Despite a previous Tax Court order to shut down the Srimex Oil and Gas Company for its blatant refusal to pay legitimate taxes owed to government as per a court judgment in 2012, the International Law Group (ILG) has been preventing the company from obeying the decision, a communication in the possession of the Daily Observer has established.
ILG is owned by Cllr. Fonati Koffa, Minister of State without Portfolio and head of the Presidential Taskforce that is currently investigating the Global Witness bribery allegations against several senior members of the legislative and executive branches of government.
Before the ILG communication to the court, the then Judge Eva Mappy Morgan, in September 2012, ruled that “the defendant, Srimex having confessed judgment of its current tax liability to the government in the amount of US$180,000, it is therefore adjudged liable for said amount.”
She further threatened to close the company to serve as a deterrence and lesson to many delinquent tax payers and tax evaders that tax payment is a national priority and obligation under the Revenue Code of Liberia.
Although the company had made payment of US$47,700 out of the US$180,000, it was as a result of persistent threats of contempt charges from the court.
Instead of meeting up with their obligation as promised, the company on January 9, 2015, wrote that they had retained additional counsel to represent their legal interest in the case, though they had started paying the money.
A communication signed by Musa Hassan Bility, president and chief executive officer of Srimex Enterprise, said, “ILG has been retained as additional counsel to represent my interest in these proceedings.”
Based on that letter, Attorney Madina Wesseh on January 20 wrote the court asking it for certified copy of the Srimex case file.
In her communication, Atty. Wesseh said, “We represent the legal interest of the defendant in the entitled tax evasion action,” adding,” We request from this Honorable Court certified copy of the records in this case.”
After receiving the communication, the clerk of the court quickly provided all documents regarding the case to the law firm.
But since January 2015, when Atty. Wesseh wrote and received the documents from the court’s clerk, ILG and Mr. Bility are yet to appear before the court for the continuation of the matter.