges and the case dismissed without prejudice. And it is so ordered.”
A legal expert, who spoke to the Daily Observer after the case was dropped, explained that “nolle prosequi” is an admission that government cannot prove the charges against the bank’s management and that evidence has demonstrated that the defendants are innocent of prosecution’s claim.
“This is a clear indication that the County Attorney has become convinced that the accused are innocent,” the expert further explained.
Immediately after the court dropped the charges last Monday, LBDI’s President John B. S. Davies told journalists, "To be sincere, we are very excited.”
"My conscience is clear, has been clear, and will remain forever clear that we are innocent of all the accusations leveled against us," Davies said.
“But, we want similar charges to be dropped against the First International Bank (FIB), because they have paid the US$56,750 unauthorized transfer from the account of the Liberia Airport Authority account, to Co-Defendant Melvin Johnson and Associates’ Account #918069642 held at JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. in the United States,” Davies pleaded with the government.
In an indictment that was drawn between October 2012 and February 2013 prosecution, pointed out that Justin Ogugua of the FIB, and Jeremi Tegli, former head of operation of the FIB, did conspire with Co-Defendants Ellen K. Corkrum, Melvin Johnson and Associates, and Melvin Johnson to unauthorized transfer US$56,750 from the account of the LAA (private prosecutrix), to Co-Defendant Melvin Johnson and Associates’ Account #918069642 held at JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. in the United States.
The bank admitted to the claim and has so far paid back the money into government revenue.