Impounded DAF Truck ‘Mysteriously’ Disappears From Court Yard

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A White DAF Truck that was reportedly shipped to one Abraham Dolley by his family in London, U.K. to be sold here in Liberia, but was parked on the premises of the Temple of Justice upon orders of Magistrate Kennedy Peabody of Monrovia City Court on allegations that it was stolen by defendant Layee Kromah, has “mysteriously” disappeared.

The vehicle which had been impounded for about a month, allegedly disappeared minutes after another court, the  Gardnersville Magisterial Court, issued an arrest warrant against Kromah and another defendant, Robert Lambin, who bought the vehicle from Kromah.

Gardnersville Magistrate Tweh Wesseh’s action came immediately after Magistrate Peabody, who had been handling the matter, dismissed the case, and subsequently handed over keys to the truck to Lambin because his Monrovia City Court does not have territorial jurisdiction over the matter.

This means that the incident occurred in Gardnersville, which lies outside his jurisdiction, although Peabody had played a major role in having the truck transferred from the Topoe Village detachment of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to the Temple of Justice, when he ruled to dismiss the case.

Friday’s evening dramatic event came when a court officer accompanied by two officers of the Police Support Unit (PSU) served the writ of arrest on Lambin, who is represented by the Gongloe and Associates Law Firm, almost immediately after Lambin with advice of Cllr. Philip Gongloe signed for the truck as instructed by Magistrate Peabody.

Meanwhile Defendant Kromah, who was earlier seen at the Monrovia City Court along with Lambin, absconded from the premises of the Temple of Justice, apparently after being given a hint of a writ of arrest waiting to be served on both him and Lambin.

To the dismay of Dolley and some of his family members who arrived in Liberia from London  for the case, the officers (PSU and court) managed to arrest only Lambin, who they drove to the Gardnersville Magisterial Court, leaving behind the truck that was at the center of the theft allegation.

It was while at the Gardnersville Magisterial Court that a group of individuals entered the court yard of the Temple of Justice and ‘mysteriously’ made away with the truck in the absence of Dolley.

There are several communications in the possession of the Daily Observer from Magistrate Peabody addressed to authorities of the police before he dismissed the case.

One of the letters dated December 1, 2017 addressed to Simeon Frank, deputy Inspector General of the LNP reads, “We write to bring to your official attention that one DAF Truck currently under the legal custody of the Topoe Village Police Depot under your instructions is a subject matter now before this Honorable Court.”

It also said, “Hence we would appreciate that you use your good offices to ensure that the said truck is forwarded to the court upon receipt of this communication for further prosecution of the case.”

Another letter from Peabody to the police dated December 5, 2017 about the arrest of Layee Kromah also reads, “You are hereby commanded to arrest the living body of Layee Kromah to be identified, defendant, and forthwith bring him before this court for immediate prosecution.”

It further reads, “He is wanted by this court for the charges of misapplication of entrusted property and theft of property, but has absconded and placed himself into hiding.”

According to the letter, in the event said defendant is arrested after working hours, he should be detained at the nearest police cell to be brought before the Monrovia City Court the next working day.

Despite the letter and the writ of arrest, Peabody dismissed the matter for lack of jurisdiction and subsequently turned over keys of the truck to Lambin, before its ‘mysterious’ disappearance.

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