The form and manner in which Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill conducted himself over his handling of the alleged disappearance of over US$40,000 out of his account at the Guaranty Trust Bank (GTbank) at the Monrovia City Court has raised serious concern about how the Minister exercises authority as a key figure to the presidency.
This stems from Minister McGill’s decision not to file an official complaint before the Liberia National Police (LNP) to investigate the accusation that the bank’s management was behind the illegal withdrawal through his ATM card, which investigation would have found the basis for the court’s arrest order against some senior managers.
Fortunately, the bank’s officials were earlier aware of the situation and so, they immediately secured a criminal appearance bond that is in the amount of US$80,000, the payment that prevented them from being imprisoned at the Monrovia Central Prison.
The regular and legal practice of the criminal justice system says immediately after a criminal complaint is filed against a person, the police usually invite the individual before beginning a thorough investigation into the matter.
After the investigation, the police report or finding goes to the prosecutors whose job it is to initiate the cases.
An arrest report summarizes the events leading to arrest and provides numerous details such dates, times, locations and witness names, which did not happen in Minister McGill’s case.
Rather, the Minister took upon himself to walk directly to the Magisterial Court with the assistance of both the Solicitor General, Sayma Syrenius Cephus, and Montserrado County Attorney, Edwin Martins and requested the court to order the arrest of authorities of the bank on grounds that they illegally withdrew the money from his account.
The court, without any hesitation immediately ordered the arrest of the bank officials, who were arraigned before Magistrate Jomah Jallah, but skipped imprisonment after the bond was filed.
Most importantly, the writ of arrest was not served on the bank’s management directly, but its lawyer, Cllr. Joseph Kollie, who received it and subsequently persuaded the bank’s officials to go to the court for the hearing of the case.
A source from the bank confided in the Daily Observer that the bank is not to be blamed for the financial transaction of Minister McGill.
The source further explained that Minister McGill had earlier applied to Georgetown University in the United States of America for admission.
And, it was during the process of registration that McGill presented details of the ATM card information, based on which some deductions were made from his account through his ATM card.
Besides, the source claimed that other close relatives to Minister McGill also used the ATM card to withdraw money from the account at the GTbank, which the Minister did not allow the police to investigate to establish the truthfulness before arresting the bank’s officials.
The case is still before the court, but the source claimed that Minister McGill was seen at the police headquarters over the weekend apparently to follow the rightful procedure in the matter after the misstep.