The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has begun full investigation of the Commissioner of the Township of Louisiana in Montserrado County in connection to the sale of 19 acres of land and a US$3,000 attempted bribery allegation.
The probe of Solomon Miller stems from a preliminary hearing the Liberia Land Authority (LLA) conducted with him alleging that the commissioner has been involved in the illegal issuance of land deeds, which are reportedly used to facilitate his dubious land sale schemes in the area.
The preliminary investigation report has been sent to the prosecution section of the ministry, which the authority there has confirmed.
Miller on Wednesday appeared before authorities at the ministry to answer whether or not he committed the crime of Criminal Conveyance of Land (CCL), for which he faces 5 to 10 years of imprisonment if found guilty.
Section 15.23 (e) of the CCL provides that “a district commissioner and commissioner, city mayor, township commissioner, or any other local government official, or a person charged with the responsibility to archive deeds and records, or traditional chief, elders, or any person holding a powerful traditional position, who abuses his or her authority to unduly influence or compel an individual or group of individuals to convey a parcel of land or any portion thereof, knowingly or being in a position to know that the land so conveyed belongs not to the person or persons conveying same, or knowing or being in the position to know that without the use of such influence or compulsion a conveyance of said land is not possible, is guilty of a felony of the second degree.”
A letter addressed to the Minister of Justice, Fredrick D. Cherue, under the signature of the LLA chairman, Mr. Cecil T. O. Brandy, a copy of which is with this newspaper, alleges that the Commissioner of the Township of Louisiana, Solomon Miller, is involved in the illegal sale of land within the township.
“And in that connection, Miller attempted to bribe the LLA land dispute investigator,” Brandy’s letter said. During the bribery attempt, the letter noted, “Miller was recorded on tape and the amount of US$3,000 which was offered as alleged bribe is in our possession and will be appropriately handed over to you.”
The letter added, “We believe that the action on the part of Mr. Miller is a serious criminal act, as defined under provisions of the act against Criminal Conveyance of Land, and we trust the Ministry will immediately institute the necessary legal proceedings to pursue prosecution of Miller and his co-conspirators. All documents pertaining to our investigation on the illegal land case are available and will be subsequently made available to you.”
Before the letter to the MOJ, Miller was said to have allegedly connived with two individuals identified as Bob Dennis and Marcus Neufville to sell 19 acres of land to Adonis T. Nmie, a source hinted to this paper.
Upon selling the property, the source claimed Miller prepared a fake deed and subsequently issued it to Nmie, thereby making him the legitimate owner of said land.
The source also claimed that the land is legally owned by Esther Williams and Archie Worjloh, who later complained to Commissioner Miller about the illegal sale of their property.
“Miller investigated the two deeds, one for Williams and Worjloh and the other for Nmie, and came out with a judgment that the Fulani (Nmie) was the legitimate owner of the property,” the source alleged.
It was based on Miller’s decision on the property that prompted the aggrieved party to later take the matter to the LLA investigator.
“At the investigation Miller admitted that the deed was fake and he was behind the illegal sale of the land and was later payed US$3,000 as a bribe to the investigator…the money was subsequently turned over to the LLA by the investigator,” the source alleged.
The case continues.