Criminal Court ‘C,’ at the Temple of Justice last Monday ordered the arrest of Flash Point Consultancy boss, David E. Koitie, in a move to account for US$12,600.
The money was for the execution of a contract number “MPW-SF-0008-06/10 “between the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) and Flash Point, under which the company was required to engage, sensitize and confer with the general public for a better understanding of MPW’s programs and activities.
However, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) claims that the work was not performed and the defendants diverted the money to their personal use.
The arrest order was issued for Koitie and Jesefu Morris Keita, ex- director of Documentation and Communication of the MPW, following their indictment by the Grand Jury for Montserrado County on charges of economic sabotage, misapplication of entrusted property and criminal conspiracy.
It is not clear whether or not the men have been arrested and subsequently brought under the jurisdiction of the court. Fortunately, the crimes are eligible for bail, and if they were to be arrested, their lawyers could pay twice the amount allegedly misapplied, which could immediately prevent the two defendents from being sent to jail while awaiting trial.
The writ of arrest, a copy of which is with the Daily Observer, quoted Judge Peter W. Gbeneweleh’s instruction to the sheriff (court officer) which reads, “You are hereby commanded to arrest the living bodies of defendants charged with the crimes of economic sabotage, misapplication of entrusted property and criminal conspiracy.”
Justifying his order, Judge Gbeneweleh said, “It is based upon an indictment prepared against the defendants by the Grand Jury for Montserrado County.”
In their indictment, the Grand Jury alleged that on May 1, 2010, a contract was entered into between MPW and the Flash Point with the understanding that Flash Point would execute the contract.
They further alleged that between March 2010 and July 2010, defendants Keita then director for Documentation and Communication of MPW and David E. Koitie director of Flash Point, using their respective positions and authorities, took advantage of the contract and converted the money to their personal use.
In the document, the jury further alleged that between March 2010 and July 2010, Keita as part of his responsibility was to select and recommend a qualified and competent institution to perform media consultancy for the ministry.
Unfortunately, the court’s record said, Keita with criminal intent to defraud the government and people of Liberia, recommended Flash Point to the Management of the MPW to perform media consultancy work for the ministry, contrary to the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) law.
“The proposal for the media consultancy contract was prepared on behalf of Flash Point Consultancy by the Communication and Documentation department then headed and supervised by co-defendant, in total violation of the PPCC regulation and procedures for the procurement of services,” the document added.
“The media consultancy did not have a business registration certificate to perform such services within the country,” adding, “Flash Point did not show valid evidence of the payment and or clearance to qualify for the award of the consultancy.”
“There was no evidence to suggest that Flash Point Consultancy had the capacity and ability to perform the obligations under the contract,” the court record stated.